Akamai acquires Cyberfend, improves cyberbot detection capabilities

Akamai's NOCC (network operations control center) in Cambridge, Mass. Image: Akamai
Akamai hopes that by acquiring Cyberfend, it can help prevent the growing credential theft and abuse issue for online businesses and their customers.

Akamai is acquiring Cyberfend, a California-based startup specializing in bot and automation detection software, to bolster its security capabilities.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not revealed.

Upon completing the Cyberfend acquisition, Akamai plans to extend the capabilities of the Bot Manager software it launched earlier this year. It plans to offer online businesses the technology required to effectively distinguish between real customers and attackers, thus limiting attackers' ability to avoid detection.

Akamai hopes that by acquiring Cyberfend, it can help prevent the growing credential theft and abuse issue for online businesses and their customers.

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The value of these stolen credentials can be worth as much as two to five times more than basic credit card information.

Sophisticated credential abuse campaigns, according to Akamai, often take advantage of several different attack vectors. They then attempt to use these stolen credentials to log into a wide range of popular web and mobile services including commerce, financial services, travel and healthcare.

What makes detecting attacks using stolen credentials challenging is that the credentials are themselves legitimate. Additionally, the attackers can hide within regular web and mobile user traffic, attack during normal service hours and distribute attacks from commonly used devices associated with millions of IP addresses across multiple geographic regions.

Stuart Scholly, SVP and general manager of web security for Akamai, said in a release that Cyberfend’s technology builds on the momentum the company created with Bot Manager.

“The addition of Cyberfend’s technology is intended to give our customers a better way to spot and stop credential abuse on their sites—benefiting both the online business and its users,” Scholly said.

Akamai said Cyberfend’s machine learning-based real-time detection capabilities—which are already in use on some of the world’s most heavily trafficked web properties—will be instrumental to Bot Manager’s continued differentiation as the solution that can best meet complex customer requirements.

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