Feeds

F5 picks up Watchfire's app firewall biz

Under new 0wn3rship

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

F5 Networks has acquired the web application firewall business of security firm Watchfire for an undisclosed sum. The two firms said that they would work together to migrate AppShield customers to F5's TrafficShield application firewall product, a technology F5 acquired when it bought MagniFire WebSystems last year.

The deal, announced Thursday, gives F5 access to over 250 AppShield customers. By divesting AppShield to F5, Watchfire can concentrate on its core web application security scanning business, AppScan, and online risk management platform, WebXM.

Phil Crocker, F5's director of marketing in Europe, said components of Watchfire's technology would be brought into F5's TrafficShield. He said that F5 has created a dedicated professional services team to manage the transition for AppShield users and partners over to TrafficShield. Appshield users will continue to receive support from Watchfire for the duration of their current maintenance agreements.

App attack

Application firewall technology inspects traffic before it reaches application servers, guarding against threats such as SQL injection and buffer overflow attacks that conventional security defences sometimes let through. Firewall vendors, such as Check Point and Netscreen, are adding application intelligence features to their firewalls. Standalone application firewall vendors such as Kavado, Deny All and (until this week) Watchfire argue that their technology is tuned to protect applications. Intrusion prevention vendors also claim to provide defences against application attacks.

The acquisition of Watchfire's technology is part of F5's strategy to move out of its application traffic management heartland into adjacent markets, such as security. Its long term goal is to move application firewall technology onto its BigIP traffic management platform, Crocker explained. The application firewall market is in its early stage of development (specialist vendors typically reports revenues of less than $10m) but market watchers predict it will become a key component in enterprise security defences over coming years. ®

Related stories

F5 snaps up MagniFire
Sourcefire touts 'smart' network defence
Deny All plots European expansion
NetScreen touts firewall brawn
Don't put app protection on your firewall, Mr Jones
Future trends in security 3i survey

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.