Protect your web with Akamai Kona Site Defender

Kona Site Defender (KSD) is a security product used to protect web and mobile applications from various cyber threats, including but not limited to DDoS attacks, SQL injection, cross-site scripting (XSS), and other web application vulnerabilities.
It works like a shield at Akamai Edge servers protecting internet traffic that comes from end users (and attackers). Malicious traffic is blocked and only the valid requests are allowed to reach the origin server(s).

Here is an overview of Akamai Kona Site Defender and its key features

Web Application Firewall (WAF) Protection

Kona Site Defender provides WAF capabilities to inspect and filter incoming web traffic to identify and block malicious requests and attacks directed at web applications.

DDoS Protection

The product includes Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection mechanisms, which help prevent large-scale, volumetric DDoS attacks from overwhelming web servers and applications.

Akamai has a massive capacity (bandwidth and servers) to absorb malicious traffic and in practice there is almost no risk of overloading Akamai infrastructure with any amount of malicious traffic.

Bot Management

Kona Site Defender incorporates bot detection and management capabilities to distinguish between legitimate bots (e.g., search engine crawlers) and malicious bots engaged in scraping, credential stuffing, or other malicious activities.

This super effective feature definitely worth attention if you are struggling with any kind of automates crawling your content, monitoring your prices or even making fake bookings to deny your service.

Application Layer Security

The product focuses on securing the application layer of web applications, protecting against common vulnerabilities such as SQL injection, XSS, and others that could be exploited to compromise application data and user accounts.

Threat Intelligence

Kona Site Defender leverages Akamai's vast threat intelligence network to detect and respond to emerging threats effectively. It keeps the WAF rules and protections up-to-date to defend against evolving attack vectors.

Behavioral Analysis

The WAF employs behavioral analysis techniques to identify unusual patterns and activities that may indicate an ongoing attack or suspicious behavior


Beyond security benefits, leveraging Akamai's global CDN, Kona Site Defender can enhance the performance of web applications by caching content and optimizing content delivery.

How to enroll Kona Site Defender

General overview of the typical steps involved in enrolling Kona Site Defender:

1. Sign Up or Contact Akamai

If you are interested in using Kona Site Defender, you'll need to sign up for Akamai's services or get in touch with their sales or support team to discuss your requirements and pricing options.

2. Configure Your Account

Once you have access to Akamai's services, you'll need to set up and configure your account. This involves providing necessary information about your web applications and domains.

3. Set Up DNS

To route your web traffic through Akamai's network for protection, you'll need to configure your DNS settings to point to Akamai's servers.

4. Configure Security Policies

Within your Akamai account, you'll be able to set up security policies for your web applications. This includes defining rules and settings for the WAF to detect and block malicious traffic and attacks.

5. Fine-Tune WAF Rules

You may need to adjust and fine-tune the WAF rules to ensure they don't inadvertently block legitimate traffic while effectively protecting against threats.

6. Monitor and Analyze Traffic

With Kona Site Defender in place, you can monitor incoming web traffic and analyze security logs to identify potential threats and security incidents.
Stay Updated: Keep track of Akamai's security updates and threat intelligence to ensure your protection is up-to-date against emerging threats.

7. Test and Review

Before fully deploying Kona Site Defender in production, it's essential to conduct thorough testing to ensure it works as expected and does not impact the normal functioning of your web applications.

8. Continuous Management

Web application security is an ongoing process. Regularly review security settings, analyze logs, and adapt the configuration as needed to stay protected against evolving threats.

Need help?

In case you need a contractor to configure, tune, regularly review your security protection and react to any security incident, feel free to contact me.