In the wake of acquiring Signal Sciences for $770 million, Fastly is gearing up to expand the range of security services it offers as part of an effort to advance adoption of best DevSecOps practices.
Artur Bergman, chief architect for Fastly, said a forthcoming wave of edge computing applications will require web applications firewalls (WAF) that can be deployed and managed remotely to protect them. As a provider of a content delivery network (CDN), Fastly will leverage the WAF platform developed by Signal Sciences to secure edge computing platforms within a forthcoming Secure@Edge service that promises to unified web application and application programming interface (API) security.
Fastly has been gaining ground as a provider of CDN services that are programmatically designed from the ground up to shift control over networking and security services further left toward DevOps teams, said Bergman. In many cases, the only way to secure workloads running on an edge computing platform is for DevOps teams to be able to programmatically deploy a WAF to protect the workloads on that platform, he noted.
Edge computing platforms are especially vulnerable to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that are increasing in both size and sophistication as cybercriminals become more adept at targeting specific servers and platform, added Bergman. No one can prevent a DDoS attack from being launched, but a CDN can play a critical role in mitigating its impact.
The acquisition of Signal Sciences comes on the heels of Fastly’s move to expand its the ability to collect metrics from edge computing platforms that will be employed to extend the reach of monitoring tools employed by DevOps teams to edge computing platforms.
Zane Lackey, chief security officer for Signal Sciences, said the two companies share a similar history and commitment to best DevOps practices. The WAF from Signal Sciences is based on a runtime application self-protection (RASP) architecture that only runs when an application fires up, which Lackey said makes it a natural extension of any DevOps toolchain.
The Signal Sciences WAF is unique in that it can support multiple classes of monolithic and microservices-based applications and that 95% of organizations that employ it do so in full blocking mode because the number of false positives the WAF generates is limited, added Lackey.
Naturally, Fastly is not the only provider of a CDN services looking to woo DevOps teams. Organizations have been deploying web-based applications on CDNs for years. However, CDNs that simplify the deployment of applications within the context of a DevOps workflow are gaining traction.
It’s too early to say how this battle will play out. In addition to providers who have built their own global networks, cloud services providers also now offer CDNs that promise to optimize cloud application performance while enhancing security and simplifying deployment. Regardless of the path forward, it’s clear that as more latency-sensitive applications are deployed across distributed computing environments, the more inclined DevOps teams will be to rely on external network services that can adapt quickly to changing application requirements.