F5 Transforms Application Security for the AI Era

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At AppWorld, the premier application security and delivery conference, F5 announced new capabilities that reduce the complexity of protecting and powering the exploding number of applications and APIs at the heart of modern digital experiences.

As AI accelerates the growth of applications and the APIs that connect them, F5 is bringing API code testing and telemetry analysis to F5 Distributed Cloud Services, creating the industry’s most comprehensive and AI-ready API security solution. F5 also announced it is making AI pervasive across its entire solution portfolio with intelligent capabilities that help customers protect against sophisticated AI-powered threats, while making it easier to secure and manage multi-cloud application environments.

“Companies already face daunting complexity and a rapidly changing threat landscape. The added pressure to secure and deliver AI services compounds this, putting many security and IT teams in an untenable position,” said François Locoh-Donou, President and CEO, F5. “It is our singular mission to deliver solutions that greatly reduce this complexity so our customers can focus on what matters most to them: their business. We are delivering new capabilities that ensure our customers are ready for AI, making it significantly easier for them to protect and power every app, every API, everywhere.”

In F5’s forthcoming 2024 State of Application Strategy report, 88% of enterprises report that they deploy apps and APIs across multiple locations. Companies have realised that no single cloud is perfect for every application, while hybrid and multi-cloud architectures offer the flexibility necessary to deliver today’s modern digital experiences and meet sky-high user expectations.

This has created immense complexity in enterprise application environments, and it only continues to grow. The same research found that the percentage of organisations hosting their applications in six different environments doubled in the past year, to 38%. At the same time, applications and the critical data that flows through them have become the preferred targets for increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks. Complexity is not just slowing down operations, it is expanding the threat surface area and creating substantial risk for organisations.

F5 Distributed Cloud Services offer the industry’s most comprehensive, AI-ready API security solution

As AI drives growth in the volume of apps and APIs, it is adding significant security challenges that companies must solve. New AI-driven digital experiences are highly distributed with a mix of data sources, models, and services spread across on-premises, cloud, and edge environments, all connected by an expanding network of APIs. The protection of these API connections and the data that runs through them is the critical security challenge that companies must face as they deploy more AI-enabled services.

To address this challenge, Distributed Cloud Services will now offer the industry’s most comprehensive, AI-ready API security solution. Today, companies are forced to use disparate tool sets and capabilities to secure their APIs at build time and during runtime. The addition of capabilities recently acquired from API security innovator Wib enables vulnerability detection and observability in application development processes, ensuring that risks are identified, and policies implemented before APIs enter production. At a time when API security has never been more important and more complex, F5 is eliminating the need for customers to pay for and manage separate API security solutions by offering API discovery, testing, posture management, and runtime protection—all in a single platform.

Distributed Cloud Services offer the following benefits of a full lifecycle API security solution:

  • Greatly reduced risk window for new APIs, through the identification of vulnerabilities and enforcement of strict, accurate specifications before they enter production.
  • Clear governance guidance, with real-time standards and regulatory compliance reporting for security operations teams and CISOs.
  • API discovery, including third-party and unmanaged APIs in application code, on public internet properties, or referenced in app telemetry.
  • A single solution for both API discovery and enforcement of protocols, policies, and configurations from code to runtime.

“In today’s highly distributed and interconnected world, the protection of the connections that fuel business-critical processes is becoming one of the most important components of enterprise security,” said Chris Steffen, Vice President of Research, EMA. “As AI accelerates growth in applications and APIs, the ability to consolidate tools and have a single end-to-end API security solution will be a significant advantage for any company.”

For more information on Distributed Cloud API Security, please see this companion blog.

Making AI pervasive across the F5 portfolio

F5 technology sits in the data path of nearly half of the world’s applications, providing the unique position and expertise to deliver AI-enabled solutions that benefit from an unmatched level of data. The new F5 AI Data Fabric is a foundation for building innovative solutions that help customers make more informed decisions and take quicker actions. Telemetry from Distributed Cloud Services, BIG-IP, and NGINX will surface unparalleled insights, produce real-time reports, automate actions, and power AI agents.

Later this year, F5 will release an AI assistant that will change the way customers interact with and manage F5 solutions using a natural language interface. Powered by the F5 AI Data Fabric, the tool will serve as an intelligent partner to stretched IT and security teams. It will easily generate data visualisations, identify anomalies, query and generate policy configurations, and apply remediation steps. It will also act as an embedded customer support manager, allowing customers to ask questions and receive recommendations based on model training of entire product knowledge bases.

For more information on the F5 AI Data Fabric, please see this companion blog.

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