F5 Networks Acquires Shape Security

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F5 Networks – a company that helps make apps operate faster, smarter and safer for the world’s largest businesses, service providers, governments and consumer brands – has completed its acquisition of Shape Security, a leader in fraud and abuse prevention.

Marcel Fouché, Networking and Storage General Manager at value-added distributor Networks Unlimited Africa, a channel partner of F5 in sub-Saharan Africa, comments: “A number of experts view this merger and acquisition as being a game-changer for comprehensive application security.”

“The purchase of Shape Security adds protection from automated attacks, botnets, and targeted fraud to F5’s world-class portfolio of application services in order to further protect customers’ digital experiences. This agreement will accelerate F5’s growth momentum and more than double its potential security market.”

Together, F5 and Shape Security offer organisations comprehensive, end-to-end application security, potentially saving billions of dollars lost to fraud, reputational damage, and costly disruptions to critical online services.


As outlined in a recent Shape Security blog, online applications “…power how we interact, how we learn and grow, where our data lives, and how value gets exchanged between brands, customers and partners. In many respects, apps have become the fabric of our economies, our governments, and our daily lives. So it shouldn’t be surprising that from a cybercriminal’s perspective, apps represent the single most lucrative set of targets in the world, with estimated online fraud losses projected to exceed $48 billion per year by 2023.”

From a business outcomes perspective, the blog continues that it means: “…dramatically improved business outcomes, including:
·        Slashed losses due to fraud and abuse
·        Better application performance and uptime
·        Measurable cost savings for hosting and bandwidth costs.”

Shape Security protects global banks, airlines, retailers and government agencies with sophisticated bot, fraud and abuse defence. In particular, it defends against credential stuffing attacks, where cybercriminals use stolen passwords from third-party data breaches to take over other online accounts. Shape Security has built an advanced platform, using artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), supported by powerful cloud-based analytics to protect against attacks that bypass other security and fraud controls.

The Shape Security application protection platform evaluates data flow from the user into the application, making use of highly sophisticated cloud-based analytics to discern good traffic from bad. F5 and Shape Security will significantly reduce the time and resources needed for organisations to deploy online fraud and abuse protection.

The acquisition accelerates F5’s product and total revenue growth and speeds up the company’s transition to a software- and SaaS-driven business model.

“We know that threat actors are continually evolving their automation-based attacks to look more easily like real organic human traffic in order to evade detection,” adds Fouché. “And so, in the spirit of fighting fire with fire, F5 plans to use the Shape Security AI platform across its entire code-to-customer unified architecture, delivering increased visibility, insights, orchestration and automation.”

“The deal is exciting news for our networking division here at Networks Unlimited Africa. We have been in partnership with F5 since 2014, and the new and also consolidated relationships that this will bring us will strengthen our own offering further,” he concludes.

Staff writer