Tag Archives: Cloudflare Gateway

Heeding the call to support Australia’s most at-risk entities

Post Syndicated from Carly Ramsey original https://blog.cloudflare.com/heeding-the-call-to-support-australias-most-at-risk-entities

When Australia unveiled its 2023-2030 Australian Cyber Security Strategy in November 2023, we enthusiastically announced Cloudflare’s support, especially for the call for the private sector to work together to protect Australia’s smaller, at-risk entities. Today, we are extremely pleased to announce that Cloudflare and the Critical Infrastructure – Information Sharing and Analysis Centre (CI-ISAC), a member-driven organization helping to defend Australia’s critical infrastructure from cyber attacks, are teaming up to protect some of Australia’s most at-risk organizations – General Practitioner (GP) clinics.

Cloudflare helps a broad range of organizations -– from multinational organizations, to entrepreneurs and small businesses, to nonprofits, humanitarian groups, and governments across the globe — to secure their employees, applications and networks. We support a multitude of organizations in Australia, including some of Australia’s largest banks and digital natives, with our world-leading security products and services.

When it comes to protecting entities at high risk of cyber attack who might not have significant resources, we at Cloudflare believe we have a lot to offer. Our mission is to help build a better Internet. A key part of that mission is democratizing cybersecurity – making a range of tools readily available for all, including small and medium enterprises (SMEs), non-profits, and individuals. We also offer our cyber protection products and services at no cost to certain at-risk organizations. One example of this is Australia’s Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, which is a participant in Cloudflare’s Project Galileo. Through Project Galileo, they have access to our advanced cybersecurity tools and support, freeing them to focus on their mission.

CI-ISAC Australia is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to help build the collective defenses of Australia’s critical infrastructure to protect them from crippling cyberattacks. CI-ISAC facilitates sharing, aggregates sources, and analyzes cyber threat intelligence across multiple sectors, including healthcare.

Project Secure Health – protecting Australia’s General Practitioner (GP) clinics

Globally, the healthcare sector consistently reports the highest financial costs from cyber attacks. Sensitive patient data is a prime target for cybercriminals. Not surprisingly, Australia’s big and small healthcare organizations alike are facing crippling cyberattacks. GP clinics serve as the backbone of Australia’s community healthcare, but these small-but-essential entities typically face resource constraints that make it difficult for them to implement fundamental but costly cybersecurity measures, leaving Australian patient data exposed to cybercriminals.

The 2023-2030 Australia Cybersecurity Strategy is clear about the threat to smaller at-risk organizations and the vital role of the private sector in supporting these entities. We couldn’t agree more. Heeding their call to help make Australia more secure for all, we are extremely pleased to introduce Project Secure Health: Cloudflare and CI-ISAC’s combined cyber security support for Australia’s GP clinics. This program will enable Australia’s GP Clinics to counter a range of challenging cyber threats: data breaches, ransomware attacks, phishing scams, and insider threats.

CI-ISAC will provide GP clinics with membership in its organization for free and with no time limit, which will enable member GP clinics to proactively understand and respond to healthcare-specific cyber threats. Clinics will have access to CI-ISAC’s tailored threat intelligence products and services, informed by observations across Australia’s critical infrastructure sectors.

As members of CI-ISAC, GP clinics will also receive key Cloudflare services, for free and with no time limit: Cloudflare Gateway, and Cloudflare Access, our Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) service. Cloudflare Gateway helps protect GP clinics against Internet threats by preventing staff from accessing harmful and inappropriate Internet content, like ransomware or phishing sites. With Cloudflare Access, GP clinics can simply and effectively manage user access to sensitive patient data, thereby minimizing the risk of unauthorized users gaining access.

Cloudflare and CI-ISAC are ready to support

For GP Clinics interested in participating in Project Secure Health, please contact CI-ISAC at [email protected]. To be eligible for free CI-ISAC membership and Cloudflare ZTNA services, GP Clinics must have fewer than 50 staff members.

Cloudflare’s public IPFS gateways and supporting Interplanetary Shipyard

Post Syndicated from Brian Batraski original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflares-public-ipfs-gateways-and-supporting-interplanetary-shipyard

IPFS, the distributed file system and content addressing protocol, has been around since 2015, and Cloudflare has been a user and operator since 2018, when we began operating a public IPFS gateway. Today, we are announcing our plan to transition this gateway traffic to the Interplanetary Shipyard (“Shipyard”) team and discussing what it means for users and the future of IPFS gateways.

As announced in April 2024, many of the IPFS core developers and maintainers now work within a newly created, independent entity called Interplanetary Shipyard (“Shipyard”). For IPFS to continue exemplifying the open-source ethos, its core developers will work for Shipyard, rather than Protocol Labs, where IPFS was invented and incubated. By operating as a collective, ongoing maintenance and support of important protocols like IPFS are now even more community-owned and managed. We fully support this “exit to community” and are excited to see Shipyard build more great infrastructure for the open web.

On May 14th, 2024, we will begin to transition traffic that comes to Cloudflare’s public IPFS gateway to Shipyard’s IPFS gateway at ipfs.io or dweb.link. Cloudflare’s public IPFS gateway is just one of many – part of a distributed ecosystem that also includes Pinata, eth.limo, and many more. Visit the IPFS Public Gateway Checker to see the other publicly available IPFS gateways.

Cloudflare believes in helping build a better Internet for all and an accessible and private Internet, principles that Protocol Labs, IPFS, and Shipyard all share. We believe the IPFS gateway transition to Shipyard will boost ecosystem collaboration, increase protocol resiliency, and ensure healthy stewardship and governance. Cloudflare is proud to be a partner of Shipyard in this transition and will continue to help sponsor their work as gateway stewards.

What happens next

All traffic using the cloudflare-ipfs.com or cf-ipfs.com hostname(s) will continue to work without interruption and be redirected to ipfs.io or dweb.link until August 14th, 2024, at which time the Cloudflare hostnames will no longer connect to IPFS and all users must switch the hostname they use to ipfs.io or dweb.link to ensure no service interruption takes place. If you are using either of the Cloudflare hostnames, please be sure to switch to one of the new ones as soon as possible ahead of the transition date to avoid any service interruptions!

It is important to both Cloudflare and Shipyard that this transition is completed seamlessly and with as little impact to users as possible. With that in mind, there is no change to the amount or type of end user information that is visible to either Cloudflare or Shipyard before or after the completion of this transition.

We’re excited to see further development and projects from the IPFS community and play our part in helping those applications be secure, performant, and reliable!

About Shipyard

Interplanetary Shipyard is an engineering collective that delivers user agency through technical advancements in IPFS and libp2p. As the core maintainers of open source projects in the Interplanetary Stack (including IPFS and libp2p implementations such as Kubo, Rainbow, Boxo, Helia, and go/js-libp2p/js-libp2p), and supporting performance measurement tooling (Probelab), they are committed to open source innovation and building bridges between traditional web frameworks and the decentralized ecosystem. To achieve this, their engineers work alongside technical teams in web2 and web3 to promote adoption and drive practical applications.

Protocol detection with Cloudflare Gateway

Post Syndicated from Ankur Aggarwal original https://blog.cloudflare.com/gatway-protocol-detection

Cloudflare Gateway, our secure web gateway (SWG), now supports the detection, logging, and filtering of network protocols regardless of their source or destination port. Protocol detection makes it easier to set precise policies without having to rely on the well known port and without the risk of over/under-filtering activity that could disrupt your users’ work. For example, you can filter all SSH traffic on your network by simply choosing the protocol.

Today, protocol detection is available to any Enterprise user of Gateway and supports a growing list of protocols including HTTP, HTTPS, SSH, TLS, DCE/RPC, MQTT, and TPKT.

Why is this needed?

As many configuration planes move to using RESTful APIs, and now even GraphQL, there is still a need to manage devices via protocols like SSH. Whether it is the only management protocol available on a new third party device, or one of the first ways we learned to connect to and manage a server, SSH is still extensively used.

With other legacy SWG and firewall tools, the process of blocking traffic by specifying only the well known port number (for example, port 22 for SSH) can be both insecure and inconvenient. For example, if you used SSH over any other port it would not be filtered properly, or if you tried using another protocol over a well known port, such as port 22, it would be blocked. An argument could also be made to lock down the destinations to only allow incoming connections over certain ports, but companies don’t often control their destination devices.

With so many steps, there are risks of over-blocking legitimate traffic, which potentially prevents users from reaching the resources they need to stay productive and leads to a large volume of support tickets for your administrators. Alternatively, you could underblock and miss out on filtering your intended traffic, creating security risks for your organization.

How we built it

To build a performant protocol detection and filtering capability we had to make sure it could be applied in the same place Gateway policies are being applied. To meet this requirement we added a new TCP socket pre-read hook to OXY, our Rust-based policy framework, to buffer the first few bytes of the data stream. This buffer, then, allows Gateway to compare the bytes to our protocol signature database and apply the correct next step. And since this is all built into OXY, if the policy is set to Block, the connection will be closed; if it’s set to Allow, the connection will be proxied or progressed to establish the TLS session.

How to set up Gateway protocol filtering

Cloudflare Gateway’s protocol detection simplifies this process by allowing you to specify the protocol within a Gateway Network policy. To get started navigate to the Settings section on the Zero Trust dashboard and then select the Network tile. Under the Firewall section you’ll see a toggle for protocol detection and once enabled you’ll be able to create network policies.

Next, go to the Firewall Policies section of your Zero Trust Gateway dashboard and then click ‘+ Add a policy’. There you can create a policy such as the one below to block SSH for all users within the Sales department.

This will prevent members of the sales team from initiating an outgoing or incoming SSH session.

Get started

Customers with a Cloudflare One Enterprise account will find this functionality in their Gateway dashboard today. We plan to make it available to Pay-as-you-go and Free customer accounts soon, as well as expanding the list of protocols.

If you’re interested in using protocol detection or ready to explore more broadly how Cloudflare can help you modernize your security, request a workshop or contact your account manager.

Spotlight on Zero Trust: We’re fastest and here’s the proof

Post Syndicated from David Tuber original http://blog.cloudflare.com/spotlight-on-zero-trust/

Spotlight on Zero Trust: We're fastest and here's the proof

Spotlight on Zero Trust: We're fastest and here's the proof

In January and in March we posted blogs outlining how Cloudflare performed against others in Zero Trust. The conclusion in both cases was that Cloudflare was faster than Zscaler and Netskope in a variety of Zero Trust scenarios. For Speed Week, we’re bringing back these tests and upping the ante: we’re testing more providers against more public Internet endpoints in more regions than we have in the past.

For these tests, we tested three Zero Trust scenarios: Secure Web Gateway (SWG), Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), and Remote Browser Isolation (RBI). We tested against three competitors: Zscaler, Netskope, and Palo Alto Networks. We tested these scenarios from 12 regions around the world, up from the four we’d previously tested with. The results are that Cloudflare is the fastest Secure Web Gateway in 42% of testing scenarios, the most of any provider. Cloudflare is 46% faster than Zscaler, 56% faster than Netskope, and 10% faster than Palo Alto for ZTNA, and 64% faster than Zscaler for RBI scenarios.

In this blog, we’ll provide a refresher on why performance matters, do a deep dive on how we’re faster for each scenario, and we’ll talk about how we measured performance for each product.

Performance is a threat vector

Performance in Zero Trust matters; when Zero Trust performs poorly, users disable it, opening organizations to risk. Zero Trust services should be unobtrusive when the services become noticeable they prevent users from getting their job done.

Zero Trust services may have lots of bells and whistles that help protect customers, but none of that matters if employees can’t use the services to do their job quickly and efficiently. Fast performance helps drive adoption and makes security feel transparent to the end users. At Cloudflare, we prioritize making our products fast and frictionless, and the results speak for themselves. So now let’s turn it over to the results, starting with our secure web gateway.

Cloudflare Gateway: security at the Internet

A secure web gateway needs to be fast because it acts as a funnel for all of an organization’s Internet-bound traffic. If a secure web gateway is slow, then any traffic from users out to the Internet will be slow. If traffic out to the Internet is slow, users may see web pages load slowly, video calls experience jitter or loss, or generally unable to do their jobs. Users may decide to turn off the gateway, putting the organization at risk of attack.

In addition to being close to users, a performant web gateway needs to also be well-peered with the rest of the Internet to avoid slow paths out to websites users want to access. Many websites use CDNs to accelerate their content and provide a better experience. These CDNs are often well-peered and embedded in last mile networks. But traffic through a secure web gateway follows a forward proxy path: users connect to the proxy, and the proxy connects to the websites users are trying to access. If that proxy isn’t as well-peered as the destination websites are, the user traffic could travel farther to get to the proxy than it would have needed to if it was just going to the website itself, creating a hairpin, as seen in the diagram below:

Spotlight on Zero Trust: We're fastest and here's the proof

A well-connected proxy ensures that the user traffic travels less distance making it as fast as possible.

To compare secure web gateway products, we pitted the Cloudflare Gateway and WARP client against Zscaler, Netskope, and Palo Alto which all have products that perform the same functions. Cloudflare users benefit from Gateway and Cloudflare’s network being embedded deep into last mile networks close to users, being peered with over 12,000 networks. That heightened connectivity shows because Cloudflare Gateway is the fastest network in 42% of tested scenarios:

Spotlight on Zero Trust: We're fastest and here's the proof

Number of testing scenarios where each provider is fastest for 95th percentile HTTP Response time (higher is better)
Provider Scenarios where this provider is fastest
Cloudflare 48
Zscaler 14
Netskope 10
Palo Alto Networks 42

This data shows that we are faster to more websites from more places than any of our competitors. To measure this, we look at the 95th percentile HTTP response time: how long it takes for a user to go through the proxy, have the proxy make a request to a website on the Internet, and finally return the response. This measurement is important because it’s an accurate representation of what users see. When we look at the 95th percentile across all tests, we see that Cloudflare is 2.5% faster than Palo Alto Networks, 13% faster than Zscaler, and 6.5% faster than Netskope.

95th percentile HTTP response across all tests
Provider 95th percentile response (ms)
Cloudflare 515
Zscaler 595
Netskope 550
Palo Alto Networks 529

Cloudflare wins out here because Cloudflare’s exceptional peering allows us to succeed in places where others were not able to succeed. We are able to get locally peered in hard-to-reach places on the globe, giving us an edge. For example, take a look at how Cloudflare performs against the others in Australia, where we are 30% faster than the next fastest provider:

Spotlight on Zero Trust: We're fastest and here's the proof

Cloudflare establishes great peering relationships in countries around the world: in Australia we are locally peered with all of the major Australian Internet providers, and as such we are able to provide a fast experience to many users around the world. Globally, we are peered with over 12,000 networks, getting as close to end users as we can to shorten the time requests spend on the public Internet. This work has previously allowed us to deliver content quickly to users, but in a Zero Trust world, it shortens the path users take to get to their SWG, meaning they can quickly get to the services they need.

Previously when we performed these tests, we only tested from a single Azure region to five websites. Existing testing frameworks like Catchpoint are unsuitable for this task because performance testing requires that you run the SWG client on the testing endpoint. We also needed to make sure that all of the tests are running on similar machines in the same places to measure performance as well as possible. This allows us to measure the end-to-end responses coming from the same location where both test environments are running.

In our testing configuration for this round of evaluations, we put four VMs in 12 cloud regions side by side: one running Cloudflare WARP connecting to our gateway, one running ZIA, one running Netskope, and one running Palo Alto Networks. These VMs made requests every five minutes to the 11 different websites mentioned below and logged the HTTP browser timings for how long each request took. Based on this, we are able to get a user-facing view of performance that is meaningful. Here is a full matrix of locations that we tested from, what websites we tested against, and which provider was faster:

SWG Regions Shopify Walmart Zendesk ServiceNow Azure Site Slack Zoom Box M365 GitHub Bitbucket
East US Cloudflare Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare
West US Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare
South Central US Cloudflare Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare
Brazil South Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Zscaler Zscaler Zscaler Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks
UK South Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks
Central India Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
Southeast Asia Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
Canada Central Cloudflare Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Cloudflare Cloudflare Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Zscaler Cloudflare Zscaler
Switzerland North netskope Zscaler Zscaler Cloudflare netskope netskope netskope netskope Cloudflare Cloudflare netskope
Australia East Cloudflare Cloudflare netskope Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
UAE Dubai Zscaler Zscaler Cloudflare Cloudflare Zscaler netskope Palo Alto Networks Zscaler Zscaler netskope netskope
South Africa North Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Zscaler Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks Zscaler Palo Alto Networks Palo Alto Networks

Blank cells indicate that tests to that particular website did not report accurate results or experienced failures for over 50% of the testing period. Based on this data, Cloudflare is generally faster, but we’re not as fast as we’d like to be. There are still some areas where we need to improve, specifically in South Africa, UAE, and Brazil. By Birthday Week in September, we want to be the fastest to all of these websites in each of these regions, which will bring our number up from fastest in 54% of tests to fastest in 79% of tests.

To summarize, Cloudflare’s Gateway is still the fastest SWG on the Internet. But Zero Trust isn’t all about SWG. Let’s talk about how Cloudflare performs in Zero Trust Network Access scenarios.

Instant (Zero Trust) access

Access control needs to be seamless and transparent to the user: the best compliment for a Zero Trust solution is for employees to barely notice it’s there. Services like Cloudflare Access protect applications over the public Internet, allowing for role-based authentication access instead of relying on things like a VPN to restrict and secure applications. This form of access management is more secure, but with a performant ZTNA service, it can even be faster.

Cloudflare outperforms our competitors in this space, being 46% faster than Zscaler, 56% faster than Netskope, and 10% faster than Palo Alto Networks:

Spotlight on Zero Trust: We're fastest and here's the proof

Zero Trust Network Access P95 HTTP Response times
Provider P95 HTTP response (ms)
Cloudflare 1252
Zscaler 2388
Netskope 2974
Palo Alto Networks 1471

For this test, we created applications hosted in three different clouds in 12 different locations: AWS, GCP, and Azure. However, it should be noted that Palo Alto Networks was the exception, as we were only able to measure them using applications hosted in one cloud from two regions due to logistical challenges with setting up testing: US East and Singapore.

For each of these applications, we created tests from Catchpoint that accessed the application from 400 locations around the world. Each of these Catchpoint nodes attempted two actions:

  • New Session: log into an application and receive an authentication token
  • Existing Session: refresh the page and log in passing the previously obtained credentials

We like to measure these scenarios separately, because when we look at 95th percentile values, we would almost always be looking at new sessions if we combined new and existing sessions together. For the sake of completeness though, we will also show the 95th percentile latency of both new and existing sessions combined.

Cloudflare was faster in both US East and Singapore, but let’s spotlight a couple of regions to delve into. Let’s take a look at a region where resources are heavily interconnected equally across competitors: US East, specifically Ashburn, Virginia.

In Ashburn, Virginia, Cloudflare handily beats Zscaler and Netskope for ZTNA 95th percentile HTTP Response:

95th percentile HTTP Response times (ms) for applications hosted in Ashburn, VA
AWS East US Total (ms) New Sessions (ms) Existing Sessions (ms)
Cloudflare 2849 1749 1353
Zscaler 5340 2953 2491
Netskope 6513 3748 2897
Palo Alto Networks
Azure East US
Cloudflare 1692 989 1169
Zscaler 5403 2951 2412
Netskope 6601 3805 2964
Palo Alto Networks
Cloudflare 2811 1615 1320
Netskope 6694 3819 3023
Palo Alto Networks 2258 894 1464

You might notice that Palo Alto Networks looks to come out ahead of Cloudflare for existing sessions (and therefore for overall 95th percentile). But these numbers are misleading because Palo Alto Networks’ ZTNA behavior is slightly different than ours, Zscaler’s, or Netskope’s. When they perform a new session, it does a full connection intercept and returns a response from its processors instead of directing users to the login page of the application they are trying to access.

This means that Palo Alto Networks' new session response times don’t actually measure the end-to-end latency we’re looking for. Because of this, their numbers for new session latency and total session latency are misleading, meaning we can only meaningfully compare ourselves to them for existing session latency. When we look at existing sessions, when Palo Alto Networks acts as a pass-through, Cloudflare still comes out ahead by 10%.

This is true in Singapore as well, where Cloudflare is 50% faster than Zscaler and Netskope, and also 10% faster than Palo Alto Networks for Existing Sessions:

95th percentile HTTP Response times (ms) for applications hosted in Singapore
AWS Singapore Total (ms) New Sessions (ms) Existing Sessions (ms)
Cloudflare 2748 1568 1310
Zscaler 5349 3033 2500
Netskope 6402 3598 2990
Palo Alto Networks
Azure Singapore
Cloudflare 1831 1022 1181
Zscaler 5699 3037 2577
Netskope 6722 3834 3040
Palo Alto Networks
GCP Singapore
Cloudflare 2820 1641 1355
Zscaler 5499 3037 2412
Netskope 6525 3713 2992
Palo Alto Networks 2293 922 1476

One critique of this data could be that we’re aggregating the times of all Catchpoint nodes together at P95, and we’re not looking at the 95th percentile of Catchpoint nodes in the same region as the application. We looked at that, too, and Cloudflare’s ZTNA performance is still better. Looking at only North America-based Catchpoint nodes, Cloudflare performs 50% better than Netskope, 40% better than Zscaler, and 10% better than Palo Alto Networks at P95 for warm connections:

Spotlight on Zero Trust: We're fastest and here's the proof

Zero Trust Network Access 95th percentile HTTP Response times for warm connections with testing locations in North America
Provider P95 HTTP response (ms)
Cloudflare 810
Zscaler 1290
Netskope 1351
Palo Alto Networks 871

Finally, one thing we wanted to show about our ZTNA performance was how well Cloudflare performed per cloud per region. This below chart shows the matrix of cloud providers and tested regions:

Fastest ZTNA provider in each cloud provider and region by 95th percentile HTTP Response
Australia East Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
Brazil South Cloudflare Cloudflare N/A
Canada Central Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
Central India Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
East US Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
South Africa North Cloudflare Cloudflare N/A
South Central US N/A Cloudflare Zscaler
Southeast Asia Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
Switzerland North N/A N/A Cloudflare
UAE Dubai Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
UK South Cloudflare Cloudflare netskope
West US Cloudflare Cloudflare N/A

There were some VMs in some clouds that malfunctioned and didn’t report accurate data. But out of 30 available cloud regions where we had accurate data, Cloudflare was the fastest ZT provider in 28 of them, meaning we were faster in 93% of tested cloud regions.

To summarize, Cloudflare also provides the best experience when evaluating Zero Trust Network Access. But what about another piece of the puzzle: Remote Browser Isolation (RBI)?

Remote Browser Isolation: a secure browser hosted in the cloud

Remote browser isolation products have a very strong dependency on the public Internet: if your connection to your browser isolation product isn’t good, then your browser experience will feel weird and slow. Remote browser isolation is extraordinarily dependent on performance to feel smooth and seamless to the users: if everything is fast as it should be, then users shouldn’t even notice that they’re using browser isolation.

For this test, we’re again pitting Cloudflare against Zscaler. While Netskope does have an RBI product, we were unable to test it due to it requiring a SWG client, meaning we would be unable to get full fidelity of testing locations like we would when testing Cloudflare and Zscaler. Our tests showed that Cloudflare is 64% faster than Zscaler for remote browsing scenarios: Here’s a matrix of fastest provider per cloud per region for our RBI tests:

Fastest RBI provider in each cloud provider and region by 95th percentile HTTP Response
Australia East Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
Brazil South Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
Canada Central Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
Central India Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
East US Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
South Africa North Cloudflare Cloudflare
South Central US Cloudflare Cloudflare
Southeast Asia Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
Switzerland North Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
UAE Dubai Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
UK South Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare
West US Cloudflare Cloudflare Cloudflare

This chart shows the results of all of the tests run against Cloudflare and Zscaler to applications hosted on three different clouds in 12 different locations from the same 400 Catchpoint nodes as the ZTNA tests. In every scenario, Cloudflare was faster. In fact, no test against a Cloudflare-protected endpoint had a 95th percentile HTTP Response of above 2105 ms, while no Zscaler-protected endpoint had a 95th percentile HTTP response of below 5000 ms.

To get this data, we leveraged the same VMs to host applications accessed through RBI services. Each Catchpoint node would attempt to log into the application through RBI, receive authentication credentials, and then try to access the page by passing the credentials. We look at the same new and existing sessions that we do for ZTNA, and Cloudflare is faster in both new sessions and existing session scenarios as well.

Gotta go fast(er)

Our Zero Trust customers want us to be fast not because they want the fastest Internet access, but because they want to know that employee productivity won’t be impacted by switching to Cloudflare. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the most important thing for us is being faster than our competitors, although we are. The most important thing for us is improving our experience so that our users feel comfortable knowing we take their experience seriously. When we put out new numbers for Birthday Week in September and we’re faster than we were before, it won’t mean that we just made the numbers go up: it means that we are constantly evaluating and improving our service to provide the best experience for our customers. We care more that our customers in UAE have an improved experience with Office365 as opposed to beating a competitor in a test. We show these numbers so that we can show you that we take performance seriously, and we’re committed to providing the best experience for you, wherever you are.

Using the power of Cloudflare’s global network to detect malicious domains using machine learning

Post Syndicated from Jesse Kipp original https://blog.cloudflare.com/threat-detection-machine-learning-models/

Using the power of Cloudflare’s global network to detect malicious domains using machine learning

Using the power of Cloudflare’s global network to detect malicious domains using machine learning

Cloudflare secures outbound Internet traffic for thousands of organizations every day, protecting users, devices, and data from threats like ransomware and phishing. One way we do this is by intelligently classifying what Internet destinations are risky using the domain name system (DNS). DNS is essential to Internet navigation because it enables users to look up addresses using human-friendly names, like cloudflare.com. For websites, this means translating a domain name into the IP address of the server that can deliver the content for that site.

However, attackers can exploit the DNS system itself, and often use techniques to evade detection and control using domain names that look like random strings. In this blog, we will discuss two techniques threat actors use – DNS tunneling and domain generation algorithms – and explain how Cloudflare uses machine learning to detect them.

Domain Generation Algorithm (DGA)

Most websites don’t change their domain name very often. This is the point after all, having a stable human-friendly name to be able to connect to a resource on the Internet. However, as a side-effect stable domain names become a point of control, allowing network administrators to use restrictions on domain names to enforce policies, for example blocking access to malicious websites. Cloudflare Gateway – our secure web gateway service for threat defense – makes this easy to do by allowing administrators to block risky and suspicious domains based on integrated threat intelligence.

But what if instead of using a stable domain name, an attacker targeting your users generated random domain names to communicate with, making it more difficult to know in advance what domains to block? This is the idea of Domain Generation Algorithm domains (MITRE ATT&CK technique T1568.002).

After initial installation, malware reaches out to a command-and-control server to receive further instructions, this is called “command and control” (MITRE ATT&CK tactic TA0011). The attacker may send instructions to perform such actions as gathering and transmitting information about the infected device, downloading additional stages of malware, stealing credentials and private data and sending it to the server, or operating as a bot within a network to perform denial-of-service attacks. Using a domain generation algorithm to frequently generate random domain names to communicate with for command and control gives malware a way to bypass blocks on fixed domains or IP addresses. Each day the malware generates a random set of domain names. To rendezvous with the malware, the attacker registers one of these domain names and awaits communication from the infected device.

Speed in identifying these domains is important to disrupting an attack. Because the domains rotate each day, by the time the malicious disposition of a domain propagates through the cybersecurity community, the malware may have rotated to a new domain name. However, the random nature of these domain names (they are literally a random string of letters!) also gives us an opportunity to detect them using machine learning.

The machine learning model

To identify DGA domains,  we trained a model that extends a pre-trained transformers-based neural network. Transformers-based neural networks are the state-of-the-art technique in natural language processing, and underlie large language models and services like ChatGPT. They are trained by using adjacent words and context around a word or character to “learn” what is likely to come next.

Domain names largely contain words and abbreviations that are meaningful in human language. Looking at the top domains on Cloudflare Radar, we see that they are largely composed of words and common abbreviations, “face” and “book” for example, or “cloud” and “flare”. This makes the knowledge of human language encoded in transformer models a powerful tool for detecting random domain names.

For DGA models, we curated ground truth data that consisted of domain names observed from Cloudflare’s DNS resolver for the negative class, and we used domain names from known domain generation algorithms for the positive class (all uses of DNS resolver data is completed in accordance with our privacy commitments).

Our final training set contained over 250,000 domain names, and was weighted to include more negative (not DGA domains) than positive cases. We trained three different versions of the model with different architectures: LSTM (Long Short-Term Memory Neural Network), LightGBM (binary classification), and a transformer-based model. We selected the transformer based model based on it having the highest accuracy and F1 score (the F1 score is a measure of model fit that penalizes having very different precision and recall, on an imbalanced data set the highest accuracy model might be the one that predicts everything either true or false, not what we want!), with an accuracy of over 99% on the test data.

To compute the score for a new domain never seen before by the model, the domain name is tokenized (i.e. broken up into individual components, in this case characters), and the sequence of characters are passed to the model. The transformers Python package from Hugging Face makes it easy to use these types of models for a variety of applications. The library supports summarization, question answering, translation, text generation, classification, and more. In this case we use sequence classification, together with a model that was customized for this task. The output of the model is a score indicating the chance that the domain was generated by a domain generation algorithm. If the score is over our threshold, we label the domain and a domain generation algorithm domain.


The expansive view of domain names Cloudflare has from our resolver means we can quickly observe DGA domains after they become active. We process all DNS query names that successfully resolve using this model, so a single successful resolution of the domain name anywhere in Cloudflare’s public resolver network can be detected.

From the queries observed on, we filter down first to new and newly seen domain names. We then apply our DGA classifier to the new and newly seen domain names, allowing us to detect activated command and control domains as soon as they are observed anywhere in the world by the resolver.

Using the power of Cloudflare’s global network to detect malicious domains using machine learning

DNS Tunneling detection

In issuing commands or extracting data from an installed piece of malware, attackers seek to avoid detection. One way to send data and bypass traditional detection methods is to encode data within another protocol. When the attacker controls the authoritative name server for a domain, information can be encoded as DNS queries and responses. Instead of making a DNS query for a simple domain name, such as www.cloudflare.com, and getting a response like, attackers can send and receive long DNS queries and responses that contain encoded data.

Here is an example query made by an application performing DNS tunneling (query shortened and partially redacted):


The response data to a query like the one above can vary in length based on the response record type the server uses and the recursive DNS resolvers in the path. Generally, it is at most 255 characters per response record and looks like a random string of characters.

TXT jdqjtv64k2w4iudbe6b7t2abgubis

This ability to take an arbitrary set of bytes and send it to the server as a DNS query and receive a response in the answer data creates a bi-directional communication channel that can be used to transmit any data. The malware running on the infected host encodes the data it wants to transmit as a DNS query name and the infected host sends the DNS query to its resolver.

Since this query is not a true hostname, but actually encodes some data the malware wishes to transmit, the query is very likely to be unique, and is passed on to the authoritative DNS server for that domain.

The authoritative DNS server decodes the query back into the original data, and if necessary can transmit it elsewhere on the Internet. Responses go back the other direction, the response data is encoded as a query response (for example a TXT record) and sent back to the malware running on the infected host.

Using the power of Cloudflare’s global network to detect malicious domains using machine learning

One challenge with identifying this type of traffic, however, is that there are also many benign applications that use the DNS system to encode or transmit data as well. An example of a query that was classified as not DNS tunneling:


As humans, we can see that the leading portion of this DNS query is a UUID. Queries like this are often used by security and monitoring applications and network appliances to check in. The leading portion of the query might be the unique id of the device or installation that is performing the check-in.

During the research and training phase our researchers identified a wide variety of different applications that use a large number of random looking DNS queries. Some examples of this include subdomains of content delivery networks, video streaming, advertising and tracking, security appliances, as well as DNS tunneling. Our researchers investigated and labeled many of these domains, and while doing so, identified features that can be used to distinguish between benign applications and true DNS tunneling.

The model

For this application, we trained a two-stage model. The first stage makes quick yes/no decisions about whether the domain might be a DNS tunneling domain. The second stage of the model makes finer-grained distinctions between legitimate domains that have large numbers of subdomains, such as security appliances or AV false-positive control, and malicious DNS tunneling.

The first stage is a gradient boosted decision tree that gives us an initial classification based on minimal information. A decision tree model is like playing 20 questions – each layer of the decision tree asks a yes or no question, which gets you closer to the final answer. Decision tree models are good at both predicting binary yes/no results as well as incorporating binary or nominal attributes into a prediction, and are fast and lightweight to execute, making them a good fit for this application. Gradient boosting is a reliable technique for training models that is particularly good at combining several attributes with weak predictive power into a strong predictor. It can be used to train multiple types of models including decision trees as well as numeric predictions.

If the first stage classifies the domain as “yes, potential DNS tunneling”, it is checked against the second stage, which incorporates data observed from Cloudflare’s DNS resolver. This second model is a neural network model and refines the categorization of the first, in order to distinguish legitimate applications.

In this model, the neural network takes 28 features as input and classifies the domain into one of 17 applications, such as DNS tunneling, IT appliance beacons, or email delivery and spam related. Figure 2 shows a diagram generated from the popular Python software package Keras showing the layers of this neural network. We see the 28 input features at the top layer and at the bottom layer, the 17 output values indicating the prediction value for each type of application. This neural network is very small, having about 2,000 individual weights that can be set during the training process. In the next section we will see an example of a model that is based on a state-of-the-art pretrained model from a model family that has tens to hundreds of millions of predefined weights.

Using the power of Cloudflare’s global network to detect malicious domains using machine learning
Fig. 2, The keras.utils.plot_model() function draws a diagram of the neural network layers.

Figure 3 shows a plot of the feature values of the applications we are trying to distinguish in polar coordinates. Each color is the feature values of all the domains the model classified as a single type of application over a sample period. The position around the circle (theta) is the feature, and the distance from the center (rho) is the value of that feature. We can see how many of the applications have similar feature values.

When we observe a new domain and compute its feature values, our model uses those feature values to give us a prediction about which application the new domain resembles. As mentioned, the neural network has 28 inputs each of which is the value for a single feature and 17 outputs. The 17 output values represent the prediction that the domain is each of those 17 different types of applications, with malicious DNS tunneling being one of the 17 outputs. The job of the model is to convert the sometimes small differences between the feature values into a prediction. If the value of the malicious DNS tunneling output of the neural network is higher than the other outputs, the domain is labeled as a security threat.

Using the power of Cloudflare’s global network to detect malicious domains using machine learning
Fig. 3, Domains containing high-entropy DNS subdomains, visualized as feature plots. Each section around the circumference of the plot represents a different feature of the observed DNS queries. The distance from the center represents the value of that feature. Each color line is a distinct application, and machine learning helps us distinguish between these and classify them.


For the DNS tunneling model, our system consumes the logs from our secure web gateway service. The first stage model is applied to all DNS queries. Domains that are flagged as possible DNS tunneling are then sent to the second stage where the prediction is refined using additional features.

Using the power of Cloudflare’s global network to detect malicious domains using machine learning

Looking forward: combining machine learning with human expertise

In September 2022, Cloudflare announced the general availability of our threat operations and research team, Cloudforce One, which allows our in-house experts to share insights directly with customers. Layering this human element on top of the ML models that we have already developed helps Cloudflare deliver additional protection threat protection for our customers, as we plan to explain in the next article in this blog series.

Until then, click here to create a free account, with no time limit for up to 50 users, and point just your DNS traffic, or all traffic (layers 4 to 7), to Cloudflare to protect your team, devices, and data with machine learning-driven threat defense.

Cloudflare One DLP integrates with Microsoft Information Protection labels

Post Syndicated from Noelle Kagan original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-dlp-mip/

Cloudflare One DLP integrates with Microsoft Information Protection labels

Cloudflare One DLP integrates with Microsoft Information Protection labels

The crown jewels for an organization are often data, and the first step in protection should be locating where the most critical information lives. Yet, maintaining a thorough inventory of sensitive data is harder than it seems and generally a massive lift for security teams. To help overcome data security troubles, Microsoft offers their customers data classification and protection tools. One popular option are the sensitivity labels available with Microsoft Purview Information Protection. However, customers need the ability to track sensitive data movement even as it migrates beyond the visibility of Microsoft.

Today, we are excited to announce that Cloudflare One now offers Data Loss Prevention (DLP) detections for Microsoft Purview Information Protection labels. Simply integrate with your Microsoft account, retrieve your labels, and build rules to guide the movement of your labeled data. This extends the power of Microsoft’s labels to any of your corporate traffic in just a few clicks.

Data Classification with Microsoft Labels

Every organization has a wealth of data to manage, from publicly accessible data, like documentation, to internal data, like the launch date of a new product. Then, of course, there is the data requiring the highest levels of protection, such as customer PII. Organizations are responsible for confining data to the proper destinations while still supporting accessibility and productivity, which is no small feat.

Microsoft Purview Information Protection offers sensitivity labels to let you classify your organization’s data. With these labels, Microsoft provides the ability to protect sensitive data, while still enabling productivity and collaboration. Sensitivity labels can be used in a number of Microsoft applications, which includes the ability to apply the labels to Microsoft Office documents. The labels correspond to the sensitivity of the data within the file, such as Public, Confidential, or Highly Confidential.

Cloudflare One DLP integrates with Microsoft Information Protection labels

The labels are embedded in a document’s metadata and are preserved even when it leaves the Microsoft environment, such as a download from OneDrive.

Sync Cloudflare One and Microsoft Information Protection

Cloudflare One, our SASE platform that delivers network-as-a-service (NaaS) with Zero Trust security natively built-in, connects users to enterprise resources, and offers a wide variety of opportunities to secure corporate traffic, including the inspection of data moving across the Microsoft productivity suite. We’ve designed Cloudflare One to act as a single pane of glass for your organization. This means that after you’ve deployed any of our Zero Trust services, whether that be Zero Trust Network Access or Secure Web Gateway, you are clicks, not months, away from deploying Data Loss Prevention, Cloud Access Security Broker, Email Security, and Browser Isolation to enhance your Microsoft security and overall data protection.

Specifically, Cloudflare’s API-driven Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) can scan SaaS applications like Microsoft 365 for misconfigurations, unauthorized user activity, shadow IT, and other data security issues that can occur after a user has successfully logged in.

With this new integration, CASB can now also retrieve Information Protection labels from your Microsoft account. If you have labels configured, upon integration, CASB will automatically populate the labels into a Data Loss Prevention profile.

Cloudflare One DLP integrates with Microsoft Information Protection labels

DLP profiles are the building blocks for applying DLP scanning. They are where you identify the sensitive data you want to protect, such as Microsoft labeled data, credit card numbers, or custom keywords. Your labels are stored as entries within the Microsoft Purview Information Protection Sensitivity Labels profile using the name of your CASB integration. You can also add the labels to custom DLP profiles, of  fering more detection flexibility.

Build DLP Rules

You can now extend the power of Microsoft’s labels to protect your data as it moves to other platforms. By building DLP rules, you determine how labeled data can move around and out of your corporate network. Perhaps you don’t want to allow Highly Confidential labels to be downloaded from your OneDrive account, or you don’t want any data more sensitive than Confidential to be uploaded to file sharing sites that you don’t use. All of this can be implemented using DLP and Cloudflare Gateway.

Simply navigate to your Gateway Firewall Policies and start implementing building rules using your DLP profiles:

Cloudflare One DLP integrates with Microsoft Information Protection labels

How to Get Started

To get access to DLP, reach out for a consultation, or contact your account manager.

Oxy is Cloudflare’s Rust-based next generation proxy framework

Post Syndicated from Ivan Nikulin original https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-oxy/

Oxy is Cloudflare's Rust-based next generation proxy framework

Oxy is Cloudflare's Rust-based next generation proxy framework

In this blog post, we are proud to introduce Oxy – our modern proxy framework, developed using the Rust programming language. Oxy is a foundation of several Cloudflare projects, including the Zero Trust Gateway, the iCloud Private Relay second hop proxy, and the internal egress routing service.

Oxy leverages our years of experience building high-load proxies to implement the latest communication protocols, enabling us to effortlessly build sophisticated services that can accommodate massive amounts of daily traffic.

We will be exploring Oxy in greater detail in upcoming technical blog posts, providing a comprehensive and in-depth look at its capabilities and potential applications. For now, let us embark on this journey and discover what Oxy is and how we built it.

What Oxy does

We refer to Oxy as our “next-generation proxy framework”. But what do we really mean by “proxy framework”? Picture a server (like NGINX, that reader might be familiar with) that can proxy traffic with an array of protocols, including various predefined common traffic flow scenarios that enable you to route traffic to specific destinations or even egress with a different protocol than the one used for ingress. This server can be configured in many ways for specific flows and boasts tight integration with the surrounding infrastructure, whether telemetry consumers or networking services.

Now, take all of that and add in the ability to programmatically control every aspect of the proxying: protocol decapsulation, traffic analysis, routing, tunneling logic, DNS resolution, and so much more. And this is what Oxy proxy framework is: a feature-rich proxy server tightly integrated with our internal infrastructure that’s customizable to meet application requirements, allowing engineers to tweak every component.

This design is in line with our belief in an iterative approach to development, where a basic solution is built first and then gradually improved over time. With Oxy, you can start with a basic solution that can be deployed to our servers and then add additional features as needed, taking advantage of the many extensibility points offered by Oxy. In fact, you can avoid writing any code, besides a few lines of bootstrap boilerplate and get a production-ready server with a wide variety of startup configuration options and traffic flow scenarios.

Oxy is Cloudflare's Rust-based next generation proxy framework
High-level Oxy architecture

For example, suppose you’d like to implement an HTTP firewall. With Oxy, you can proxy HTTP(S) requests right out of the box, eliminating the need to write any code related to production services, such as request metrics and logs. You simply need to implement an Oxy hook handler for HTTP requests and responses. If you’ve used Cloudflare Workers before, then you should be familiar with this extensibility model.

Similarly, you can implement a layer 4 firewall by providing application hooks that handle ingress and egress connections. This goes beyond a simple block/accept scenario, as you can build authentication functionality or a traffic router that sends traffic to different destinations based on the geographical information of the ingress connection. The capabilities are incredibly rich, and we’ve made the extensibility model as ergonomic and flexible as possible. As an example, if information obtained from layer 4 is insufficient to make an informed firewall decision, the app can simply ask Oxy to decapsulate the traffic and process it with HTTP firewall.

The aforementioned scenarios are prevalent in many products we build at Cloudflare, so having a foundation that incorporates ready solutions is incredibly useful. This foundation has absorbed lots of experience we’ve gained over the years, taking care of many sharp and dark corners of high-load service programming. As a result, application implementers can stay focused on the business logic of their application with Oxy taking care of the rest. In fact, we’ve been able to create a few privacy proxy applications using Oxy that now serve massive amounts of traffic in production with less than a couple of hundred lines of code. This is something that would have taken multiple orders of magnitude more time and lines of code before.

As previously mentioned, we’ll dive deeper into the technical aspects in future blog posts. However, for now, we’d like to provide a brief overview of Oxy’s capabilities. This will give you a glimpse of the many ways in which Oxy can be customized and used.


On-ramp defines a combination of transport layer socket type and protocols that server listeners can use for ingress traffic.

Oxy supports a wide variety of traffic on-ramps:

  • HTTP 1/2/3 (including various CONNECT protocols for layer 3 and 4 traffic)
  • TCP and UDP traffic over Proxy Protocol
  • general purpose IP traffic, including ICMP

With Oxy, you have the ability to analyze and manipulate traffic at multiple layers of the OSI model – from layer 3 to layer 7. This allows for a wide range of possibilities in terms of how you handle incoming traffic.

One of the most notable and powerful features of Oxy is the ability for applications to force decapsulation. This means that an application can analyze traffic at a higher level, even if it originally arrived at a lower level. For example, if an application receives IP traffic, it can choose to analyze the UDP traffic encapsulated within the IP packets. With just a few lines of code, the application can tell Oxy to upgrade the IP flow to a UDP tunnel, effectively allowing the same code to be used for different on-ramps.

The application can even go further and ask Oxy to sniff UDP packets and check if they contain HTTP/3 traffic. In this case, Oxy can upgrade the UDP traffic to HTTP and handle HTTP/3 requests that were originally received as raw IP packets. This allows for the simultaneous processing of traffic at all three layers (L3, L4, L7), enabling applications to analyze, filter, and manipulate the traffic flow from multiple perspectives. This provides a robust toolset for developing advanced traffic processing applications.

Oxy is Cloudflare's Rust-based next generation proxy framework
Multi-layer traffic processing in Oxy applications


Off-ramp defines a combination of transport layer socket type and protocols that proxy server connectors can use for egress traffic.

Oxy offers versatility in its egress methods, supporting a range of protocols including HTTP 1 and 2, UDP, TCP, and IP. It is equipped with internal DNS resolution and caching, as well as customizable resolvers, with automatic fallback options for maximum system reliability. Oxy implements happy eyeballs for TCP, advanced tunnel timeout logic and has the ability to route traffic to internal services with accompanying metadata.

Additionally, through collaboration with one of our internal services (which is an Oxy application itself!) Oxy is able to offer geographical egress — allowing applications to route traffic to the public Internet from various locations in our extensive network covering numerous cities worldwide. This complex and powerful feature can be easily utilized by Oxy application developers at no extra cost, simply by adjusting configuration settings.

Tunneling and request handling

We’ve discussed Oxy’s communication capabilities with the outside world through on-ramps and off-ramps. In the middle, Oxy handles efficient stateful tunneling of various traffic types including TCP, UDP, QUIC, and IP, while giving applications full control over traffic blocking and redirection.

Additionally, Oxy effectively handles HTTP traffic, providing full control over requests and responses, and allowing it to serve as a direct HTTP or API service. With built-in tools for streaming analysis of HTTP bodies, Oxy makes it easy to extract and process data, such as form data from uploads and downloads.

In addition to its multi-layer traffic processing capabilities, Oxy also supports advanced HTTP tunneling methods, such as CONNECT-UDP and CONNECT-IP, using the latest extensions to HTTP 3 and 2 protocols. It can even process HTTP CONNECT request payloads on layer 4 and recursively process the payload as HTTP if the encapsulated traffic is HTTP.

Oxy is Cloudflare's Rust-based next generation proxy framework
Recursive processing of HTTP CONNECT body payload in HTTP pipeline


The modern Internet is unimaginable without traffic encryption, and Oxy, of course, provides this essential aspect. Oxy’s cryptography and TLS are based on BoringSSL, providing both a FIPS-compliant version with a limited set of certified features and the latest version that supports all the currently available TLS features. Oxy also allows applications to switch between the two versions in real-time, on a per-request or per-connection basis.

Oxy’s TLS client is designed to make HTTPS requests to upstream servers, with the functionality and security of a browser-grade client. This includes the reconstruction of certificate chains, certificate revocation checks, and more. In addition, Oxy applications can be secured with TLS v1.3, and optionally mTLS, allowing for the extraction of client authentication information from x509 certificates.

Oxy has the ability to inspect and filter HTTPS traffic, including HTTP/3, and provides the means for dynamically generating certificates, serving as a foundation for implementing data loss prevention (DLP) products. Additionally, Oxy’s internal fork of BoringSSL, which is not FIPS-compliant, supports the use of raw public keys as an alternative to WebPKI, making it ideal for internal service communication. This allows for all the benefits of TLS without the hassle of managing root certificates.

Gluing everything together

Oxy is more than just a set of building blocks for network applications. It acts as a cohesive glue, handling the bootstrapping of the entire proxy application with ease, including parsing and applying configurations, setting up an asynchronous runtime, applying seccomp hardening and providing automated graceful restarts functionality.

With built-in support for panic reporting to Sentry, Prometheus metrics with a Rust-macro based API, Kibana logging, distributed tracing, memory and runtime profiling, Oxy offers comprehensive monitoring and analysis capabilities. It can also generate detailed audit logs for layer 4 traffic, useful for billing and network analysis.

To top it off, Oxy includes an integration testing framework, allowing for easy testing of application interactions using TypeScript-based tests.

Extensibility model

To take full advantage of Oxy’s capabilities, one must understand how to extend and configure its features. Oxy applications are configured using YAML configuration files, offering numerous options for each feature. Additionally, application developers can extend these options by leveraging the convenient macros provided by the framework, making customization a breeze.

Suppose the Oxy application uses a key-value database to retrieve user information. In that case, it would be beneficial to expose a YAML configuration settings section for this purpose. With Oxy, defining a structure and annotating it with the #[oxy_app_settings] attribute is all it takes to accomplish this:

///Application’s key-value (KV) database settings
pub struct MyAppKVSettings {
    /// Key prefix.
    pub prefix: Option<String>,
    /// Path to the UNIX domain socket for the appropriate KV 
    /// server instance.
    pub socket: Option<String>,

Oxy can then generate a default YAML configuration file listing available options and their default values, including those extended by the application. The configuration options are automatically documented in the generated file from the Rust doc comments, following best Rust practices.

Moreover, Oxy supports multi-tenancy, allowing a single application instance to expose multiple on-ramp endpoints, each with a unique configuration. But, sometimes even a YAML configuration file is not enough to build a desired application, this is where Oxy’s comprehensive set of hooks comes in handy. These hooks can be used to extend the application with Rust code and cover almost all aspects of the traffic processing.

To give you an idea of how easy it is to write an Oxy application, here is an example of basic Oxy code:

struct MyApp;

// Defines types for various application extensions to Oxy's
// data types. Contexts provide information and control knobs for
// the different parts of the traffic flow and applications can extend // all of them with their custom data. As was mentioned before,
// applications could also define their custom configuration.
// It’s just a matter of defining a configuration object with
// `#[oxy_app_settings]` attribute and providing the object type here.
impl OxyExt for MyApp {
    type AppSettings = MyAppKVSettings;
    type EndpointAppSettings = ();
    type EndpointContext = ();
    type IngressConnectionContext = MyAppIngressConnectionContext;
    type RequestContext = ();
    type IpTunnelContext = ();
    type DnsCacheItem = ();

impl OxyApp for MyApp {
    fn name() -> &'static str {
        "My app"

    fn version() -> &'static str {

    fn description() -> &'static str {
        "This is an example of Oxy application"

    async fn start(
        settings: ServerSettings<MyAppSettings, ()>
    ) -> anyhow::Result<Hooks<Self>> {
        // Here the application initializes various hooks, with each
        // hook being a trait implementation containing multiple
        // optional callbacks invoked during the lifecycle of the
        // traffic processing.
        let ingress_hook = create_ingress_hook(&settings);
        let egress_hook = create_egress_hook(&settings);
        let tunnel_hook = create_tunnel_hook(&settings);
        let http_request_hook = create_http_request_hook(&settings);
        let ip_flow_hook = create_ip_flow_hook(&settings);

        Ok(Hooks {
            ingress: Some(ingress_hook),
            egress: Some(egress_hook),
            tunnel: Some(tunnel_hook),
            http_request: Some(http_request_hook),
            ip_flow: Some(ip_flow_hook),

// The entry point of the application
fn main() -> OxyResult<()> {

Technology choice

Oxy leverages the safety and performance benefits of Rust as its implementation language. At Cloudflare, Rust has emerged as a popular choice for new product development, and there are ongoing efforts to migrate some of the existing products to the language as well.

Rust offers memory and concurrency safety through its ownership and borrowing system, preventing issues like null pointers and data races. This safety is achieved without sacrificing performance, as Rust provides low-level control and the ability to write code with minimal runtime overhead. Rust’s balance of safety and performance has made it popular for building safe performance-critical applications, like proxies.

We intentionally tried to stand on the shoulders of the giants with this project and avoid reinventing the wheel. Oxy heavily relies on open-source dependencies, with hyper and tokio being the backbone of the framework. Our philosophy is that we should pull from existing solutions as much as we can, allowing for faster iteration, but also use widely battle-tested code. If something doesn’t work for us, we try to collaborate with maintainers and contribute back our fixes and improvements. In fact, we now have two team members who are core team members of tokio and hyper projects.

Even though Oxy is a proprietary project, we try to give back some love to the open-source community without which the project wouldn’t be possible by open-sourcing some of the building blocks such as https://github.com/cloudflare/boring and https://github.com/cloudflare/quiche.

The road to implementation

At the beginning of our journey, we set out to implement a proof-of-concept  for an HTTP firewall using Rust for what would eventually become Zero Trust Gateway product. This project was originally part of the WARP service repository. However, as the PoC rapidly advanced, it became clear that it needed to be separated into its own Gateway proxy for both technical and operational reasons.

Later on, when tasked with implementing a relay proxy for iCloud Private Relay, we saw the opportunity to reuse much of the code from the Gateway proxy. The Gateway project could also benefit from the HTTP/3 support that was being added for the Private Relay project. In fact, early iterations of the relay service were forks of the Gateway server.

It was then that we realized we could extract common elements from both projects to create a new framework, Oxy. The history of Oxy can be traced back to its origins in the commit history of the Gateway and Private Relay projects, up until its separation as a standalone framework.

Since our inception, we have leveraged the power of Oxy to efficiently roll out multiple projects that would have required a significant amount of time and effort without it. Our iterative development approach has been a strength of the project, as we have been able to identify common, reusable components through hands-on testing and implementation.

Our small core team is supplemented by internal contributors from across the company, ensuring that the best subject-matter experts are working on the relevant parts of the project. This contribution model also allows us to shape the framework’s API to meet the functional and ergonomic needs of its users, while the core team ensures that the project stays on track.

Relation to Pingora

Although Pingora, another proxy server developed by us in Rust, shares some similarities with Oxy, it was intentionally designed as a separate proxy server with a different objective. Pingora was created to serve traffic from millions of our client’s upstream servers, including those with ancient and unusual configurations. Non-UTF 8 URLs or TLS settings that are not supported by most TLS libraries being just a few such quirks among many others. This focus on handling technically challenging unusual configurations sets Pingora apart from other proxy servers.

The concept of Pingora came about during the same period when we were beginning to develop Oxy, and we initially considered merging the two projects. However, we quickly realized that their objectives were too different to do that. Pingora is specifically designed to establish Cloudflare’s HTTP connectivity with the Internet, even in its most technically obscure corners. On the other hand, Oxy is a multipurpose platform that supports a wide variety of communication protocols and aims to provide a simple way to develop high-performance proxy applications with business logic.


Oxy is a proxy framework that we have developed to meet the demanding needs of modern services. It has been designed  to provide a flexible and scalable solution that can be adapted to meet the unique requirements of each project and by leveraging the power of Rust, we made it both safe and fast.

Looking forward, Oxy is poised to play one of the critical roles in our company’s larger effort to modernize and improve our architecture. It provides a solid block in foundation on which we can keep building the better Internet.

As the framework continues to evolve and grow, we remain committed to our iterative approach to development, constantly seeking out new opportunities to reuse existing solutions and improve our codebase. This collaborative, community-driven approach has already yielded impressive results, and we are confident that it will continue to drive the future success of Oxy.

Stay tuned for more tech savvy blog posts on the subject!

Manage and control the use of dedicated egress IPs with Cloudflare Zero Trust

Post Syndicated from Ankur Aggarwal original https://blog.cloudflare.com/gateway-egress-policies/

Manage and control the use of dedicated egress IPs with Cloudflare Zero Trust

Manage and control the use of dedicated egress IPs with Cloudflare Zero Trust

Before identity-driven Zero Trust rules, some SaaS applications on the public Internet relied on the IP address of a connecting user as a security model. Users would connect from known office locations, with fixed IP address ranges, and the SaaS application would check their address in addition to their login credentials.

Many systems still offer that second factor method. Customers of Cloudflare One can use a dedicated egress IP for this purpose as part of their journey to a Zero Trust model. Unlike other solutions, customers using this option do not need to deploy any infrastructure of their own. However, not all traffic needs to use those dedicated egress IPs.

Today, we are announcing policies that give administrators control over when Cloudflare uses their dedicated egress IPs. Specifically, administrators can use a rule builder in the Cloudflare dashboard to determine which egress IP is used and when, based on attributes like identity, application, IP address, and geolocation. This capability is available to any enterprise-contracted customer that adds on dedicated egress IPs to their Zero Trust subscription.

Why did we build this?

In today’s hybrid work environment, organizations aspire for more consistent security and IT experiences to manage their employees’ traffic egressing from offices, data centers, and roaming users. To deliver a more streamlined experience, many organizations are adopting modern, cloud-delivered proxy services like secure web gateways (SWGs) and deprecating their complex mix of on-premise appliances.

One traditional convenience of these legacy tools has been the ability to create allowlist policies based on static source IPs. When users were primarily in one place, verifying traffic based on egress location was easy and reliable enough. Many organizations want or are required to maintain this method of traffic validation even as their users have moved beyond being in one place.

So far, Cloudflare has supported these organizations by providing dedicated egress IPs as an add-on to our proxy Zero Trust services. Unlike the default egress IPs, these dedicated egress IPs are not shared amongst any other Gateway accounts and are only used to egress proxied traffic for the designated account.

As discussed in a previous blog post, customers are already using Cloudflare’s dedicated egress IPs to deprecate their VPN use by using them to identify their users proxied traffic or to add these to allow lists on third party providers. These organizations benefit from the simplicity of still using fixed, known IPs, and their traffic avoids the bottlenecks and backhauling of traditional on-premise appliances.

When to use egress policies

The Gateway Egress policy builder empowers administrators with enhanced flexibility and specificity to egress traffic based on the user’s identity, device posture, source/destination IP address, and more.

Traffic egressing from specific geolocations to provide geo-specific experiences (e.g. language format, regional page differences) for select user groups is a common use case. For example, Cloudflare is currently working with the marketing department of a global media conglomerate. Their designers and web experts based in India often need to verify the layout of advertisements and websites that are running in different countries.

However, those websites restrict or change access based on the geolocation of the source IP address of the user. This required the team to use an additional VPN service for just this purpose. With egress policies, administrators can create a rule to match the domain IP address or destination country IP geolocation and marketing employees to egress traffic from a dedicated egress IP geo-located to the country where they need to verify the domain. This allows their security team to rest easy as they no longer have to maintain this hole in their perimeter defense, another VPN service just for marketing, and can enforce all of their other filtering capabilities to this traffic.

Another example use case is allowlisting access to applications or services maintained by a third party. While security administrators can control how their teams access their resources and even apply filtering to their traffic they often can’t change the security controls enforced by third parties. For example, while working with a large credit processor they used a third party service to verify the riskiness of transactions routed through their Zero Trust network. This third party required them to allowlist their source IPs.

To meet this goal, this customer could have just used dedicated egress IPs and called it a day, but this means that all of their traffic is now being routed through the data center with their dedicated egress IPs. So if a user wanted to browse any other sites they would receive a subpar experience since their traffic may not be taking the most efficient path to the upstream. But now with egress policies this customer can now only apply this dedicated egress IP to this third party provider traffic and let all other user traffic egress via the default Gateway egress IPs.

Building egress policies

To demonstrate how easy it is for an administrator to configure a policy let’s walk through the last scenario. My organization uses a third-party service and in addition to a username/password login they require us to use a static source IP or network range to access their domain.

To set this up, I just have to navigate to Egress Policies under Gateway on the Zero Trust dashboard. Once there I can hit ‘Create egress policy’:

Manage and control the use of dedicated egress IPs with Cloudflare Zero Trust

For my organization most of my users accessing this third-party service are located in Portugal so I’ll use my dedicated egress IPs that are assigned to Montijo, Portugal. The users will access example.com hosted on so I’ll use the destination IP selector to match all traffic to this site; policy configuration below:

Manage and control the use of dedicated egress IPs with Cloudflare Zero Trust

Once my policy is created, I’ll add in one more as a catch-all for my organization to make sure they don’t use any dedicated egress IPs for destinations not associated with this third-party service. This is key to add in because it makes sure my users receive the most performant network experience while still maintaining their privacy by egress via our shared Enterprise pool of IPs; policy configuration below:

Manage and control the use of dedicated egress IPs with Cloudflare Zero Trust

Taking a look at the egress policy list we can see both policies are enabled and now when my users try to access example.com they will be using either the primary or secondary dedicated IPv4 or the IPv6 range as the egress IP. And for all other traffic, the default Cloudflare egress IPs will be used.

Manage and control the use of dedicated egress IPs with Cloudflare Zero Trust

Next steps

We recognize that as organizations migrate away from on-premise appliances, they want continued simplicity and control as they proxy more traffic through their cloud security stack. With Gateway egress policies administrators will now be able to control traffic flows for their increasingly distributed workforces.

If you are interested in building policies around Cloudflare’s dedicated egress IPs, you can add them onto a Cloudflare Zero Trust Enterprise plan or contact your account manager.

Cloudflare Zero Trust for managed service providers

Post Syndicated from Ankur Aggarwal original https://blog.cloudflare.com/gateway-managed-service-provider/

Cloudflare Zero Trust for managed service providers

Cloudflare Zero Trust for managed service providers

As part of CIO week, we are announcing a new integration between our DNS Filtering solution and our Partner Tenant platform that supports parent-child policy requirements for our partner ecosystem and our direct customers. Our Tenant platform, launched in 2019, has allowed Cloudflare partners to easily integrate Cloudflare solutions across millions of customer accounts. Cloudflare Gateway, introduced in 2020, has grown from protecting personal networks to Fortune 500 enterprises in just a few short years. With the integration between these two solutions, we can now help Managed Service Providers (MSPs) support large, multi-tenant deployments with parent-child policy configurations and account-level policy overrides that seamlessly protect global employees from threats online.

Why work with Managed Service Providers?

Managed Service Providers (MSPs) are a critical part of the toolkit of many CIOs. In the age of disruptive technology, hybrid work, and shifting business models, outsourcing IT and security operations can be a fundamental decision that drives strategic goals and ensures business success across organizations of all sizes. An MSP is a third-party company that remotely manages a customer’s information technology (IT) infrastructure and end-user systems. MSPs promise deep technical knowledge, threat insights, and tenured expertise across a variety of security solutions to protect from ransomware, malware, and other online threats. The decision to partner with an MSP can allow internal teams to focus on more strategic initiatives while providing access to easily deployable, competitively priced IT and security solutions. Cloudflare has been making it easier for our customers to work with MSPs to deploy and manage a complete Zero Trust transformation.

One decision criteria for selecting an appropriate MSP is the provider’s ability to keep the partner’s best technology, security and cost interests in mind. An MSP should be leveraging innovative and lower cost security solutions whenever possible to drive the best value to your organization. Out of date technology can quickly incur higher implementation and maintenance costs compared to more modern and purpose-built solutions given the broader attack surface brought about by hybrid work. In a developing space like Zero Trust, an effective MSP should be able to support vendors that can be deployed globally, managed at scale, and effectively enforce global corporate policy across business units. Cloudflare has worked with many MSPs, some of which we will highlight today, that implement and manage Zero Trust security policies cost-effectively at scale.

The MSPs we are highlighting have started to deploy Cloudflare Gateway DNS Filtering to complement their portfolio as part of a Zero Trust access control strategy. DNS filtering provides quick time-to-value for organizations seeking protection from ransomware, malware, phishing, and other Internet threats. DNS filtering is the process of using the Domain Name System to block malicious websites and prevent users from reaching harmful or inappropriate content on the Internet. This ensures that company data remains secure and allows companies to have control over what their employees can access on company-managed networks and devices.

Filtering policies are often set by the Organization with consultation from the service provider. In some cases, these policies also need to be managed independently at the account or business unit level by either the MSP or the customer. This means it is very common for a parent-child relationship to be required to balance the deployment of corporate level rules from customization across devices, office locations, or business units. This structure is vital for MSPs that are deploying access policies across millions of devices and accounts.

Cloudflare Zero Trust for managed service providers

Better together: Zero Trust ❤️ Tenant Platform

To make it easier for MSPs to manage millions of accounts with appropriate access controls and policy management, we integrated Cloudflare Gateway with our existing Tenant platform with a new feature that provides parent-child configurations. This allows MSP partners to create and manage accounts, set global corporate security policies, and allow appropriate management or overrides at the individual business unit or team level.

Cloudflare Zero Trust for managed service providers

The Tenant platform allows MSPs ability to create millions of end customer accounts at their discretion to support their specific onboarding and configurations. This also ensures proper separation of ownership between customers and allows end customers to access the Cloudflare dashboard directly, if required.

Each account created is a separate container of subscribed resources (zero trust policies, zones, workers, etc.) for each of the MSPs end customers. Customer administrators can be invited to each account as necessary for self-service management, while the MSP retains control of the capabilities enabled for each account.

With MSPs now able to set up and manage accounts at scale, we’ll explore how the integration with Cloudflare Gateway lets them manage scaled DNS filtering policies for these accounts.

Tiered Zero Trust accounts

With individual accounts for each MSP end customer in place, MSPs can either fully manage the deployment or provide a self-service portal backed by Cloudflare configuration APIs. Supporting a configuration portal also means you would never want your end users to block access to this domain, so the MSP can add a hidden policy to all of its end customer accounts when they onboard which would be a simple one time API call. Although issues start to arise anytime they need to push an update to said policy, this now means they have to update the policy once for each and every MSP end customer and for some MSPs that can mean over 1 million API calls.

To help turn this into a single API call, we introduced the concept of a top level account aka parent account. This parent account allows MSPs to set global policies which are applied to all DNS queries before the subsequent MSP end customer policies aka child account policies. This structure helps ensure MSPs can set their own global policies for all of their child accounts while each child account can further filter their DNS queries to meet their needs without impacting any other child account.

Cloudflare Zero Trust for managed service providers

This extends further than just policies as well, each child account can create their own custom block page, upload their own certificates to display these block pages, and set up their own DNS endpoints (IPv4, IPv6, DoH, and DoT) via Gateway locations. Also, because these are the exact same as non-MSP Gateway accounts, there aren’t any lower limits when it comes to the default limits on the number policies, locations, or lists per parent or child account.

Managed Service Provider integrations

To help bring this to life, below are real-world examples of how Cloudflare customers are using this new managed service provider feature to help protect their organizations.

US federal government

The US federal government requires many of the same services to support a protective DNS service for their 100+ civilian agencies, and they often outsource many of their IT and security operations to service providers like Accenture Federal Services (AFS).

In 2022, Cloudflare and AFS were selected by Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a joint solution to help the federal government defend itself against cyberattacks. The solution consists of Cloudflare’s protective DNS resolver which will filter DNS queries from offices and locations of the federal government and stream events directly to Accenture’s platform to provide unified administration and log storage.

Accenture Federal Services is providing a central interface to each department that allows them to adjust their DNS filtering policies. This interface works with Cloudflare’s Tenant platform and Gateway client APIs to provide a seamless customer experience for government employees managing their security policies using our new parent-child configurations. CISA, as the parent account, can set their own global policies, while allowing agencies, child accounts, to bypass select global policies, and set their own default block pages.

In conjunction with our parent-child structure we provided a few improvements to our DNS location matching and filtering defaults. Currently, all Gateway accounts can purchase a dedicated IPv4 resolver IP address(es) and these are great for situations where a customer doesn’t have a static source IP address or wants their own IPv4 address to host the solution.

For CISA, they wanted not only a dedicated IPv4 address but to assign that same address from their parent account to their child accounts. This would allow them to have their own default IPv4 addresses for all agencies easing the burden of onboarding. Next they also want the ability to fail closed, which means if a DNS query did not match any location (which must have a source IPv4 address/network configured) it would be dropped. This allows CISA to ensure only configured IPv4 networks had access to their protective services. Lasty, we didn’t have to address this with IPv6, DoH, and DoT DNS endpoints as those are custom with each and every DNS location created.


Malwarebytes, a global leader in real-time cyber protection, recently integrated with Cloudflare to provide a DNS filtering module within their Nebula platform. The Nebula platform is a cloud-hosted security operations solution that manages control of any malware or ransomware incident—from alert to fix. This new module allows Malwarebytes customers to filter on content categories and add policy rules for groups of devices. A key need was the ability to easily integrate with their current device client, provide individual account management, and provide room for future expansion across additional Zero Trust services like Cloudflare Browser Isolation.

Cloudflare was able to provide a comprehensive solution that was easily integrated into the Malwarebytes platform. This included using DNS-over-HTTP (DoH) to segment users across unique locations and adding a unique token per device to properly track the device ID and apply the correct DNS policies. And lastly, the integration was completed using the Cloudflare Tenant API which allowed seamless integration with their current workflow and platform. This combination of our Zero Trust services and Tenant platform let Malwarebytes quickly go to market for new segments within their business.

“It’s challenging for organizations today to manage access to malicious sites and keep their end users safe and productive. Malwarebytes’ DNS Filtering module extends our cloud-based security platform to web protection. After evaluating other Zero Trust providers it was clear to us that Cloudflare could offer the comprehensive solution IT and security teams need while providing lightning fast performance at the same time. Now, IT and security teams can block whole categories of sites, take advantage of an extensive database of pre-defined scores on known, suspicious web domains, protect core web-based applications and manage specific site restrictions, removing the headache from overseeing site access.” – Mark Strassman, Chief Product Officer, Malwarebytes

Large global ISP

We’ve been working with a large global ISP recently to support DNS filtering which is a part of a larger security solution offered for families for over one million accounts in just the first year! The ISP leverages our Tenant and Gateway APIs to seamlessly integrate into their current platform and user experience with minimal engineering effort. We look forward to sharing more detail around this implementation in the coming months.

What’s next

As the previous stories highlight, MSPs play a key role in securing today’s diverse ecosystem of organizations, of all sizes and maturities. Companies of all sizes find themselves squaring off against the same complex threat landscape and are challenged to maintain a proper security posture and manage risk with constrained resources and limited security tooling. MSPs provide the additional resources, expertise and advanced security tooling that can help reduce the risk profile for these companies. Cloudflare is committed to making it easier for MSPs to be effective in delivering Zero Trust solutions to their customers.

Given the importance of MSPs for our customers and the continued growth of our partner network, we plan to launch quite a few features in 2023 and beyond that better support our MSP partners. First, a key item on our roadmap is the development of a refreshed tenant management dashboard for improved account and user management. Second, we want to extend our multi-tenant configurations across our entire Zero Trust solution set to make it easier for MSPs to implement secure hybrid work solutions at scale.

Lastly, to better support hierarchical access, we plan to expand the user roles and access model currently available to MSP partners to allow their teams to more easily support and manage their various accounts. Cloudflare has always prided itself on its ease of use, and our goal is to make Cloudflare the Zero Trust platform of choice for service and security providers globally.

Throughout CIO week, we’ve touched on how our partners are helping modernize the security posture for their customers to align with a world transformed by hybrid work and hybrid multi-cloud infrastructures. Ultimately, the power of Cloudflare Zero Trust comes from its existence as a composable, unified platform that draws strength from its combination of products, features, and our partner network.

  • If you’d like to learn more about becoming an MSP partner, you can read more here: https://www.cloudflare.com/partners/services
  • If you’d like to learn more about improving your security with DNS Filtering and Zero Trust, or would like to get started today, test the platform yourself with 50 free seats by signing up here.

Bring your own certificates to Cloudflare Gateway

Post Syndicated from Ankur Aggarwal original https://blog.cloudflare.com/bring-your-certificates-cloudflare-gateway/

Bring your own certificates to Cloudflare Gateway

Bring your own certificates to Cloudflare Gateway

Today, we’re announcing support for customer provided certificates to give flexibility and ease of deployment options when using Cloudflare’s Zero Trust platform. Using custom certificates, IT and Security administrators can now “bring-their-own” certificates instead being required to use a Cloudflare-provided certificate to apply HTTP, DNS, CASB, DLP, RBI and other filtering policies.

The new custom certificate approach will exist alongside the method Cloudflare Zero Trust administrators are already used to: installing Cloudflare’s own certificate to enable traffic inspection and forward proxy controls. Both approaches have advantages, but providing them both enables organizations to find the path to security modernization that makes the most sense for them.

Custom user side certificates

When deploying new security services, organizations may prefer to use their own custom certificates for a few common reasons. Some value the privacy of controlling which certificates are deployed. Others have already deployed custom certificates to their device fleet because they may bind user attributes to these certificates or use them for internal-only domains.

So, it can be easier and faster to apply additional security controls around what administrators have deployed already–versus installing additional certificates.

To get started using your own certificate first upload your root certificates via API to Cloudflare.

curl -X POST "https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/accounts/<ACCOUNT_ID>/mtls_certificates"\
    -H "X-Auth-Email: <EMAIL>" \
    -H "X-Auth-Key: <API_KEY>" \
    -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
    --data '{

The root certificate will be stored across all of Cloudflare’s secure servers, designed to protect against unauthorized access. Once uploaded each certificate will receive an identifier in the form of a UUID (e.g. 2458ce5a-0c35-4c7f-82c7-8e9487d3ff60) . This UUID can then be used with your Zero Trust account ID to associate and enable it for your account.

curl -X PUT "https://api.cloudflare.com/client/v4/accounts/<ACCOUNT_ID>/gateway/configuration"\
    -H "X-Auth-Email: <EMAIL>" \
    -H "X-Auth-Key: <API_KEY>" \
    -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
    --data '{
            "antivirus": {...},
            "block_page": {...},
                "enabled": true,
                "id": "2458ce5a-0c35-4c7f-82c7-8e9487d3ff60"
            "tls_decrypt": {...},
            "activity_log": {...},
            "browser_isolation": {...},
            "fips": {...},

From there it takes approximately one minute and all new HTTPS connections for your organization’s users will be secured using your custom certificate. For even more details check out our developer documentation.

An additional benefit of this fast propagation time is zero maintenance downtimes. If you’re transitioning from the Cloudflare provided certificate or a custom certificate, all new HTTPS connections will use the new certificate without impacting any current connections.

Or, install Cloudflare’s own certificates

In addition to the above API-based method for custom certificates, Cloudflare also makes it easy for organizations to install Cloudflare’s own root certificate on devices to support HTTP filtering policies. Many organizations prefer offloading certificate management to Cloudflare to reduce administrative overhead. Plus, root certificate installation can be easily automated during managed deployments of Cloudflare’s device client, which is critical to forward proxy traffic.

Installing Cloudflare’s root certificate on devices takes only a few steps, and administrators can choose which file type they want to use–either a .pem or .crt file–depending on their use cases. Take a look at our developer documentation for further details on the process across operating systems and applications.

What’s next?

Whether an organization uses a custom certificate or the Cloudflare maintained certificate, the goal is the same. To apply traffic inspection to help protect against malicious activity and provide robust data protection controls to keep users safe. Cloudflare’s priority is equipping those organizations with the flexibility to achieve their risk reduction goal as swiftly as possible.

In the coming quarters we will be focused on delivering a new UI to upload and manage user side certificates as well as refreshing the HTTP policy builder to let admins determine what happens when accessing origins not signed with a public certificate.

If you want to know where SWG, RBI, DLP, and other threat and data protection services can fit into your overall security modernization initiatives, explore Cloudflare’s prescriptive roadmap to Zero Trust.
If you and your enterprise are ready to get started protecting your users, devices, and data with HTTP inspection, then reach out to Cloudflare to learn more.

HTTP/3 inspection on Cloudflare Gateway

Post Syndicated from Ankur Aggarwal original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-gateway-http3-inspection/

HTTP/3 inspection on Cloudflare Gateway

HTTP/3 inspection on Cloudflare Gateway

Today, we’re excited to announce upcoming support for HTTP/3 inspection through Cloudflare Gateway, our comprehensive secure web gateway. HTTP/3 currently powers 25% of the Internet and delivers a faster browsing experience, without compromising security. Until now, administrators seeking to filter and inspect HTTP/3-enabled websites or APIs needed to either compromise on performance by falling back to HTTP/2 or lose visibility by bypassing inspection. With HTTP/3 support in Cloudflare Gateway, you can have full visibility on all traffic and provide the fastest browsing experience for your users.

Why is the web moving to HTTP/3?

HTTP is one of the oldest technologies that powers the Internet. All the way back in 1996, security and performance were afterthoughts and encryption was left to the transport layer to manage. This model doesn’t scale to the performance needs of the modern Internet and has led to HTTP being upgraded to HTTP/2 and now HTTP/3.

HTTP/3 accelerates browsing activity by using QUIC, a modern transport protocol that is always encrypted by default. This delivers faster performance by reducing round-trips between the user and the web server and is more performant for users with unreliable connections. For further information about HTTP/3’s performance advantages take a look at our previous blog here.

HTTP/3 development and adoption

Cloudflare’s mission is to help build a better Internet. We see HTTP/3 as an important building block to make the Internet faster and more secure. We worked closely with the IETF to iterate on the HTTP/3 and QUIC standards documents. These efforts combined with progress made by popular browsers like Chrome and Firefox to enable QUIC by default have translated into HTTP/3 now being used by over 25% of all websites and for an even more thorough analysis.

We’ve advocated for HTTP/3 extensively over the past few years. We first introduced support for the underlying transport layer QUIC in September 2018 and then from there worked to introduce HTTP/3 support for our reverse proxy services the following year in September of 2019. Since then our efforts haven’t slowed down and today we support the latest revision of HTTP/3, using the final “h3” identifier matching RFC 9114.

HTTP/3 inspection hurdles

But while there are many advantages to HTTP/3, its introduction has created deployment complexity and security tradeoffs for administrators seeking to filter and inspect HTTP traffic on their networks. HTTP/3 offers familiar HTTP request and response semantics, but the use of QUIC changes how it looks and behaves “on the wire”. Since QUIC runs atop UDP, it  is architecturally distinct from legacy TCP-based protocols and has poor support from legacy secure web gateways. The combination of these two factors has made it challenging for administrators to keep up with the evolving technological landscape while maintaining the users’ performance expectations and ensuring visibility and control over Internet traffic.

Without proper secure web gateway support for HTTP/3, administrators have needed to choose whether to compromise on security and/or performance for their users. Security tradeoffs include not inspecting UDP traffic, or even worse forgoing critical security capabilities such as inline anti-virus scanning, data-loss prevention, browser isolation and/or traffic logging. Naturally, for any security conscious organization discarding security and visibility is not an acceptable approach and this has led administrators to proactively disable HTTP/3 on their end user devices. This introduces deployment complexity and sacrifices performance as it requires disabling QUIC-support within the users web browsers.

How to enable HTTP/3 Inspection

Once support for HTTP/3 inspection is available for select browsers later this year, you’ll be able to enable HTTP/3 inspection through the dashboard. Once logged into the Zero Trust dashboard you will need to toggle on proxying, click the box for UDP traffic, and enable TLS decryption under Settings > Network > Firewall. Once these settings have been enabled; AV-scanning, remote browser isolation, DLP, and HTTP filtering can be applied via HTTP policies to all of your organization’s proxied HTTP traffic.

HTTP/3 inspection on Cloudflare Gateway

What’s next

Administrators will no longer need to make security tradeoffs based on the evolving technological landscape and can focus on protecting their organization and teams. We’ll reach out to all Cloudflare One customers once HTTP/3 inspection is available and are excited to simplify secure web gateway deployments for administrators.

HTTP/3 traffic inspection will be available to all administrators of all plan types; if you have not signed up already click here to get started.

Cloudflare Gateway dedicated egress and egress policies

Post Syndicated from Ankur Aggarwal original https://blog.cloudflare.com/gateway-dedicated-egress-policies/

Cloudflare Gateway dedicated egress and egress policies

Cloudflare Gateway dedicated egress and egress policies

Today, we are highlighting how Cloudflare enables administrators to create security policies while using dedicated source IPs. With on-premise appliances like legacy VPNs, firewalls, and secure web gateways (SWGs), it has been convenient for organizations to rely on allowlist policies based on static source IPs. But these hardware appliances are hard to manage/scale, come with inherent vulnerabilities, and struggle to support globally distributed traffic from remote workers.

Throughout this week, we’ve written about how to transition away from these legacy tools towards Internet-native Zero Trust security offered by services like Cloudflare Gateway, our SWG. As a critical service natively integrated with the rest of our broader Zero Trust platform, Cloudflare Gateway also enables traffic filtering and routing for recursive DNS, Zero Trust network access, remote browser isolation, and inline CASB, among other functions.

Nevertheless, we recognize that administrators want to maintain the convenience of source IPs as organizations transition to cloud-based proxy services. In this blog, we describe our approach to offering dedicated IPs for egressing traffic and share some upcoming functionality to empower administrators with even greater control.

Cloudflare’s dedicated egress IPs

Source IPs are still a popular method of verifying that traffic originates from a known organization/user when accessing applications and third party destinations on the Internet. When organizations use Cloudflare as a secure web gateway, user traffic is proxied through our global network, where we apply filtering and routing policies at the closest data center to the user. This is especially powerful for globally distributed workforces or roaming users. Administrators do not have to make updates to static IP lists as users travel, and no single location becomes a bottleneck for user traffic.

Today the source IP for proxied traffic is one of two options:

  • Device client (WARP) Proxy IP – Cloudflare forward proxies traffic from the user using an IP from the default IP range shared across all Zero Trust accounts
  • Dedicated egress IP – Cloudflare provides customers with a dedicated IP (IPv4 and IPv6) or range of IPs geolocated to one or more Cloudflare network locations

The WARP Proxy IP range is the default egress method for all Cloudflare Zero Trust customers. It is a great way to preserve the privacy of your organization as user traffic is sent to the nearest Cloudflare network location which ensures the most performant Internet experience. But setting source IP security policies based on this default IP range does not provide the granularity that admins often require to filter their user traffic.

Dedicated egress IPs are useful in situations where administrators want to allowlist traffic based on a persistent identifier. As their name suggests, these dedicated egress IPs are exclusively available to the assigned customer—and not used by any other customers routing traffic through Cloudflare’s network.

Additionally, leasing these dedicated egress IPs from Cloudflare helps avoid any privacy concerns which arise when carving them out from an organization’s own IP ranges. And furthermore, alleviates the need to protect your any of the IP ranges that are assigned to your on-premise VPN appliance from DDoS attacks or otherwise.

Dedicated egress IPs are available as add-on to for any Cloudflare Zero Trust enterprise-contracted customer. Contract customers can select the specific Cloudflare data centers used for their dedicated egress, and all subscribing customers receive at least two IPs to start, so user traffic is always routed to the closest dedicated egress data center for performance and resiliency. Finally, organizations can egress their traffic through Cloudflare’s dedicated IPs via their preferred on-ramps. These include Cloudflare’s device client (WARP), proxy endpoints, GRE and IPsec on-ramps, or any of our 1600+ peering network locations, including major ISPs, cloud providers, and enterprises.

Customer use cases today

Cloudflare customers around the world are taking advantage of Gateway dedicated egress IPs to streamline application access. Below are three most common use cases we’ve seen deployed by customers of varying sizes and across industries:

  • Allowlisting access to apps from third parties: Users often need to access tools controlled by suppliers, partners, and other third party organizations. Many of those external organizations still rely on source IP to authenticate traffic. Dedicated egress IPs make it easy for those third parties to fit within these existing constraints.
  • Allowlisting access to SaaS apps: Source IPs are still commonly used as a defense-in-depth layer for how users access SaaS apps, alongside other more advanced measures like multi-factor authentication and identity provider checks.
  • Deprecating VPN usage: Often hosted VPNs will be allocated IPs within the customers advertised IP range. The security flaws, performance limitations, and administrative complexities of VPNs are well-documented in our recent Cloudflare blog. To ease customer migration, users will often choose to maintain any IP allowlist processes in place today.

Through this, administrators are able to maintain the convenience of building policies with fixed, known IPs, while accelerating performance for end users by routing through Cloudflare’s global network.

Cloudflare Zero Trust egress policies

Today, we are excited to announce an upcoming way to build more granular policies using Cloudflare’s dedicated egress IPs. With a forthcoming egress IP policy builder in the Cloudflare Zero Trust dashboard, administrators can specify which IP is used for egress traffic based on identity, application, network and geolocation attributes.

Administrators often want to route only certain traffic through dedicated egress IPs—whether for certain applications, certain Internet destinations, and certain user groups. Soon, administrators can set their preferred egress method based on a wide variety of selectors such as application, content category, domain, user group, destination IP, and more. This flexibility helps organizations take a layered approach to security, while also maintaining high performance (often via dedicated IPs) to the most critical destinations.

Furthermore, administrators will be able to use the egress IP policy builder to geolocate traffic to any country or region where Cloudflare has a presence. This geolocation capability is particularly useful for globally distributed teams which require geo-specific experiences.

For example, a large media conglomerate has marketing teams that would verify the layouts of digital advertisements running across multiple regions. Prior to partnering with Cloudflare, these teams had clunky, manual processes to verify their ads were displaying as expected in local markets: either they had to ask colleagues in those local markets to check, or they had to spin up a VPN service to proxy traffic to the region. With an egress policy these teams would simply be able to match a custom test domain for each region and egress using their dedicated IP deployed there.

What’s Next

You can take advantage of Cloudflare’s dedicated egress IPs by adding them onto a Cloudflare Zero Trust Enterprise plan or contacting your account team. If you would like to be contacted when we release the Gateway egress policy builder, join the waitlist here.

Area 1 threat indicators now available in Cloudflare Zero Trust

Post Syndicated from Jesse Kipp original https://blog.cloudflare.com/phishing-threat-indicators-in-zero-trust/

Area 1 threat indicators now available in Cloudflare Zero Trust

Area 1 threat indicators now available in Cloudflare Zero Trust

Over the last several years, both Area 1 and Cloudflare built pipelines for ingesting threat indicator data, for use within our products. During the acquisition process we compared notes, and we discovered that the overlap of indicators between our two respective systems was smaller than we expected. This presented us with an opportunity: as one of our first tasks in bringing the two companies together, we have started bringing Area 1’s threat indicator data into the Cloudflare suite of products. This means that all the products today that use indicator data from Cloudflare’s own pipeline now get the benefit of Area 1’s data, too.

Area 1 threat indicators now available in Cloudflare Zero Trust

Area 1 built a data pipeline focused on identifying new and active phishing threats, which now supplements the Phishing category available today in Gateway. If you have a policy that references this category, you’re already benefiting from this additional threat coverage.

How Cloudflare identifies potential phishing threats

Cloudflare is able to combine the data, procedures and techniques developed independently by both the Cloudflare team and the Area 1 team prior to acquisition. Customers are able to benefit from the work of both teams across the suite of Cloudflare products.

Cloudflare curates a set of data feeds both from our own network traffic, OSINT sources, and numerous partnerships, and applies custom false positive control. Customers who rely on Cloudflare are spared the software development effort as well as the operational workload to distribute and update these feeds. Cloudflare handles this automatically, with updates happening as often as every minute.

Cloudflare is able to go beyond this and work to proactively identify phishing infrastructure in multiple ways. With the Area 1 acquisition, Cloudflare is now able to apply the adversary-focused threat research approach of Area1 across our network. A team of threat researchers track state-sponsored and financially motivated threat actors, newly disclosed CVEs, and current phishing trends.

Cloudflare now operates mail exchange servers for hundreds of organizations around the world, in addition to its DNS resolvers, Zero Trust suite, and network services. Each of these products generates data that is used to enhance the security of all of Cloudflare’s products. For example, as part of mail delivery, the mail engine performs domain lookups, scores potential phishing indicators via machine learning, and fetches URLs. Data which can now be used through Cloudflare’s offerings.

How Cloudflare Area 1 identifies potential phishing threats

The Cloudflare Area 1 team operates a suite of web crawling tools designed to identify phishing pages, capture phishing kits, and highlight attacker infrastructure. In addition, Cloudflare Area 1 threat models assess campaigns based on signals gathered from threat actor campaigns; and the associated IOCs of these campaign messages are further used to enrich Cloudflare Area 1 threat data for future campaign discovery. Together these techniques give Cloudflare Area 1 a leg up on identifying the indicators of compromise for an attacker prior to their attacks against our customers. As part of this proactive approach, Cloudflare Area 1 also houses a team of threat researchers that track state-sponsored and financially motivated threat actors, newly disclosed CVEs, and current phishing trends. Through this research, analysts regularly insert phishing indicators into an extensive indicator management system that may be used for our email product or any other product that may query it.

Cloudflare Area 1 also collects information about phishing threats during our normal operation as the mail exchange server for hundreds of organizations across the world. As part of that role, the mail engine performs domain lookups, scores potential phishing indicators via machine learning, and fetches URLs. For those emails found to be malicious, the indicators associated with the email are inserted into our indicator management system as part of a feedback loop for subsequent message evaluation.

How Cloudflare data will be used to improve phishing detection

In order to support Cloudflare products, including Gateway and Page Shield, Cloudflare has a data pipeline that ingests data from partnerships, OSINT sources, as well as threat intelligence generated in-house at Cloudflare. We are always working to curate a threat intelligence data set that is relevant to our customers and actionable in the products Cloudflare supports. This is our North star: what data can we provide that enhances our customer’s security without requiring our customers to manage the complexity of data, relationships, and configuration. We offer a variety of security threat categories, but some major focus areas include:

  • Malware distribution
  • Malware and Botnet Command & Control
  • Phishing,
  • New and newly seen domains

Phishing is a threat regardless of how the potential phishing link gets entry into an organization, whether via email, SMS, calendar invite or shared document, or other means. As such, detecting and blocking phishing domains has been an area of active development for Cloudflare’s threat data team since almost its inception.

Looking forward, we will be able to incorporate that work into Cloudflare Area 1’s phishing email detection process. Cloudflare’s list of phishing domains can help identify malicious email when those domains appear in the sender, delivery headers, message body or links of an email.

1+1 = 3: Greater dataset sharing between Cloudflare and Area 1

Threat actors have long had an unfair advantage — and that advantage is rooted in the knowledge of their target, and the time they have to set up specific campaigns against their targets. That dimension of time allows threat actors to set up the right infrastructure, perform reconnaissance, stage campaigns, perform test probes, observe their results, iterate, improve and then launch their ‘production’ campaigns. This precise element of time gives us the opportunity to discover, assess and proactively filter out campaign infrastructure prior to campaigns reaching critical mass. But to do that effectively, we need visibility and knowledge of threat activity across the public IP space.

With Cloudflare’s extensive network and global insight into the origins of DNS, email or web traffic, combined with Cloudflare Area 1’s datasets of campaign tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), seed infrastructure and threat models — we are now better positioned than ever to help organizations secure themselves against sophisticated threat actor activity, and regain the advantage that for so long has been heavily weighted towards the bad guys.

If you’d like to extend Zero Trust to your email security to block advanced threats, contact your Customer Success manager, or request a Phishing Risk Assessment here.

Secure how your servers connect to the Internet today

Post Syndicated from Sam Rhea original https://blog.cloudflare.com/secure-how-your-servers-connect-to-the-internet-today/

Secure how your servers connect to the Internet todaySecure how your servers connect to the Internet today

The vulnerability disclosed yesterday in the Java-based logging package, log4j, allows attackers to execute code on a remote server. We’ve updated Cloudflare’s WAF to defend your infrastructure against this 0-day attack. The attack also relies on exploiting servers that are allowed unfettered connectivity to the public Internet. To help solve that challenge, your team can deploy Cloudflare One today to filter and log how your infrastructure connects to any destination.

Securing traffic inbound and outbound

You can read about the vulnerability in more detail in our analysis published earlier today, but the attack starts when an attacker adds a specific string to input that the server logs. Today’s updates to Cloudflare’s WAF block that malicious string from being sent to your servers. We still strongly recommend that you patch your instances of log4j immediately to prevent lateral movement.

If the string has already been logged, the vulnerability compromises servers by tricking them into sending a request to a malicious LDAP server. The destination of the malicious server could be any arbitrary URL. Attackers who control that URL can then respond to the request with arbitrary code that the server can execute.

At the time of this blog, it does not appear any consistent patterns of malicious hostnames exist like those analyzed in the SUNBURST attack. However, any server or network with unrestricted connectivity to the public Internet is a risk for this specific vulnerability and others that rely on exploiting that open window.

First, filter and log DNS queries with two-clicks

From what we’re observing in early reports, the vulnerability mostly relies on connectivity to IP addresses. Cloudflare’s network firewall, the second step in this blog, focuses on that level of security. However, your team can adopt a defense-in-depth strategy by deploying Cloudflare’s protective DNS resolver today to apply DNS filtering to add security and visibility in minutes to any servers that need to communicate out to the Internet.

If you configure Cloudflare Gateway as the DNS resolver for those servers, any DNS query they make to find the IP address of a given host, malicious or not, will be sent to a nearby Cloudflare data center first. Cloudflare runs the world’s fastest DNS resolver so that you don’t have to compromise performance for this level of added safety and logging. When that query arrives, Cloudflare’s network can then:

  • filter your DNS queries to block the resolution of queries made to known malicious destinations, and
  • log every query if you need to investigate and audit after potential events.
Secure how your servers connect to the Internet today

Alternatively, if you know every host that your servers need to connect to, you can create a positive security model with Cloudflare Gateway. In this model, your resource can only send DNS queries to the domains that you provide. Queries to any other destinations, including new and arbitrary ones like those that could be part of this attack, will be blocked by default.

> Ready to get started today? You can begin filtering and logging all of the DNS queries made by your servers or your entire network with these instructions here.

Second, secure network traffic leaving your infrastructure

Protective DNS filtering can add security and visibility in minutes, but bad actors can target all of the other ways that your servers communicate out to the rest of the Internet. Historically, organizations deployed network firewalls in their data centers to filter the traffic entering and exiting their network. Their teams ran capacity planning exercises, purchased the appliances, and deployed hardware. Some of these appliances eventually moved to the cloud, but the pain of deployment stayed mostly the same.

Cloudflare One’s network firewall helps your team secure all of your network’s traffic through a single, cloud-native, solution that does not require that you need to manage any hardware or any virtual appliances. Deploying this level of security only requires that you decide how you want to send traffic to Cloudflare. You can connect your network through multiple on-ramp options, including network layer (GRE or IPsec tunnels), direct connections, and a device client.

Secure how your servers connect to the Internet today

Once connected, traffic leaving your network will first route through a Cloudflare data center. Cloudflare’s network will apply filters at layers 3 through 5 of the OSI model. Your administrators can then create policies based on IP, port, protocol in both stateless and stateful options. If you want to save even more time, Cloudflare uses the data we have about threats on the Internet to create managed lists for you that you can block with a single click.

Similar to DNS queries, if you know that your servers and services in your network only need to reach specific IPs or ports, you can build a positive security model with allow-list rules that restrict connections and traffic to just the destinations you specify. In either model, Cloudflare’s network will handle logging for you. Your team can export these logs to your SIEM for audit retention or additional analysis if you need to investigate a potential attack.

> Ready to get started securing your network? Follow the guide here and tell us you’d like to get started and we’ll be ready to help your team.

Third, inspect and filter HTTP traffic

Some attacks will rely on convincing your servers and endpoints to send HTTP requests to specific destinations, leaking data or grabbing malware to download in your infrastructure. To help solve that challenge, you can layer HTTP inspection, virus scanning, and logging in Cloudflare’s network.

If you completed Step Two above, you can use the same on-ramp that you configured to upgrade UPD and TCP traffic where Cloudflare’s Secure Web Gateway can apply HTTP filtering and logging to the requests leaving your network. If you need more granular control, you can deploy Cloudflare’s client software to build rules that only apply to specific endpoints in your infrastructure.

Like every other layer in this security model, you can also only allow your servers to connect to an approved list of destinations. Cloudflare’s Secure Web Gateway will allow and log those requests and block attempts to reach any other destinations.

Secure how your servers connect to the Internet today

> Ready to begin inspecting and filtering HTTP traffic? Follow the instructions here to get started today.

What’s next?

Deploying filtering and logging today will help protect against the next attack or attempts to continue to exploit today’s vulnerability, but we’re encouraging everyone to start by patching your deployments of log4j immediately.

As we write this, we’re updating existing managed rulesets to include reports of destinations used to attempt to exploit today’s vulnerability. We’ll continue to update those policies as we learn more information.

Shadow IT: make it easy for users to follow the rules

Post Syndicated from Kenny Johnson original https://blog.cloudflare.com/shadow-it/

Shadow IT: make it easy for users to follow the rules

Shadow IT: make it easy for users to follow the rules

SaaS application usage has exploded over the last decade. According to Gartner, global spending on SaaS in 2021 was $145bn and is forecasted to reach $171bn in 2022. A key benefit of SaaS applications is that they are easy to get started with and either free or low cost. This is great for both users and leaders — it’s easy to try out new tools with no commitment or procurement process. But this convenience also presents a challenge to CIOs and security teams. Many SaaS applications are great for a specific task, but lack required security controls or visibility. It can be easy for employees to start using SaaS applications for their everyday job without IT teams noticing — these “unapproved” applications are popularly referred to as Shadow IT.

CIOs often have no visibility over what applications their SaaS employees are using. Even when they do, they may not have an easy way to block users from using unapproved applications, or on the contrary, to provide easy access to approved ones.

Visibility into application usage

In an office, it was easier for CIOs and their teams to monitor application usage in their organization. Mechanisms existed to inspect outbound DNS and HTTP traffic over office Wi-Fi equipment and detect unapproved applications. In an office setting, IT teams could also notice colleagues using new SaaS applications or maybe hear them mention these new applications. When users moved to remote work due to COVID-19 and other factors, this was no longer possible, and network-driven logging became ineffective. With no central network, the focus of application monitoring needed to shift to user’s devices.

We’re excited to announce updates to Cloudflare for Teams that address Shadow IT challenges. Our Zero Trust platform provides a framework to identify new applications, block applications and provide a single location for approved applications. Cloudflare Gateway allows admins to monitor user traffic and detect new application usage. Our Shadow IT report then presents a list of new applications and allows for approval or rejection of each application.

Shadow IT: make it easy for users to follow the rules
Shadow IT: make it easy for users to follow the rules

This gives CIOs in-depth understanding of what applications are being used across their business, and enables them to come up with a plan to allow and block applications based on their approval status in the organization.

Blocking the right applications

Once the list of “shadow” applications is known, the next step is to block these applications with a meaningful error message to steer the user toward an approved application. The point should not be to make the user feel like they have done something wrong, but to encourage and provide them with the right application to leverage.

Shadow IT: make it easy for users to follow the rules

Cloudflare Gateway allows teams to configure policies to block unapproved applications and provide clear instructions to a user about what their alternatives are to that application. In Gateway, administrators can configure application-specific policies like “block all file sharing applications except Google Drive.” Tenant control can be utilized to restrict access to specific instances of a given application to prevent personal account usage of these tools.

Protect your approved applications

The next step is to protect the application you do want your users to use. In order to fully protect your SaaS applications, it is important to secure the initial authorization and maintain a clear audit trail of user activity. Cloudflare Access for SaaS allows administrators to protect the front door of their SaaS applications and verify user identity, multi-factor authentication, device posture and location before allowing access. Gateway then provides a clear audit trail of all user activity within the application to provide a clear picture in the case of a breach or other security events.

This allows CIOs and their teams to define which users may or may not access specific applications. Instead of creating broad access lists, they can define exactly which users need a specific tool to complete their job. This is beneficial for both security and licensing costs.

Show your users the applications they need

The final challenge is making it clear to users which applications they do and do not have access to. New employees often spend their first few weeks discovering new applications that would have helped them get up to speed more quickly.

We wanted to make it easy to provide a single place for users to access all of their approved applications. We added bookmarks and application visibility control to the Access application launcher to make this even easier.

Shadow IT: make it easy for users to follow the rules

Once all your applications are available through the application launcher, we log all user activity across these applications. And even better, many of these applications are hosted on Cloudflare which leads to performance improvements overall.

Getting started with the Access application launcher is easy and free for the first 50 users! Get started today from the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard.

Replace your hardware firewalls with Cloudflare One

Post Syndicated from Ankur Aggarwal original https://blog.cloudflare.com/replace-your-hardware-firewalls-with-cloudflare-one/

Replace your hardware firewalls with Cloudflare One

Replace your hardware firewalls with Cloudflare One

Today, we’re excited to announce new capabilities to help customers make the switch from hardware firewall appliances to a true cloud-native firewall built for next-generation networks. Cloudflare One provides a secure, performant, and Zero Trust-enabled platform for administrators to apply consistent security policies across all of their users and resources. Best of all, it’s built on top of our global network, so you never need to worry about scaling, deploying, or maintaining your edge security hardware.

As part of this announcement, Cloudflare launched the Oahu program today to help customers leave legacy hardware behind; in this post we’ll break down the new capabilities that solve the problems of previous firewall generations and save IT teams time and money.

How did we get here?

In order to understand where we are today, it’ll be helpful to start with a brief history of IP firewalls.

Stateless packet filtering for private networks

The first generation of network firewalls were designed mostly to meet the security requirements of private networks, which started with the castle and moat architecture we defined as Generation 1 in our post yesterday. Firewall administrators could build policies around signals available at layers 3 and 4 of the OSI model (primarily IPs and ports), which was perfect for (e.g.) enabling a group of employees on one floor of an office building to access servers on another via a LAN.

This packet filtering capability was sufficient until networks got more complicated, including by connecting to the Internet. IT teams began needing to protect their corporate network from bad actors on the outside, which required more sophisticated policies.

Better protection with stateful & deep packet inspection

Firewall hardware evolved to include stateful packet inspection and the beginnings of deep packet inspection, extending basic firewall concepts by tracking the state of connections passing through them. This enabled administrators to (e.g.) block all incoming packets not tied to an already present outgoing connection.

These new capabilities provided more sophisticated protection from attackers. But the advancement came at a cost: supporting this higher level of security required more compute and memory resources. These requirements meant that security and network teams had to get better at planning the capacity they’d need for each new appliance and make tradeoffs between cost and redundancy for their network.

In addition to cost tradeoffs, these new firewalls only provided some insight into how the network was used. You could tell users were accessing on port 80, but to do a further investigation about what these users were accessing would require you to do a reverse lookup of the IP address. That alone would only land you at the front page of the provider, with no insight into what was accessed, reputation of the domain/host, or any other information to help answer “Is this a security event I need to investigate further?”. Determining the source would be difficult here as well, it would require correlating a private IP address handed out via DHCP with a device and then subsequently a user (if you remembered to set long lease times and never shared devices).

Application awareness with next generation firewalls

To accommodate these challenges, the industry introduced the Next Generation Firewall (NGFW). These were the long reigning, and in some cases are still the industry standard, corporate edge security device. They adopted all the capabilities of previous generations while adding in application awareness to help administrators gain more control over what passed through their security perimeter. NGFWs introduced the concept of vendor-provided or externally-provided application intelligence, the ability to identify individual applications from traffic characteristics. Intelligence which could then be fed into policies defining what users could and couldn’t do with a given application.

As more applications moved to the cloud, NGFW vendors started to provide virtualized versions of their appliances. These allowed administrators to no longer worry about lead times for the next hardware version and allowed greater flexibility when deploying to multiple locations.

Over the years, as the threat landscape continued to evolve and networks became more complex, NGFWs started to build in additional security capabilities, some of which helped consolidate multiple appliances. Depending on the vendor, these included VPN Gateways, IDS/IPS, Web Application Firewalls, and even things like Bot Management and DDoS protection. But even with these features, NGFWs had their drawbacks — administrators still needed to spend time designing and configuring redundant (at least primary/secondary) appliances, as well as choosing which locations had firewalls and incurring performance penalties from backhauling traffic there from other locations. And even still, careful IP address management was required when creating policies to apply pseudo identity.

Adding user-level controls to move toward Zero Trust

As firewall vendors added more sophisticated controls, in parallel, a paradigm shift for network architecture was introduced to address the security concerns introduced as applications and users left the organization’s “castle” for the Internet. Zero Trust security means that no one is trusted by default from inside or outside the network, and verification is required from everyone trying to gain access to resources on the network. Firewalls started incorporating Zero Trust principles by integrating with identity providers (IdPs) and allowing users to build policies around user groups — “only Finance and HR can access payroll systems” — enabling finer-grained control and reducing the need to rely on IP addresses to approximate identity.

These policies have helped organizations lock down their networks and get closer to Zero Trust, but CIOs are still left with problems: what happens when they need to integrate another organization’s identity provider? How do they safely grant access to corporate resources for contractors? And these new controls don’t address the fundamental problems with managing hardware, which still exist and are getting more complex as companies go through business changes like adding and removing locations or embracing hybrid forms of work. CIOs need a solution that works for the future of corporate networks, instead of trying to duct tape together solutions that address only some aspects of what they need.

The cloud-native firewall for next-generation networks

Cloudflare is helping customers build the future of their corporate networks by unifying network connectivity and Zero Trust security. Customers who adopt the Cloudflare One platform can deprecate their hardware firewalls in favor of a cloud-native approach, making IT teams’ lives easier by solving the problems of previous generations.

Connect any source or destination with flexible on-ramps

Rather than managing different devices for different use cases, all traffic across your network — from data centers, offices, cloud properties, and user devices — should be able to flow through a single global firewall. Cloudflare One enables you to connect to the Cloudflare network with a variety of flexible on-ramp methods including network-layer (GRE or IPsec tunnels) or application-layer tunnels, direct connections, BYOIP, and a device client. Connectivity to Cloudflare means access to our entire global network, which eliminates many of the challenges with physical or virtualized hardware:

  • No more capacity planning: The capacity of your firewall is the capacity of Cloudflare’s global network (currently >100Tbps and growing).
  • No more location planning: Cloudflare’s Anycast network architecture enables traffic to connect automatically to the closest location to its source. No more picking regions or worrying about where your primary/backup appliances are — redundancy and failover are built in by default.
  • No maintenance downtimes: Improvements to Cloudflare’s firewall capabilities, like all of our products, are deployed continuously across our global edge.
  • DDoS protection built in: No need to worry about DoS attacks overwhelming your firewalls; Cloudflare’s network automatically blocks attacks close to their source and sends only the clean traffic on to its destination.

Configure comprehensive policies, from packet filtering to Zero Trust

Cloudflare One policies can be used to secure and route your organizations traffic across all the various traffic ramps. These policies can be crafted using all the same attributes available through a traditional NGFW while expanding to include Zero Trust attributes as well. These Zero Trust attributes can include one or more IdPs or endpoint security providers.

When looking strictly at layers 3 through 5 of the OSI model, policies can be based on IP, port, protocol, and other attributes in both a stateless and stateful manner. These attributes can also be used to build your private network on Cloudflare when used in conjunction with any of the identity attributes and the Cloudflare device client.

Additionally, to help relieve the burden of managing IP allow/block lists, Cloudflare provides a set of managed lists that can be applied to both stateless and stateful policies. And on the more sophisticated end, you can also perform deep packet inspection and write programmable packet filters to enforce a positive security model and thwart the largest of attacks.

Cloudflare’s intelligence helps power our application and content categories for our Layer 7 policies, which can be used to protect your users from security threats, prevent data exfiltration, and audit usage of company resources. This starts with our protected DNS resolver, which is built on top of our performance leading consumer service. Protected DNS allows administrators to protect their users from navigating or resolving any known or potential security risks. Once a domain is resolved, administrators can apply HTTP policies to intercept, inspect, and filter a user’s traffic. And if those web applications are self-hosted or SaaS enabled you can even protect them using a Cloudflare access policy, which acts as a web based identity proxy.

Last but not least, to help prevent data exfiltration, administrators can lock down access to external HTTP applications by utilizing remote browser isolation. And coming soon, administrators will be able to log and filter which commands a user can execute over an SSH session.

Simplify policy management: one click to propagate rules everywhere

Traditional firewalls required deploying policies on each device or configuring and maintaining an orchestration tool to help with this process. In contrast, Cloudflare allows you to manage policies across our entire network from a simple dashboard or API, or use Terraform to deploy infrastructure as code. Changes propagate across the edge in seconds thanks to our Quicksilver technology. Users can get visibility into traffic flowing through the firewall with logs, which are now configurable.

Consolidating multiple firewall use cases in one platform

Firewalls need to cover a myriad of traffic flows to satisfy different security needs, including blocking bad inbound traffic, filtering outbound connections to ensure employees and applications are only accessing safe resources, and inspecting internal (“East/West”) traffic flows to enforce Zero Trust. Different hardware often covers one or multiple use cases at different locations; we think it makes sense to consolidate these as much as possible to improve ease of use and establish a single source of truth for firewall policies. Let’s walk through some use cases that were traditionally satisfied with hardware firewalls and explain how IT teams can satisfy them with Cloudflare One.

Protecting a branch office

Traditionally, IT teams needed to provision at least one hardware firewall per office location (multiple for redundancy). This involved forecasting the amount of traffic at a given branch and ordering, installing, and maintaining the appliance(s). Now, customers can connect branch office traffic to Cloudflare from whatever hardware they already have — any standard router that supports GRE or IPsec will work — and control filtering policies across all of that traffic from Cloudflare’s dashboard.

Step 1: Establish a GRE or IPsec tunnel
The majority of mainstream hardware providers support GRE and/or IPsec as tunneling methods. Cloudflare will provide an Anycast IP address to use as the tunnel endpoint on our side, and you configure a standard GRE or IPsec tunnel with no additional steps — the Anycast IP provides automatic connectivity to every Cloudflare data center.

Step 2: Configure network-layer firewall rules
All IP traffic can be filtered through Magic Firewall, which includes the ability to construct policies based on any packet characteristic — e.g., source or destination IP, port, protocol, country, or bit field match. Magic Firewall also integrates with IP Lists and includes advanced capabilities like programmable packet filtering.

Step 3: Upgrade traffic for application-level firewall rules
After it flows through Magic Firewall, TCP and UDP traffic can be “upgraded” for fine-grained filtering through Cloudflare Gateway. This upgrade unlocks a full suite of filtering capabilities including application and content awareness, identity enforcement, SSH/HTTP proxying, and DLP.

Replace your hardware firewalls with Cloudflare One

Protecting a high-traffic data center or VPC

Firewalls used for processing data at a high-traffic headquarters or data center location can be some of the largest capital expenditures in an IT team’s budget. Traditionally, data centers have been protected by beefy appliances that can handle high volumes gracefully, which comes at an increased cost. With Cloudflare’s architecture, because every server across our network can share the responsibility of processing customer traffic, no one device creates a bottleneck or requires expensive specialized components. Customers can on-ramp traffic to Cloudflare with BYOIP, a standard tunnel mechanism, or Cloudflare Network Interconnect, and process up to terabits per second of traffic through firewall rules smoothly.

Replace your hardware firewalls with Cloudflare One

Protecting a roaming or hybrid workforce

In order to connect to corporate resources or get secure access to the Internet, users in traditional network architectures establish a VPN connection from their devices to a central location where firewalls are located. There, their traffic is processed before it’s allowed to its final destination. This architecture introduces performance penalties and while modern firewalls can enable user-level controls, they don’t necessarily achieve Zero Trust. Cloudflare enables customers to use a device client as an on-ramp to Zero Trust policies; watch out for more updates later this week on how to smoothly deploy the client at scale.

Replace your hardware firewalls with Cloudflare One

What’s next

We can’t wait to keep evolving this platform to serve new use cases. We’ve heard from customers who are interested in expanding NAT Gateway functionality through Cloudflare One, who want richer analytics, reporting, and user experience monitoring across all our firewall capabilities, and who are excited to adopt a full suite of DLP features across all of their traffic flowing through Cloudflare’s network. Updates on these areas and more are coming soon (stay tuned).

Cloudflare’s new firewall capabilities are available for enterprise customers today. Learn more here and check out the Oahu Program to learn how you can migrate from hardware firewalls to Zero Trust — or talk to your account team to get started today.

PII and Selective Logging controls for Cloudflare’s Zero Trust platform

Post Syndicated from Ankur Aggarwal original https://blog.cloudflare.com/pii-and-selective-logging-controls-for-cloudflares-zero-trust-platform/

PII and Selective Logging controls for Cloudflare’s Zero Trust platform

PII and Selective Logging controls for Cloudflare’s Zero Trust platform

At Cloudflare, we believe that you shouldn’t have to compromise privacy for security. Last year, we launched Cloudflare Gateway — a comprehensive, Secure Web Gateway with built-in Zero Trust browsing controls for your organization. Today, we’re excited to share the latest set of privacy features available to administrators to log and audit events based on your team’s needs.

Protecting your organization

Cloudflare Gateway helps organizations replace legacy firewalls while also implementing Zero Trust controls for their users. Gateway meets you wherever your users are and allows them to connect to the Internet or even your private network running on Cloudflare. This extends your security perimeter without having to purchase or maintain any additional boxes.

Organizations also benefit from improvements to user performance beyond just removing the backhaul of traffic to an office or data center. Cloudflare’s network delivers security filters closer to the user in over 250 cities around the world. Customers start their connection by using the world’s fastest DNS resolver. Once connected, Cloudflare intelligently routes their traffic through our network with layer 4 network and layer 7 HTTP filters.

To get started, administrators deploy Cloudflare’s client (WARP) on user devices, whether those devices are macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, ChromeOS or Linux. The client then sends all outbound layer 4 traffic to Cloudflare, along with the identity of the user on the device.

With proxy and TLS decryption turned on, Cloudflare will log all traffic sent through Gateway and surface this in Cloudflare’s dashboard in the form of raw logs and aggregate analytics. However, in some instances, administrators may not want to retain logs or allow access to all members of their security team.

The reasons may vary, but the end result is the same: administrators need the ability to control how their users’ data is collected and who can audit those records.

Legacy solutions typically give administrators an all-or-nothing blunt hammer. Organizations could either enable or disable all logging. Without any logging, those services did not capture any personally identifiable information (PII). By avoiding PII, administrators did not have to worry about control or access permissions, but they lost all visibility to investigate security events.

That lack of visibility adds even more complications when teams need to address tickets from their users to answer questions like “why was I blocked?”, “why did that request fail?”, or “shouldn’t that have been blocked?”. Without logs related to any of these events, your team can’t help end users diagnose these types of issues.

Protecting your data

Starting today, your team has more options to decide the type of information Cloudflare Gateway logs and who in your organization can review it. We are releasing role-based dashboard access for the logging and analytics pages, as well as selective logging of events. With role-based access, those with access to your account will have PII information redacted from their dashboard view by default.

We’re excited to help organizations build least-privilege controls into how they manage the deployment of Cloudflare Gateway. Security team members can continue to manage policies or investigate aggregate attacks. However, some events call for further investigation. With today’s release, your team can delegate the ability to review and search using PII to specific team members.

We still know that some customers want to reduce the logs stored altogether, and we’re excited to help solve that too. Now, administrators can now select what level of logging they want Cloudflare to store on their behalf. They can control this for each component, DNS, Network, or HTTP and can even choose to only log block events.

That setting does not mean you lose all logs — just that Cloudflare never stores them. Selective logging combined with our previously released Logpush service allows users to stop storage of logs on Cloudflare and turn on a Logpush job to their destination of choice in their location of choice as well.

How to Get Started

To get started, any Cloudflare Gateway customer can visit the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard and navigate to Settings > Network. The first option on this page will be to specify your preference for activity logging. By default, Gateway will log all events, including DNS queries, HTTP requests and Network sessions. In the network settings page, you can then refine what type of events you wish to be logged. For each component of Gateway you will find three options:

  1. Capture all
  2. Capture only blocked
  3. Don’t capture
PII and Selective Logging controls for Cloudflare’s Zero Trust platform

Additionally, you’ll find an option to redact all PII from logs by default. This will redact any information that can be used to potentially identify a user including User Name, User Email, User ID, Device ID, source IP, URL, referrer and user agent.

We’ve also included new roles within the Cloudflare dashboard, which provide better granularity when partitioning Administrator access to Access or Gateway components. These new roles will go live in January 2022 and can be modified on enterprise accounts by visiting Account Home → Members.

If you’re not yet ready to create an account, but would like to explore our Zero Trust services, check out our interactive demo where you can take a self-guided tour of the platform with narrated walkthroughs of key use cases, including setting up DNS and HTTP filtering with Cloudflare Gateway.

What’s Next

Moving forward, we’re excited to continue adding more and more privacy features that will give you and your team more granular control over your environment. The features announced today are available to users on any plan; your team can follow this link to get started today.

Announcing Tenant Control in Cloudflare Gateway

Post Syndicated from Alyssa Wang original https://blog.cloudflare.com/gateway-tenant-control/

Announcing Tenant Control in Cloudflare Gateway

Announcing Tenant Control in Cloudflare Gateway

The tools we use at work are starting to look like the apps we use in our personal lives. We send emails for our jobs using Google Workspace and respond to personal notes in Gmail. We download PDFs from our team’s Dropbox and then upload images to our personal account. This can lead to confusion and mistakes—made worse by remote work when we forget to log off for the day.

Today, we’re excited to announce Tenant Control in Cloudflare Gateway, a new feature that helps keep our work at work. Organizations can deploy Cloudflare Gateway to their corporate devices and apply rules ensuring that employees can only log in to the corporate version of the tools they need. Now, teams can prevent users from logging in to the wrong instance of popular applications. What’s more, they can make sure corporate data stays within corporate accounts.

Controlling the application, alone, isn’t sufficient

Cloudflare Gateway provides security from threats on the Internet by sending all traffic leaving a device to Cloudflare’s network where it can be filtered. Organizations send traffic to Cloudflare by deploying the WARP agent, a WireGuard-based client built on feedback from our popular consumer app.

Announcing Tenant Control in Cloudflare Gateway

Cloudflare Gateway can be deployed in several modes, but most customers start with DNS filtering which only sends DNS queries to Cloudflare. Cloudflare runs the world’s fastest DNS resolver,, and on top of that we’ve built a DNS filtering solution where we help prevent users from visiting sites that contain malware or serve phishing attacks.

When organizations are ready to add more security to their deployment, they go beyond DNS filtering by adding HTTP filtering as well. Cloudflare inspects the HTTP traffic leaving the device which provides more granular control than just DNS filtering over destinations and events that happen inside the traffic, like blocking file uploads to certain destinations.

Customers use the HTTP filtering to filter and control SaaS application usage. For example, if your team uses OneDrive, you can block all file uploads to Google Drive to avoid data leaving the tenants you control. Cloudflare provides the classification of what hostnames and URLs constitute an application and make it possible to build rules with just two clicks. However, what happens when you aren’t using two different applications — you’re using two different instances of the same one?

Applying control to the SaaS tenant

Today, you can enable tenant control using Gateway HTTP policies in Cloudflare Gateway. Administrators can begin by adding a new type of rule in Gateway that prompts them to input a specific value provided by the SaaS application. For example, an administrator can gather the tenant ID for their Microsoft 365 deployment.

Once the rule is enabled, Cloudflare Gateway will append a specific header and, if enabled, the specific tenant ID as part of the appended header to your request. Depending on the SaaS application, these will either block all consumer or personal usage or block all logins to accounts that are not part of that tenant ID. The SaaS application is aware of the specific header it relies on to enforce this rule and, when received, responds accordingly.

Traditionally, these headers are injected by corporate VPNs or proxy servers maintained on-premises and accessed by backhauling user traffic. Cloudflare Gateway provides customers with filtering and inspection in our data centers closer to your users and, combined with our ability to accelerate traffic, delivers your users to their destination without the performance consequences of legacy backhaul approaches.

Enforcing Corporate Tenant Access

You can begin configuring these rules today in the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard. To enforce tenant control with Gateway, you can configure an HTTP policy in the Teams Dashboard. For example, you can prevent users from authenticating to GSuite with their personal account and uploading documents to Google Drive account by using the following policy (GSuite uses the “X-GooGApps-Allowed-Domains” header):

Announcing Tenant Control in Cloudflare Gateway

As requests get filtered by Gateway’s firewall, allowed requests are proxied to their respective upstream servers. Before sending them upstream, we preprocess the request and append our own trace headers — these include things that are useful for debugging, like request ID headers. Now you can specify your own custom headers to be added onto these requests, which is what enables customers to enforce tenant control for their organizations.

What’s Next

Controlling data usage in your organization is a multistep process. Today, Cloudflare Gateway gives your teams control of what applications you use, where you can upload or download files, and when to block copy-paste and printing in our isolated browser. We’re excited to introduce tenant control into that portfolio to add another layer of security.

That said, we’re just getting started. We’ll be introducing new scanning features on top of this existing functionality as we continue to build Cloudflare’s data control features. If you want to be the first to know about the next wave of these features, follow this link to sign up today.

6 New Ways to Validate Device Posture

Post Syndicated from Kyle Krum original https://blog.cloudflare.com/6-new-ways-to-validate-device-posture/

6 New Ways to Validate Device Posture

6 New Ways to Validate Device Posture

Cloudflare for Teams gives your organization the ability to build rules that determine who can reach specified resources. When we first launched, those rules primarily relied on identity. This helped our customers replace their private networks with a model that evaluated every request for who was connecting, but this lacked consideration for how they were connecting.

In March, we began to change that. We announced new integrations that give you the ability to create rules that consider the device as well. Starting today, we’re excited to share that you can now build additional rules that consider several different factors about the device, like its OS, patch status, and domain join or disk encryption status. This has become increasingly important over the last year as more and more people began connecting from home. Powered by the Cloudflare WARP agent, your team now has control over more health factors about the devices that connect to your applications.

Zero Trust is more than just identity

With Cloudflare for Teams, administrators can replace their Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), where users on the network were trusted, with an alternative that does not trust any connection by default—also known as a Zero Trust model.

Customers start by connecting the resources they previously hosted on a private network to Cloudflare’s network using Cloudflare Tunnel. Cloudflare Tunnel uses a lightweight connector that creates an outbound-only connection to Cloudflare’s edge, removing the need to poke holes in your existing firewall.

Once connected, administrators can build rules that apply to each and every resource and application, or even a part of an application. Cloudflare’s Zero Trust network evaluates every request and connection against the rules that an administrator created before the user is ever allowed to reach that resource.

For example, an administrator can create a rule that limits who can reach an internal reporting tool to users in a specific Okta group, connecting from an approved country, and only when they log in with a hardkey as their second factor. Cloudflare’s global network enforces those rules close to the user, in over 200 cities around the world, to make a comprehensive rule like the outlined above feel seamless to the end-user.

Today’s launch adds new types of signals your team can use to define these rules. By definition, a Zero Trust model considers every request or connection to be “untrusted.” Only the rules that you create determine what is considered trusted and allowed. Now, we’re excited to let users take this a step further and create rules that not only focus on trusting the user, but also the security posture of the device they are connecting from.

More (and different) factors are better

Building rules based on device posture covers a blind spot for your applications and data. If I’m allowed to reach a particular resource, without any consideration for the device I’m using, then I could log in with my corporate credentials from a personal device running an unpatched or vulnerable version of an operating system. I might do that because it is convenient, but I am creating a much bigger problem for my team if I then download data that could be compromised because of that device.

That posture can also change based on the destination. For example, maybe you are comfortable if a team member uses any device to review a new splash page for your marketing campaign. However, if a user is connecting to an administrative tool that manages customer accounts, you want to make sure that device complies with your security policies for customer data that include factors like disk encryption status. With Cloudflare for Teams, you can apply rules that contain multiple and different factors with that level of per-resource granularity.

Today, we are thrilled to announce six additional posture types on top of the ones you can already set:

  1. Endpoint Protection Partners — Verify that your users are running one of our Endpoint Protection Platform providers (Carbon Black, CrowdStrike, SentinelOne, Tanium)
  2. Serial Number — Allow devices only from your known inventory pool
  3. Cloudflare WARP’s proxy — Determine if your users are connected via our encrypted WARP tunnel (Free, Paid or any Teams account)
  4. Cloudflare’s secure web gateway — Determine if your users are connecting from a device managed by your HTTP FIltering policies
  5. (NEW) Application Check — Verify any program of your choice is running on the device
  6. (NEW) File Check — Ensure a particular file is present on the device (such as an updated signature, OS patch, etc.)
  7. (NEW) Disk Encryption — Ensure all physical disks on the device are encrypted
  8. (NEW) OS Version — Confirm users have upgraded to a specific operating system version
  9. (NEW) Firewall — Check that a firewall is configured on the device
  10. (NEW) Domain Joined — Verify that your Windows devices must be joined to the corporate directory

Device rules should be as simple as identity rules

Cloudflare for Teams device rules can be configured in the same place that you control identity-based rules. Let’s use the Disk Encryption posture check as an example. You may want to create a rule that enforces the Disk Encryption check when your users need to download and store files on their devices locally.

To build that rule, first visit the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard and navigate to the Devices section of the “My Team” page. Then, choose “Disk Encryption” as a new attribute to add.

6 New Ways to Validate Device Posture

You can enter a descriptive name for this attribute. For example, this rule should require Windows disk encryption, while others might require encryption on other platforms.

6 New Ways to Validate Device Posture

To save time, you can also create reusable rules, called Groups, to include multiple types of device posture check for reference in new policies later on.

6 New Ways to Validate Device Posture

Now that you’ve created your group, you can create a Zero Trust Require rule to apply your Disk Encryption checks. To do that, navigate to Access > Applications and create a new application. If you already have your application in place, simply edit your application to add a new rule. In the Assign a group section you will see the group you just created—select it and choose a Require rule type. And finally, save the rule to begin enforcing granular, zero trust device posture checks on every request in your environment.

6 New Ways to Validate Device Posture

What’s next

Get started with exploring all device posture attributes in our developer docs. Note that not all posture types are currently available on operating systems and some operating systems don’t support them.

Is there a posture type we’re missing that you’d love to have? We’d love to hear from you in the Community.

Helping Keep Governments Safe and Secure

Post Syndicated from Sam Rhea original https://blog.cloudflare.com/helping-keep-governments-safe-and-secure/

Helping Keep Governments Safe and Secure

Helping Keep Governments Safe and Secure

Today, we are excited to share that Cloudflare and Accenture Federal Services (AFS) have been selected by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to develop a joint solution to help the federal government defend itself against cyberattacks. The solution consists of Cloudflare’s protective DNS resolver which will filter DNS queries from offices and locations of the federal government and stream events directly to Accenture’s analysis platform.

Located within DHS, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) operates as “the nation’s risk advisor.”1 CISA works with partners across the public and private sector to improve the security and reliability of critical infrastructure; a mission that spans across the federal government, State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial partnerships and the private sector to provide solutions to emerging and ever-changing threats.

Over the last few years, CISA has repeatedly flagged the cyber risk posed by malicious hostnames, phishing emails with malicious links, and untrustworthy upstream Domain Name System (DNS) resolvers.2 Attackers can compromise devices or accounts, and ultimately data, by tricking a user or system into sending a DNS query for a specific hostname. Once that query is resolved, those devices establish connections that can lead to malware downloads, phishing websites, or data exfiltration.

In May 2021, CISA and the National Security Agency (NSA) proposed that teams deploy protective DNS resolvers to prevent those attacks from becoming incidents. Unlike standard DNS resolvers, protective DNS resolvers check the hostname being resolved to determine if the destination is malicious. If that is the case, or even if the destination is just suspicious, the resolver can stop answering the DNS query and block the connection.

Earlier this year, CISA announced they are not only recommending a protective DNS resolver — they have launched a program to offer a solution to their partners. After a thorough review process, CISA has announced that they have selected Cloudflare and AFS to deliver a joint solution that can be used by departments and agencies of any size within the Federal Civilian Executive Branch.

Helping keep governments safer

Attacks against the critical infrastructure in the United States are continuing to increase. Cloudflare Radar, where we publish insights from our global network, consistently sees the U.S. as one of the most targeted countries for DDoS attacks. Attacks like phishing campaigns compromise credentials to sensitive systems. Ransomware bypasses traditional network perimeters and shuts down target systems.

The sophistication of those attacks also continues to increase. Last year’s SolarWinds Orion compromise represents a new type of supply chain attack where trusted software becomes the backdoor for data breaches. Cloudflare’s analysis of the SolarWinds incident observed compromise patterns that were active over eight months, during which the destinations used grew to nearly 5,000 unique subdomains.

The increase in volume and sophistication has driven a demand for the information and tools to defend against these types of threats at all levels of the US government. Last year, CISA advised over 6,000 state and local officials, as well as federal partners, on mechanisms to protect their critical infrastructure.

At Cloudflare, we have observed a similar pattern. In 2017, Cloudflare launched the Athenian Project to provide state, county, or municipal governments with security for websites that administer elections or report results. In 2020, 229 state and local governments, in 28 states, trusted Cloudflare to help defend their election websites. State and local government websites served by Cloudflare’s Athenian Project increased by 48% last year.

As these attacks continue to evolve, one thing many have in common is their use of a DNS query to a malicious hostname. From SolarWinds to last month’s spearphishing attack against the U.S. Agency for International Development, attackers continue to rely on one of the most basic technologies used when connecting to the Internet.

Delivering a protective DNS resolver

User activity on the Internet typically starts with a DNS query to a DNS resolver. When users visit a website in their browser, open a link in an email, or use a mobile application, their device first sends a DNS query to convert the domain name of the website or server into the Internet Protocol (IP) address of the host serving that site. Once their device has the IP address, they can establish a connection.

Helping Keep Governments Safe and Secure
Figure 1. Complete DNS lookup and web page query

Attacks on the Internet can also start the same way. Devices that download malware begin making DNS queries to establish connections and leak information. Users that visit an imposter website input their credentials and become part of a phishing attack.

These attacks are successful because DNS resolvers, by default, trust all destinations. If a user sends a DNS query for any hostname, the resolver returns the IP address without determining if that destination is suspicious.

Some hostnames are known to security researchers, including hostnames used in previous attacks or ones that use typos of popular hostnames. Other attacks start from unknown or new threats. Detecting those requires monitoring DNS query behavior, detecting patterns to new hostnames, or blocking newly seen and registered domains altogether.

Protective DNS resolvers apply a Zero Trust model to DNS queries. Instead of trusting any destination, protective resolvers check the hostname of every query and IP address of every response against a list of known malicious destinations. If the hostname or IP address is in that list, the resolver will not return the result to the user and the connection will fail.

Building a solution with Accenture Federal Services

The solution being delivered to CISA, Cloudflare Gateway, builds on Cloudflare’s network to deliver a protective DNS resolver that does not compromise performance. It starts by sending all DNS queries from enrolled devices and offices to Cloudflare’s network. While more of the HTTP Internet continues to be encrypted, the default protocol for sending DNS queries on most devices is still unencrypted. Cloudflare Gateway’s protective DNS resolver supports encrypted options like DNS over HTTPS (DoH) and DNS over TLS (DoT).

Next, blocking DNS queries to malicious hostnames starts with knowing what hostnames are potentially malicious. Cloudflare’s network provides our protective DNS resolver with unique visibility into threats on the Internet. Every day, Cloudflare’s network handles over 800 billion DNS queries. Our infrastructure responds to 25 million HTTP requests per second. We deploy that network in more than 200 cities in over 100 countries around the world, giving our team the ability to see attack patterns around the world.

We convert that data into the insights that power our security products. For example, we analyze the billions of DNS queries we handle to detect anomalous behavior that would indicate a hostname is being used to leak data through a DNS tunneling attack. For the CISA solution, Cloudflare’s datasets are further enriched by applying additional cybersecurity research along with Accenture’s Cyber Threat Intelligence (ACTI) feed to provide signals to detect new and changing threats on the internet. This dataset is further analyzed by data scientists using advanced business intelligence tools powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Working towards a FedRAMP future

Our Public Sector team is focused on partnering with Federal, State and Local Governments to provide a safe and secure digital experience. We are excited to help CISA deliver an innovative, modern, and cost-efficient solution to the entire civilian federal government.

We will continue this path following our recent announcement that we are currently “In Process” in the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) Marketplace. The government’s rigorous security assessment will allow other federal agencies to adopt Cloudflare’s Zero Trust Security solutions in the future.

What’s next?

We are looking forward to working with Accenture Federal Services to deliver this protective DNS resolver solution to CISA. This contract award demonstrates CISA’s belief in the importance of having protective DNS capabilities as part of a layered defense. We applaud CISA for taking this step and allowing us to partner with the US Government to deliver this solution.

Like CISA, we believe that teams large and small should have the tools they need to protect their critical systems. Your team can also get started using Cloudflare to secure your organization today. Cloudflare Gateway, part of Cloudflare for Teams, is available to organizations of any size.

2See, for example, https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/Addressing_DNS_Resolution_on_Federal_Networks_Memo.pdf; https://media.defense.gov/2021/Mar/03/2002593055/-1/-1/0/CSI_Selecting-Protective-DNS_UOO11765221.PDF