Zain Group and F5 Networks partner to launch DDoS mitigation service

by Agency News   15 November, 2017
Zain Group and F5 Networks partner to launch DDoS mitigation service

(Left to right) Henri Kassab, Managing Director, International, Wholesale and Roaming at Zain Group; and Diego Arrabal, Vice President Middle East, Turkey and Africa, F5 Networks.

Zain Group’s fully owned global services subsidiary, Mada Communications, announced it is rolling out a new Distribution Denial of Service or DDoS mitigation offering to its country operations and international roaming customers. An agreement with application security expert F5 Networks will see Zain benefit from next-generation, cloud-ready DDoS mitigation technology.

The Middle Eastern telecommunications provider’s international roaming and wholesale division is delivering a centralised scrubbing service that processes incoming traffic to detect, identify and mitigate threats in real-time. Clean traffic is then returned to relevant sites, preventing attacks from reaching the network.

The deal directly addresses an intensifying industry threat that saw DDoS attacks greater than 1 Gbps grow 172% last year. It also helps Zain Group build on its position as one of the Middle East’s leading Internet providers with over 45 million active customers across eight countries.

“DDoS attacks are increasingly prevalent and challenging to manage,” said Henri Kassab, Managing Director, International, Wholesale and Roaming at Zain Group. “By teaming up with F5 and leveraging its iSeries technology, we will be able to monetise a powerful service that will significantly benefit and safeguard our subsidiary operations and international transit customers.”

“F5 is delighted to support Zain as it rolls out an extremely valuable and important service,” said Diego Arrabal, Vice President Middle East, Turkey and Africa, F5 Networks. “This project is all about delivering security, control and scalability when it comes to tackling the growing menace of DDoS attacks in the region.”

F5’s BIG-IP AFM on an iSeries platform provides a high-performance, stateful, full-proxy network security solution designed to guard against incoming threats entering the network on the most widely deployed protocols. Enabling new levels of scalability, flexibility, performance, and control, AFM helps service providers mitigate the most aggressive, volumetric distributed DDoS attacks before they reach the datacentre .

F5 BIG-IP AFM capabilities are further bolstered through integration with GenieATM, a traffic mining solution delivering flow-based traffic analysis and DDoS detection solution for a real-time, network-wide view on traffic flows and anomaly network behaviours.

Zain Group’s overall solution is also compatible with the F5 Silverline cloud-based services delivery platform, which provides Layer 3 to Layer 7 protection with cloud-scrubbing technologies to detect, identify, and mitigate threats in real-time.

The new DDoS service neatly aligns with a range of newly announced services and agreements, such as the creation of a joint venture with iflix, the world’s leading entertainment service for emerging markets, to bring unlimited video-on-demand services to the MENA region.

Other recent initiatives include deals with both Amazon Web Services Partner Network and Microsoft’s Azure to provide resilient cloud solutions to organisations in the Middle East. Zain also recently joined the Telecom Infra Project, which was founded in 2016 by organisations including Facebook, Intel and Nokia to develop next-generation telecom infrastructure.

The DDoS offering also comes as the Middle East business’ community’s cybersecurity focus continues to soar. According to Markets & Markets, the security market size is expected to grow from $11.38 billion in 2017 to $22.14 billion by 2022, at an estimated CAGR of 14.2%2.

The application security segment is projected to grow at the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Increasing adoption of mobile and web-based applications and of enterprise mobility has significantly increased the usage of application security solutions across the enterprises. Increasing vulnerability on applications in the energy and utilities, BFSI, and IT and telecom industry verticals are triggering the growth of the Middle East cyber security market. The government and defense vertical is expected to grow at the highest CAGR in the Middle East cybersecurity market

The government and defense industry vertical is expected to contribute the largest market share and expected to grow at the highest CAGR from 2017 to 2022 in the Middle East cyber security market, due to increasing instances of cyberattacks on the government sector and the government-regulated oil and gas companies.

The healthcare sector is expected to grow at the second highest CAGR from 2017 to 2022 in the Middle East cyber security market, due to the technological proliferation of healthcare applications and increased instances of data thefts in the sector. The demand for cyber security solutions is increasing, as the adoption of these solutions provides advanced protection from cyber threats without affecting the operational efficiency.

Saudi Arabia is expected to have the largest market share and dominate the Middle East cyber security market from 2017 to 2022, due to the need to safeguard enterprises in various industrial verticals such as energy and utilities, government and defense, IT and telecom, and healthcare from advanced threats. Qatar offers potential growth opportunities in the Middle East cyber security market, as there is a wide presence of SMEs that are turning towards cyber security solutions to efficiently safeguard their business endpoints, network, application, and cloud environment.

Zain is a leading telecommunications operator across the Middle East and Africa providing mobile voice and data services to over 45.2 million customers as of 30 June, 2017. Zain operates in Kuwait, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan and Sudan. In Lebanon, the company manages touch on behalf of the government. In Morocco, Zain has a 15.5% stake in INWI, through a joint venture.


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