Industrial Control Systems (ICS) and Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) networks control our most critical infrastructures. Power generation and distribution, industrial manufacturing, chemical refineries, oil rigs, large communication systems – any plant that relies on automation utilizes some sort of SCADA network.
By Amy Megill, Editor
For more than two decades, F5 has been a leader in cybersecurity, and it continues to innovate and create industry-leading solutions. Gartner has even named F5 a leader in its Magic Quadrant for Web Application Firewalls (WAFs). Accudata Senior Consultant Don Nydam recently detailed his relationship with F5 products and explained how they can secure, modernize, and grow an enterprise’s IT environment.
According to Nydam, F5 allows him to simplify, streamline, and secure a customer’s environment by leveraging iRules to reduce the number of virtual servers from 700 to about 2.
“I’ve found the F5 product line to be very reliable, very scalable,” he said. “That definitely helps customers increase availability and enhance performance of their existing web applications — or even their cloud-hosted applications.”
F5 is best known for its load-balancing options, which assist with Local Traffic Management (LTM) and help scale out an environment so there are more servers servicing the user traffic. According to Nydam, F5’s BGIP-DNS product closely integrates LTM to provide load balancing of services between facilities and/or data centers. It is recognized as the service that translates human-readable names into machine-recognized IP addresses.
F5 also assists with upgrades and migrations from other platforms and is useful for consolidating multiple devices, such as putting a WAF, a load balancer, and an SSL termination appliance together in a single box.
“It definitely eases management and lowers your support contract because you only have the one device,” Nydam said.
New in Town
A new standout product is the SSL Orchestrator, which Nydam has already deployed numerous times for different customers.
“It’s basically an SSL forward proxy, but it can take the decrypted traffic and pass it across multiple types of devices for analysis,” Nydam said. “We have quite a few technologies to analyze the traffic prior to egress from a company, so you can ensure the traffic is clean.”
According to F5’s website, the percentage of all Internet traffic that passes over SSL connections now exceeds 70 percent and is on the rise. Visibility into encrypted traffic is key to securing data, and Nydam says the SSL Orchestrator “provides high-performance decryption and encryption of outbound SSL and TLS traffic.”
Nydam has been working with F5 since 1999 and holds every certificate that the company currently offers. He recently went to their headquarters to consult on the contents of the certification exam series.
“I essentially watched the products grow up. F5 has quite the portfolio. The ease of management is far superior in F5,” Nydam said, adding that the F5 solutions are well worth the investment.
Additionally, the return on investment is a positive one. F5 offers importable configuration wizards — iApps — and turns configuration from days-long tasks into just minutes.
“Installation and configuration are repeatable, consistent processes, and very quick,” Nydam said.
Accudata is a highly sought after resource for F5 advisor services and implementations. To learn more, contact your Accudata account manager or click here to complete the form. Our team will be in touch within 24 hours.