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Load balancing and cybersecurity vendor Radware has announced the acquisition of ShieldSquare, a developer of bot management technology, to bolster its cloud-based security services alongside distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation and web application firewall (WAF).

Bot, API, DDoS, and WAF can now exist under one roof

The acquisition observes two recent trends among vendors of DDoS mitigation and/or WAF technology. Firstly, while some, such as Akamai and Cloudflare were "born in the cloud," those that were not have developed a cloud-based service to complement their on-premises offerings (e.g., Radware and Arbor).

Secondly, there is a tendency to expand into contiguous areas of functionality such as bot and API security. Indeed, so common is this move that we have identified the emergence of a new sub-sector of network and web availability services, inspecting traffic to protect corporate networks and websites (DDoS, bot management) as well as applications (WAF and API security). It certainly makes sense to have all four capabilities in the same portfolio: the prospective buyers will often be the same (i.e., the network or security teams, possibly with the application owners also in the mix).

This competitive area would include Akamai, Cloudflare, and Radware, but also the likes of Zenedge, acquired by Oracle in March 2018. ShieldSquare was a bot management specialist, but now follows the trend of aggregation into a broader portfolio. Another leading specialist is Distil Networks, which offers bot and API security, but not DDoS or WAF. It will be interesting to see whether Distil Networks expands into those areas or is acquired by a company that already has them.



Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions

[email protected]