Anycast for Security Providers

To improve their network security and resilience, many security providers leverage BPG anycast. With anycast, security providers can make sure their customers still experience 100% uptime and fast connectivity, even when a high security layer is added to their connections. A wide range of security services can affordably leverage BGP anycast to increase performance and eliminate downtime.

Anycast can also help improve the overall availability, resiliency, and performance for other types of security services, such as event logging and reporting. When incoming requests to a security service are routed automatically to the closest location on the network, it ensures the best possible performance inside of the service itself. Using only one IP address also helps scale a service quickly and rapidly if traffic volumes increase. It’s easy to add a new location and bring it online at the same IP as soon as it is ready without numerous reconfigurations.

Below, we look at a few use cases that can particularly benefit from anycast. 

Anycast for Web Application Firewall (WAF) Providers

WAF providers deploy a firewall application in front of their customers’ web servers in order to monitor access, protect against hacking, and collect log data. Anycast is used to connect end users to the nearest available firewall application server quickly and reliably. If one application server is taken offline for maintenance, or fails for another reason, users are seamlessly rerouted to the next closest available server.

Anycast for VPN and Secure Access Providers

Many providers offer virtual private network (VPN) and other secure access services to help their customers safely browse the web. Using anycast, VPN providers make their service available in multiple regions much more easily. With anycast, every connection gateway is accessible via the same IP address. This lets you add new locations or take a location offline without worrying about impacts to performance.

With anycast, incoming user connection requests are routed to the closest available VPN endpoint. This reduces network latency and improves overall performance. If there is a failure or outage, users are sent to the next nearest server to them on the network. For example, if a VPN server node in Sydney goes down, connection requests in the Asia-Pacific would be automatically fulfilled by the Singapore node until the Sydney comes back online.

Anycast can also help load balance VPN gateway servers. With anycast, incoming connections sent to the gateway closest on the network, effectively distributing them across multiple servers. Additionally, anycast can fend off attacks with built-in DDoS mitigation, because it is continually dispersing requests across an entire footprint. Both of these benefits will can help make an anycast VPN fast and secure.

VPN providers can also leverage anycast to enforce geofencing policies. With anycast, you can restrict or control access to specific VPN server locations based on user location or other criteria.

DDoS Mitigation Providers

One of today’s most common security threats is a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, where users in one or more locations overload a server with more traffic than it can process, causing it to crash. When an attack is detected, anycast can be used at the network level to re-route all incoming requests to the nearest available mitigation server. These mitigation applications then “clean” the incoming traffic, only letting legitimate requests through to their original destination.

Some providers offer “always on” mitigation services for those with high security needs. For “always on” mitigation, anycast is used to route every incoming request to the closest available mitigation server for verification before sending them to the customer’s infrastructure. Anycast minimizes the latency introduced when this type of mitigation service is being utilized, ensuring a fast, reliable experience for end users.

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Providers

In-house IT security staff often partner with a SIEM provider to monitor activity within their IT environment. SIEM applications provide real-time analysis of security alerts generated by applications and network hardware, so that staff can take fast, appropriate action.

Anycast can help SIEM providers improve the speed and reliability of their real-time analysis infrastructure. As logs come in from firewalls and other endpoints, anycast can send them to nearest available application server on the network for logging and analyzing. The improves the overall time from incident to analysis, so threats can found quickly and customers can get alerts faster. If an analysis server goes offline for any reason, logs are sent to the next closest available server, instead of disrupting the service.

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