Battle for the ‘internet of things’ begins as CA acquires Layer 7

23 Apr 2013

Just a week after Intel acquired Mashery for an estimated US$180m, software giant CA has signed an agreement to acquire Layer 7 Technologies, a privately-owned API management and security player, for an undisclosed sum.

Application programming interfaces (APIs) are in effect the key enablers of the multi-screen internet age we now find ourselves in. But as more devices become web-connected, everything from street lights to cars and a variety of ambient sensors in our homes, on our bodies and on the street will come with APIs.

Recently, Intel paid an estimated US$180m to acquire Mashery, a provider of API technology that helps major brands, including the Guardian, USA Today, Klout and Rovi, use APIs to build new revenue models and powerful web experiences for their users. Mashery, founded in 2006, has a network of more than 200,000 developers.

Intel’s acquisition of Mashery is a bet on the future of electronics; a future where a myriad of almost invisible web-connected devices connected to wireless networks will interact with software-defined networks within data centres; an internet of things.

CA says the acquisition of Layer 7 will enable it to manage and secure the emerging API marketplace with a variety of identity management technologies.

These technologies will enable organisations to manage and secure APIs across the cloud and mobile and other applications.

“The addition of Layer 7 and the synergy across our technologies will improve how we securely support organisations in their cloud, mobile and ‘internet of things’ initiatives,” said Mike Denning, security general manager, CA Technologies.

“We use APIs every day, whether accessing flight data from our mobile devices, using Google Maps from a hotel website or making payments online. There are billions of API calls a day and that number is going to increase with the proliferation of smart devices, ranging from vehicles, meters, TVs and other devices, as they start interacting over APIs.

“Without API security and management, thousands of business services are vulnerable to disruption,” Denning warned.

Explosion in the API-driven economy

“The API-driven economy has exploded, driven by today’s cloud, mobile and complex composite applications for business services,” said Paul Rochester, CEO, Layer 7.

“With more than 8,000 public APIs available at the end of 2012, there is a vast library of proprietary components and data exposed to the external world that need to be managed and secured from unauthorised access.

“API applications and services are no longer a trend, they are mainstream. The combination of CA Technologies and Layer 7 is the best option for enterprises to successfully and securely leverage all the business benefits APIs can offer,” Denning said.

Internet of things image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years