Akamai to Buy DDoS Protection Firm Prolexic

"By joining forces with Prolexic," explained Tom Leighton, CEO of Akamai, "we intend to combine Akamai’s leading security and performance platform with Prolexic’s highly-regarded DDoS mitigation solutions for data center and enterprise applications protection. We believe that Prolexic’s solutions and team will help us achieve our goal of making the Internet fast, reliable, and secure."

It makes sense for both parties, comments Mike Rothman, analyst and president at Securosis. "Prolexic gets a parent with deep pockets, which is critical when you need to keep pace with ever-increasing bandwidth available to ever-increasing millions of compromised devices being used as DoS artillery." And Akamai gets "gets a blue-chip customer base of large enterprises who get hammered by DoS attacks daily."

Akamai also gets the Prolexic cloud-based DDoS scrubbing centers in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Denial of service is one of the most frequently used attacks by criminals and hacktivists. It is used for extortion, to disguise hack attacks and disrupt attack mitigation, to make political statements, and to blacken the reputation of competitor companies. Both the incidence and the strength of attacks have been increasing over the last few years, and Prolexic has earned a high reputation in its mitigation.

Combining the two firms provides both content delivery and improved protection for that delivery. "Today, business is defined by the availability, security and latency of Internet-facing applications, data and infrastructure," explained Scott Hammack, CEO at Prolexic. "Being able to rely on one provider for Internet performance and security greatly simplifies resolution of network availability issues and offers clients clear lines of accountability. We believe that, together, we will be able to deliver an unprecedented level of network visibility and protection."

But there may also be a defensive element to the acquisition. "Companies like CloudFlare that provide a hybrid of CDN and security services have captured a lot of the consumer market, and  stand as a possible future threat to Akamai’s business," comments Jason Verge in Data Center Knowledge. "Akamai needs to evolve, and it is doing so here. Akamai is firmly rooted in the higher end of the market and will maintain its position by expanding its portfolio of security solutions, in addition to content delivery services. The acquisition means businesses can acquire performance and DDoS mitigation from a single vendor."

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