Akamai Technologies has released a new suite of cloud defense solutions aimed at protecting cloud-migrating IT environments from new and increasingly sophisticated threats.

The platform helps customers prep for, manage and mitigate the impacts of malicious direct denial of service (DDoS) attacks in the cloud by cloaking web infrastructure from the public Internet and implementing IP blocking and rate limiting at the network layer. It also offers scalable protection from domain name system attacks, and lets IT managers block traffic by geographic region if need be.

Akamai’s platform also lets users identify suspected bots and block them, and provides 24/7 support (complete with DDoS specialists if necessary).

All of that is critical to any enterprise making the jump to the cloud. Cybercrime costs businesses approximately $1 trillion globally every year, according to McAfee.

A report this week in Government Computer News points to the importance of cloud security across all industries. In it, Jim Reavis, executive director of the Cloud Security Alliance—a nonprofit devoted to developing best practices for cloud security—discusses how critical it is that IT organizations focus not just on cloud implementation, but on the security risks involved as well.  

“We have learned from previous technical innovations that we cannot ignore security. We are being more proactive. We are dealing with such accelerated innovation in the cloud that there will continue to be a lot of risk if we don’t maintain eternal vigilance.”

A recent study from Forrester Research showed that 74% of surveyed companies experienced one or more DDoS attacks in the past year, with 31% of these attacks resulting in service disruption. Akamai reported that its network saw more DDoS attacks against its customers websites in Q4 2010 than in the first three quarters combined.