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F5 Networks' TrafficShield Product Bolsters Security for Web Applications in Japanese Market

First major web application firewall to offer double-byte character support enables Japanese businesses to comply with new Personal Data Protection Law

F5 Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: FFIV), the global leader in Application Traffic Management, today announced version 3.2 of its TrafficShield® web application firewall, supporting double-byte characters, including Japanese character sets. This release makes TrafficShield the first major web application firewall to offer local language support in Japan. Recent exposure of web-based applications worldwide-including such applications as online banking, customer portals, and e-commerce sites-has demonstrated their vulnerability to data-harvesting attacks. And when Japan's landmark Personal Data Protection Law went into effect in April 2005, many companies found themselves scrambling to protect online customer databases.

"TrafficShield's Double Byte Character Support represents a significant leap in the product, allowing F5 access to markets otherwise unavailable," said Michael Suby, Senior Research Analyst, Stratecast Partners (a Division of Frost & Sullivan). "This capability enables TrafficShield to protect Japanese web sites from web infrastructure exploits in order that maximum business-critical transaction throughput is constantly protected."

New Features in TrafficShield 3.2

As the first enterprise-ready web application firewall to support double-byte character sets-including UTF-8, JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard), EUC-JP (Unix encoding), and Shift-JIS,-TrafficShield 3.2 can be deployed in markets which previously had no localized solution. Other new features in version 3.2 lower the total cost of ownership and improve customers' return on investment-for example, by shortening the time and cost required to deploy an effective security policy.

"We've seen a huge increase in serious application attacks targeting port 80," says Tim Goodwin, Vice President of F5 Japan. "Traditional firewall and antivirus products are unable to protect against those attacks-but TrafficShield offers a comprehensive web application security solution that's designed to do just that. Now, with Japanese character support, TrafficShield pushes application security in Japan to the next level."

Why Application-Level Protection?

Traditional security solutions, such as network firewalls and intrusion detection systems, cannot protect web sites or applications from the attacks that target application-specific vulnerabilities. Since browser-based applications tunnel through the entire security perimeter of an organization, they give users, including unauthorized users, unprecedented access to internal systems. Only a solution specifically designed for web applications is able to protect these systems from attacks-and, to be effective, it must be tailored to the specific application it is protecting. Otherwise, it will inevitably either block legitimate users or let in hackers.

F5's TrafficShield product offers comprehensive, proactive, application-layer protection against both generalized and targeted attacks. Sitting in front of the web servers, it protects web applications from hackers and malicious attacks. Its ability to enforce granular security policies enables it to be tailored to any application.

About F5 Networks

F5 enables organizations to successfully deliver business-critical applications and gives them the greatest level of agility to stay ahead of growing business demands. As the pioneer and global leader in Application Traffic Management, F5 continues to lead the industry by driving more intelligence into the network to deliver advanced application agility. F5 products ensure the secure and optimized delivery of applications to any user-anywhere. Through its flexible and cohesive architecture, F5 delivers unmatched value by dramatically improving the way organizations serve their employees, customers and constituents, while lowering operational costs. Over 9,000 organizations and service providers worldwide trust F5 to keep their businesses running. The company is headquartered in Seattle, Washington with offices worldwide. For more information go to

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