Web application hosting provider Akamai Technologies said it has signed an agreement to acquire Prolexic Technologies in a $370 million (A$406 million) deal that would integrate Prolexic's cloud-based distributed denial-of-service protection into the Akamai platform.
The transaction requires regulatory approval and is expected to occur in the first half of 2014, according to Akamai.
Prolexic's software provides protection from attacks that flood networks with traffic in an attempt to cripple or crash applications and network services, including email, file transfers and VPN capabilities. It is used to defend against application layer, network layer and data centre attacks.
Akamai, which has local offices in Sydney and Melbourne, said it would add Prolexic to its portfolio of services to bolster the availability of websites and web applications it maintains and monitors on behalf of its clients.
Akamai also plans to broaden the services it provides beyond performance and security of websites and web applications, said Tom Leighton, chief executive of Akamai. Leighton told CRN that while the Prolexic technology has some overlap with Akamai's KONA Site Defender platform, Akamai would be able to extend its capabilities to provide data-centre-level DDoS protection.
"Prolexic is very complementary because they focus on protecting the data centre, IP space and full range of enterprise applications, not just Web," Leighton said. "We feel that the cloud service capability is a vital part of a DDoS mitigation strategy."
Less than half of Prolexic sales are through the channel, mainly through Internet service providers, Leighton said. Akamai, which counts about 20 percent of its sales through the channel, would use the acquisition to help grow its channel partnerships by increasing sales through large telecommunications providers, he said.
Technologies that can mitigate DDoS threats have become a hot topic following high-profile hacktivist attacks earlier this year carried out against US banks and financial firms. A recent threat report issued by Akamai concluded that it is getting much harder to filter out bad traffic from legitimate transactions. DDoS attacks also can be used as a weapon by financially motivated cybercriminals, who attempt to disrupt systems while conducting fraudulent transactions.
Prolexic said it protects about half of the top 50 global banks. Prolexic competes against Arbor Networks, which launched a cloud-based DDoS service last month. A variety of other firms, including GigeNet, Incapsula and Cloudflare, provide cloud-based DDoS protection for websites and Web applications. Prolexic founder Barrett Lyon recently launched Defense.Net, which came out of stealth mode in August and is aimed at providing a new way to defend against DDoS attacks.