By Andrew Potgieter, Director Security Solutions, Westcon Sub-Saharan Africa

Seventy-five percent of data breaches start with identity attacks and the majority of these are now made by attackers using advanced automation techniques. These self-same automation techniques are now being used to scan applications for vulnerabilities, attack account credentials, or cause denial of service (DoS).

So where do you even start to help button down your customer’s defences? Through our partnership with F5, Westcon resellers have access to a full range of proactive bot defences that are designed to stop automated attacks. They also leverage a combination of challenge  and behaviour-based techniques that then identify and filter out bot traffic. Key to this premise is that by stopping the bots – you reduce the opportunity for opportunistic attacks.

Ways to protect your business

Now throw in the cloud, multiple clouds and dispersed clouds, and your security becomes even harder. While the cloud was thought to simplify IT, it has introduced a fair amount of security complexity. To this end, we offer Westcon customers access to F5’s comprehensive set of multi-cloud application services and management tools. This includes BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager (LTM), Access Manager, Advanced WAF, BIG-IP DNS, BIG-IP Advanced Firewall Manager (AFM) and BIG-IQ Centralised Management.

Notably within the stack, F5 Advanced WAF deploys web application firewall (WAF) services close to apps, so they’re protected wherever they reside. Bear in mind that WAFs are an effective means to protect your business, as they protect applications from data breaches by fixing vulnerabilities and stopping attacks.

Within this, Westcon resellers can leverage the F5 Advanced WAF solution to help defend against attacks with bot protection, application-layer encryption, APIs, and behaviour analytics. It also combines machine learning, threat intelligence, and deep application expertise – key security hot buttons in a growing application world.

Security through partnership

Furthermore, based on our experience in security across the African continent we understand that not all security threats are created equal. It is with this that Westcon applies a very specific services model to the delivery of our security solutions.

Skills remain one of the major challenges facing the South African ICT environment in the security space. And because of its leadership position and demand for its solutions, F5 skills are even harder to come by, which is why we have partnered with them as an official accredited training centre for our Sub-Saharan African resellers.

The training we deliver takes into cognisance that in order to face these new threats head on, we need to create a new breed of technologist. These skills are capable of manipulating the entire application stack from traditional network knowledge, all the way to advanced application layer understanding, and who are then able to integrate the two.

With our own skills in house, we are also able to deliver pre- and post-sales skills and support to help you better deliver on projects, while at the same time ensuring your competencies and skills are in place.

To summarise

In the world of bots, AI, and clouds, forward-thinking IT leaders and enterprise architects must plan for a new digital world. With F5 we are providing our resellers a way to standardise tools, policies, and operations across a diverse estate of compute environments – the end result is more robust security that is efficient, simple, and supportable.