The market has definitely been a challenge across the Middle East region but fortunately for F5 Networks, the company witnessed a double-digit growth this year specially in the Gulf, Levant and Turkey. The company’s major focus is on cloud and security as they are the strategic pillars of growth.
With more than 20 years of application service experience, F5 Networks provides a broad set of services and security for enterprise grade applications whether on premise or across any multi-cloud environment. Enterprise Channels MEA had an opportunity to sit down with Tabrez Surve, Regional Director – Gulf, Levant and Turkey, F5 Networks who shared with us the various plans of the organization and its roadmap ahead.
“F5’s profile is growing significantly in the region as we ramp up our focus on security and cloud-related solutions, and we are consistently achieving double digit growth,” Surve explains.
“In particular, demand is growing for technologies that can help organisations safeguard their applications and fully tap into the speed and flexibility afforded by cloud technology in all its forms.”
Strategy in Terms of Growth
For any organization, going cloud-based removes many risks in terms of hardware and system redundancy and failover. Also, it’s very easy to scale up in terms of storage space, server availability, or performance. For F5, by default, their major focus has been on cloud and security.
“We are making sure that we are present with each and every cloud,” says Surve.
“For F5, our evolution is very much towards becoming a multi-cloud application services company. Our next phase is to reach every application, anywhere. We will also extend our role and the breadth of services we offer. Looking ahead, we see ourselves as more of an application services company – delivering services wherever and however our customers want to consume them.”
Recent F5 launches to support its multi-cloud strategy include BIG-IP Cloud Edition™, which is offered as a per-app virtual Application Delivery Controller (ADC) that can apply and automate policy-based services at each step in the development and production pipeline. This approach empowers app owners to better collaborate with NetOps, DevOps, and SecOps within an agile framework to significantly improve the performance, availability, and security of all applications.
BIG-IP Cloud Edition combines F5’s broad portfolio of application services with the dramatically enhanced management, visibility, and analytics capabilities of BIG-IQ®. F5’s software-based solution lets customers easily add ‘right-sized’ services tailored for individual applications, multiple cloud environments, and user demands.
Another recent F5 product is its Advanced WAF (AWAF) solution, which means companies can adapt their security for web and mobile apps, whether on-premises or in the cloud whilst defending against malicious bots and exploits.
AWAF also prevents malware from stealing credentials from victim devices and stops further credential theft related attacks like Brute Force or Credential Stuffing. In addition, it detects mobile app tampering and ensures app-layer DoS mitigation. The latter includes automated configuration tuning, client and server behavioural analytics, as well as real-time dynamic signatures. In addition, DevOps and NetOps teams can easily deploy app protection services in any environment that can be configured for individual applications.
Other benefits of a full proxy WAF include the ability to isolate application traffic, services, and infrastructure resources to withstand client-side L7 attacks and server-side data leakage. Attacks are blocked as they happen., The interface is also simple enough to make quick alterations without taking services offline.
In a recent report, The Forrester Wave: Web Application Firewalls Q2 2018, F5 Networks was named a leader for their comprehensive suite of WAF offerings. F5 believes this diversity of WAF services enables its customers to ensure all web applications have application security options available.
“Cloud-based applications and mobility have changed the game,” says Surve.
“Data is accessible from devices over which application providers have no control and from locations and networks that are out of their reach. Perimeter-based security is no longer adequate against sophisticated cybercriminals. Today, the prize is the app, where all the critical data resides. Security needs to follow the app, wherever is resides. Each application must be given its own protective perimeter along with its own DDoS protection, as well as personal, private web application security policies.”
F5’s multi-cloud positioning comes at time of growing cloud receptivity in the region. Earlier this year, the company commissioned a research agency, Think Positive, to conduct one of the GCC’s most in-depth cloud-related study involving board-level decision-makers. Almost all GCC businesses (99%) believed the cloud can have a positive impact on market share and help to displace competitors. 90% also stated that it can improve brand perception, and 89% praised its capacity to improve innovation. A clear consensus was also reached on the cloud’s potential to enhance the overall customer experience (90%).
In addition to showcasing new solutions like AWAF and BIG-IP Cloud Edition, it will present original research on how multi-cloud business and consumer realities will evolve over the next five years.
“We expect to highlight our most compelling vision yet on how new digital realities will unfold in the region and, against this transformational backdrop, how to best deploy, secure and optimise applications in a multi-cloud context,” says Surve.