F5 on its acquisition of 'natural fit' Versafe: Clientless security is the way forward

Clientless security and compatibility with its existing products are two of the reasons F5 Networks is acquiring Israel's Versafe, according to F5.

As reliable as security may be, it's useless unless the person responsible — whether a PC or device owner, or the manager of a nationwide network — doesn't actually deploy it as it's supposed to be deployed.

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Israel's Versafe has come up with its own solution to the problem: a clientless online fraud protection system that requires no installation or even awareness by end-users that it is present. It's a product that appealed to Seattle-based data and application delivery company F5 Networks, which recently decided to buy Versafe and offer the company's TotALL Online Fraud Protection Suite as its own .

Versafe and F5 were a natural match, according to Gad Elkin, F5 Networks' regional director for Israel, Turkey and Greece. "Security is very important for us in F5, and we have a number of very good solutions. With Versafe, we will be able to reach a larger customer base ... extending our offerings and exposing more customers to the technology."

Clientless is a hot area for F5; its FirePass SSL VPN, for example, provides remote access without requiring pre-installed client software and configuration of the remote device, and allows administrators to restrict or permit access based on the security state of the device being used to access the network.

Similarly, Versafe's TotALL enables organisations to protect their entire user base from all online threat types, across all devices, in real time — without the user having to do anything. For example, the system proactively identifies changes to the HTML or injection of malicious script into a genuine site; on mobile devices, it can identify transactions initiated by malware, and stop them in their tracks.

"Clientless solutions are an important aspect of F5's offerings, and acquiring Versafe's clientless security suite is a big market advantage for us," Elkin said.

Even better for F5 is how Versafe's solution is involved, he said. Versafe's security protection is constantly being deployed and updated as needed, with that need monitored by its cloud-based Security Operations Center. Using F5's scripting language for application traffic (iRules), the appropriate protection can be deployed as needed.

"For now, we will continue offering Versafe's solution as a standalone product, while gradually integrating it with our other offerings," Elkin said. "Versafe's technology works very well with iRules, so integrating TotALL with our other products should be a smooth process."

F5 is no stranger to Israel, according to Elkin. "This is our fourth acquisition here, and we have greatly benefited from all the Israeli technology we have brought into the company."

2009, for example, F5 acquired Traffix, which developed technology for routing and load balancing, capabilities much in demand as transfer to an all-internet protocol network LTE network, with their far greater traffic demands.

Terms of the deal were not revealed, although F5 said in a statement that the acquisition "will not have a material impact" on operating results.

Advance Phishing Protection & Phishing graphic 15 june 2
Versafe's TotALL in action. Image: Versafe

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