ICSA Certified Network Firewall for Data Centers

The BIG-IP platform is now ICSA Certified as a Network Firewall.

Internet threats are widely varied and multi-layered. Although applications and their data are attackers’ primary targets, many attackers gain entry at the network layer.  Internet data centers and public-facing web properties are constant targets for large-scale attacks by hacker/hactivist communities and others looking to grab intellectual property or cause a service outage. Organizations must prepare for the normal influx of users, but they also must defend their infrastructure from the daily barrage of malicious users. 

Security administrators who manage large web properties are struggling with security because traditional firewalls are not meeting their fundamental performance needs. Dynamic and layered attacks that necessitate multiple-box solutions, add to IT distress.  Traditional firewalls can be overwhelmed by their limited ability to scale under a DDoS attack while keeping peak connection performance for valid users, which renders not only the firewalls themselves unresponsive, but the web sites they are supposed to protect.  Additionally, traditional firewalls’ limited capacity to interpret context means they may be unable to make an intelligent decision about how to deliver the application while also keeping services available for valid requests during a DDoS attack.

Traditional firewalls also lack specialized capabilities like SSL offload, which not only helps reduce the load on the web servers, but enables inspection, re-encryption, and certificate storage. Most traditional firewalls lack the agility to react quickly to changes and emerging threats, and many have only limited ability to provide new services such as IP geolocation, traffic redirection, traffic manipulation, content scrubbing, and connection limiting.  An organization’s inability to respond to these threats dynamically, and to minimize the exposure window, means the risk to the overall business is massive.  There are several point solutions in the market that concentrate on specific problem areas; but this creates security silos that only make management and maintenance more costly, more cumbersome, and less effective.

The BIG-IP platform provides a unified view of layer 3 through 7 for both general and ICSA required reporting and alerts, as well as integration with SIEM vendors.  BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager offers native, high-performance firewall services to protect the entire infrastructure.  BIG-IP LTM is a purpose-built, high-performance Application Delivery Controller designed to protect Internet data centers.  In many instances, BIG-IP LTM can replace an existing firewall while also offering scale, performance, and persistence.

  • Performance: BIG-IP LTM manages up to 48 million concurrent connections and 72 Gbps of throughput with various timeout behaviors, buffer sizes, and more when under attack.
  • Protocol security: The BIG-IP system natively decodes IPv4, IPv6, TCP, HTTP, SIP, DNS, SMTP, FTP, Diameter, and RADIUS. Organizations can control almost every element of the protocols they’re deploying.
  • DDoS prevention capabilities: An integrated architecture enables organizations to combine traditional firewall layers 3 and 4 with application layers 5 through 7.
  • DDoS mitigations: The BIG-IP system protects UDP, TCP, SIP, DNS, HTTP, SSL, and other network attack targets while delivering uninterrupted service for legitimate connections.
  • SSL termination: Offload computationally intensive SSL to the BIG-IP system and gain visibility into potentially harmful encrypted payloads.
  • Dynamic threat mitigation: iRules provide a flexible way to enforce protocol functions on both standard and emerging or custom protocols. With iRules, organizations can create a zero day dynamic security context to react to vulnerabilities for which an associated patch has not yet been released.
  • Resource cloaking and content security: Prevent leaks of error codes and sensitive content.

F5 BIG-IP LTM has numerous security features so Internet data centers can deliver applications while protecting the infrastructure that supports their clients and, BIG-IP is now ICSA Certified as a Network Firewall.



Technorati Tags: F5, big-ip, virtualization, cloud computing, Pete Silva, security, icsa, iApp, compliance, network firewall, internet, TMOS, big-ip, vCMP

Published Jan 24, 2012
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1 Comment

  • Has anyone found AFM mentioned in NSS Labs? Actually, I am curious on what's the difference between NSS Labs and ICSA? NSS Labs seem to release figures and statistics while ICSA simply employs a "STAMP" and "go" approach.


    Personally, I feel these reports are not the best accurate representation of anyone's Intellectual Property but serves only as a general indication on how products compare with others.