Today, we’re very excited to announce our plans for Cloudflare Intrusion Detection System, a new product that monitors your network and alerts when an attack is suspected. With deep integration into Cloudflare One, Cloudflare Intrusion Detection System gives you a bird’s eye view of your entire global network and inspects all traffic for bad behavior, regardless of whether it came from outside or inside your network.
Analyze your network without doing the legwork
Enterprises build firewall rules to keep their networks safe from external and internal threats. When bad actors try to attack a network, those firewalls check if the attack matches a rule pattern. If it does, the firewall steps in and blocks the attack.
Teams used to configure those rules across physical firewall appliances, frequently of different makes and models, deployed to physical locations. Yesterday, we announced Magic Firewall, Cloudflare’s network-level firewall delivered in our data centers around the world. Your team can write a firewall rule once, deploy it to Cloudflare, and our global network will protect your offices and data centers without the need for on-premises hardware.
This is great if you know where attacks are coming from. If you don’t have that level of certainty, finding those types of attacks becomes expensive guesswork. Sophisticated attackers can prod a network’s defenses to determine what rules do or do not exist. They can exploit that information to launch quieter attacks. Or even worse: compromise your employees and attack from the inside.
We’re excited to end Zero Trust week by announcing one more thing: Cloudflare Intrusion Detection System (IDS), a solution that analyzes your entire network simultaneously and alerts you to events that your rules might not catch.
Cloudflare IDS represents a critical piece of Cloudflare One. With WARP connecting your devices, and Magic Transit connecting your offices and data centers to Cloudflare, Cloudflare IDS sits on top of both, allowing you to examine and evaluate all traffic simultaneously. This gives you a single view of what’s happening inside of your network and where breaches might have occurred. Cloudflare IDS is also constantly getting better at identifying threats and attacks. You can opt in to receive alerts, and with a single-click, quickly and easily block intrusion attempts that sneak past static rules. Most importantly, your team benefits from the intelligence Cloudflare gathers from attacks in other regions or industries to flag events that impact you.
So how does it work?
Legacy security models implicitly trusted any connection inside the network. That made them vulnerable to breaches and attacks from bad actors coming from within. The concept of Zero Trust flips the model by assuming every connection is hazardous. Instead of waiting for evidence that a definite breach has occured, the assumption is that one has already happened.
In order to implement the Zero Trust model effectively, you need two core components:
A comprehensive view across your entire network, which is constantly analyzed to catch problems that static rules might have missed, and;
An intrusion detection system (purchased or homegrown), which is doing the analyzing.
Part of what drives Cloudflare IDS’s effectiveness is its deep integration with Cloudflare One. WARP and Magic Transit provide the first component, allowing you to connect your entire network and all devices to Cloudflare, giving you a bird’s eye view of every single packet and connection.
Cloudflare IDS then helps detect attacks coming from everywhere inside the network by actively looking at traffic and the contents of traffic. Cloudflare IDS will operate in two ways: traffic shape and traffic inspection. By looking at the behavior of traffic on your network, we can learn what normal behavior looks like: a user only logs into a single system each day, they only access certain applications etc. We would not expect someone to try to log into many systems at once or port scan the network: clear signs of bad intent.
The other form of intrusion detection we employ is traffic inspection: looking inside traffic that flows through your network to see if anyone is performing a very targeted attack. These styles of attacks can’t be detected using traditional methods because they actually look like normal traffic: only by looking inside can we see that the actor is trying something malicious.
Attackers tend to follow a pattern. Bad actors who try an attack on one enterprise will then repeat that same attack elsewhere. We’ve unfortunately seen this increase, lately, as attacks like Fancy Bear’s DDoS campaign move from organization to organization and repeat the same playbook.
We think we’re safer together. Cloudflare IDS learns from attacks against our network and all our customer’s networks, to constantly identify new types of attacks being launched. We can then give your team the benefit of lessons learned by keeping Cloudflare and other customers safe. The platform also incorporates external threat feeds; and finally, allows you to bring your own.
Offload CPU spend
A constant source of complaint from customers who are running their own IDS solution (whether built in-house or purchased) is that IDS solutions are notoriously CPU-hungry. They need to keep a lot of state in memory, and require a lot of computation to work effectively and accurately.
With Cloudflare IDS, you can offload that burden to our network. Cloudflare was built from the ground up to be infinitely scalable. Every edge data center runs the exact same software, allowing us to field out workload efficiently and at massive scale. With Cloudflare running your IDS, you can remove the computational resource burden of legacy solutions and stop worrying about capacity.
When your team deploys Cloudflare IDS, you’ll need to click one button and that’s it. We’ll begin analyzing patterns in your Magic Transit traffic and Magic Firewall events to check them against our threat feeds.
If we determine that something suspicious has happened, we’ll send an alert to notify your team. Your security team can then begin to review the attempt and drill down into the data to make a determination about what happened. You can gain more insights into the type of attack and where it occurred on the dashboard. Remediation is a click away: just set up a rule and push it out to the global Cloudflare network: we’ll stop the attack dead in its tracks.
The launch of Cloudflare IDS will follow the GA of our Magic Firewall announcement. If you want to be the first to adopt IDS, please reach out to your account team to learn more.
Earlier this week, we announced Cloudflare One™, a unified approach to solving problems in enterprise networking and security. With Cloudflare One, your organization’s data centers, offices, and devices can all be protected and managed in a single control plane. Cloudflare’s network is central to the value of all of our products, and today I want to dive deeper into how our network powers Cloudflare One.
Over the past ten years, Cloudflare has encountered the same challenges that face every organization trying to grow and protect a global network: we need to protect our infrastructure and devices from attackers and malicious outsiders, but traditional solutions aren’t built for distributed networks and teams. And we need visibility into the activity across our network and applications, but stitching together logging and analytics tools across multiple solutions is painful and creates information gaps.
We’ve architected our network to meet these challenges, and with Cloudflare One, we’re extending the advantages of these decisions to your company’s network to help you solve them too.
Enterprises and some small organizations alike have team members around the world. Legacy models of networking forced traffic back through central choke points, slowing down users and constraining network scale. We keep hearing from our customers who want to stop buying appliances and expensive MPLS links just to try and outpace the increased demand their distributed teams place on their network.
Wherever your users are, we are too
Global companies have enough of a challenge managing widely distributed corporate networks, let alone the additional geographic dispersity introduced as users are enabled to work from home or from anywhere. Because Cloudflare has data centers close to Internet users around the world, all traffic can be processed close to its source (your users), regardless of their location. This delivers performance benefits across all of our products.
We built our network to meet users where they are. Today, we have data centers in over 200 cities and over 100 countries. As the geographical reach of Cloudflare’s network has expanded, so has our capacity, which currently tops 42 Tbps. This reach and capacity is extended to your enterprise with Cloudflare One.
The same Cloudflare, everywhere
Traditional solutions for securing enterprise networks often involve managing a plethora of regional providers with different capabilities. This means that traffic from two users in different parts of the world may be treated completely differently, for example, with respect to quality of DDoS attack detection. With Cloudflare One, you can manage security for your entire global network from one place, consolidating and standardizing control.
Capacity for the good & the bad
With 42 Tbps of network capacity, you can rest assured that Cloudflare can handle all of your traffic – the clean, legitimate traffic you want, and the malicious and attack traffic you don’t.
Every product on every server
All of Cloudflare’s services are standardized across our entire network. Every service runs on every server, which means that traffic through all of the products you use can be processed close to its source, rather than being sent around to different locations for different services. This also means that as our network continues to grow, all products benefit: new data centers will automatically process traffic for every service you use.
For example, your users who connect to the Internet through Cloudflare Gateway in South America connect to one of our data centers in the region, rather than backhauling to another location. When those users need to reach an origin located on the other side of the world, we can also route them over our private backbone to get them there faster.
Commodity hardware, software-based functions
We built our network using commodity hardware, which allows us to scale quickly without relying on one single vendor or getting stuck in supply chain bottlenecks. And the services that process your traffic are software-based – no specialized, third-party hardware performing specific functions. This means that the development, maintenance, and support for the products you use all lives within Cloudflare, reducing the complexity of getting help when you need it.
This approach also lets us build efficiency into our network. We use that efficiency to serve customers on our free plan and deliver a more cost-effective platform to our larger customers.
Cloudflare interconnects with over 8,800 networks globally, including major ISPs, cloud services, and enterprises. Because we’ve built one of the most interconnected networks in the world, Cloudflare One can deliver a better experience for your users and applications, regardless of your network architecture or connectivity/transit vendors.
Broad interconnectivity with eyeball networks
Because of our CDN product (among others), being close to end users (“eyeballs”) has always been critical for our network. Now that more people than ever are working from home, eyeball → datacenter connectivity is more crucial than ever. We’ve spoken to customers who, since transitioning to a work-from-home model earlier this year, have had congestion issues with providers who are not well-connected with eyeball networks. With Cloudflare One, your employees can do their jobs from anywhere with Cloudflare smoothly keeping their traffic (and your infrastructure) secure.
Extensive presence in peering facilities
Earlier this year, we announced Cloudflare Network Interconnect (CNI), the ability for you to connect your network with Cloudflare’s via a secure physical or virtual connection. Using CNI means more secure, reliable traffic to your network through Cloudflare One. With our highly-connected network, there’s a good chance we’re colocated with your organization in at least one peering facility, making CNI setup a no-brainer. We’ve also partnered with five interconnect platforms to provide even more flexibility with virtual (software-defined layer 2) connections with Cloudflare. Finally, we peer with major cloud providers all over the world, providing even more flexibility for organizations at any stage of hybrid/cloud transition.
Making the Internet smarter
Traditional approaches to creating secure and reliable network connectivity involve relying on expensive MPLS links to provide point to point connection. Cloudflare is built from the ground-up on the Internet, relying on and improving the same Internet links that customers use today. We’ve built software and techniques that help us be smarter about how we use the Internet to deliver better performance and reliability to our customers. We’ve also built the Cloudflare Global Private Backbone to help us even further enhance our software and techniques to deliver even more performance and reliability where it’s needed the most.
This approach allows us to use the variety of connectivity options in our toolkit intelligently, building toward a more performant network than what we could accomplish with a traditional MPLS solution. And because we use transit from a wide variety of providers, chances are that whoever your ISP is, you already have high-quality connectivity to Cloudflare’s network.
Diverse traffic workload yields attack intelligence
We process all kinds of traffic thanks to our network’s reach and the diversity of our customer base. That scale gives us unique insight into the Internet. We can analyze trends and identify new types of attacks before they hit the mainstream, allowing us to better prepare and protect customers as the security landscape changes.
We also provide you with visibility into these network and threat intelligence insights with tools like Cloudflare Radar and Cloudflare One Intel. Earlier this week, we launched a feature to block DNS tunneling attempts. We analyze a tremendous number of DNS queries and have built a model of what they should look like. We use that model to block suspicious queries which might leak data from devices.
Unique network visibility enables Smart Routing
In addition to attacks and malicious traffic across our network, we’re paying attention to the state of the Internet. Visibility across carriers throughout the world allows us to identify congestion and automatically route traffic along the fastest and most reliable paths. Contrary to the experience delivered by traditional scrubbing providers, Magic Transit customers experience minimal latency and sometimes even performance improvements with Cloudflare in path, thanks to our extensive connectivity and transit diversity.
Argo Smart Routing, powered by our extensive network visibility, improves performance for web assets by 30% on average; we’re excited to bring these benefits to any traffic through Cloudflare One with Argo Smart Routing for Magic Transit (coming soon!).
Cloudflare’s network is the foundation of the value and vision for Cloudflare One. With Cloudflare One, you can put our network between the Internet and your entire enterprise, gaining the powerful benefits of our global reach, scalability, connectivity, and insight. All of the products we’ve launched this week, like everything we’ve built so far, benefit from the unique advantages of our network.
We’re excited to see these effects multiply as organizations adopt Cloudflare One to protect and accelerate all of their traffic. And we’re just getting started: we’re going to continue to expand our network, and the products that run on it, to deliver an even faster, more secure, more reliable experience across all of Cloudflare One.
Today we’re excited to announce Magic Firewall™, a network-level firewall delivered through Cloudflare to secure your enterprise. Magic Firewall covers your remote users, branch offices, data centers and cloud infrastructure. Best of all, it’s deeply integrated with Cloudflare One™, giving you a one-stop overview of everything that’s happening on your network.
Cloudflare Magic Transit™ secures IP subnets with the same DDoS protection technology that we built to keep our own global network secure. That helps ensure your network is safe from attack and available and it replaces physical appliances that have limits with Cloudflare’s network.
That still leaves some hardware onsite, though, for a different function: firewalls. Networks don’t just need protection from DDoS attacks; administrators need a way to set policies for all traffic entering and leaving the network. With Magic Firewall, we want to help your team deprecate those network firewall appliances and move that burden to the Cloudflare global network.
Firewall boxes are miserable to manage
Network firewalls have always been clunky. Not only are they expensive, they are bound by their own hardware constraints. If you need more CPU or memory, you have to buy more boxes. If you lack capacity, the entire network suffers, directly impacting employees that are trying to do their work. To compensate, network operators and security teams are forced to buy more capacity than we need, resulting in having to pay more than necessary.
We’ve heard this problem from our Magic Transit customers who are constantly running into capacity challenges:
“We’re constantly running out of memory and running into connection limits on our firewalls. It’s a huge problem.”
Network operators find themselves piecing together solutions from different vendors, mixing and matching features, and worrying about keeping policies in sync across the network. The result is more headache and added cost.
The solution isn’t more hardware
Some organizations then turn to even more vendors and purchase additional hardware to manage the patchwork firewall hardware they have deployed. Teams then have to balance refresh cycles, updates, and end of life management across even more platforms. These are band-aid solutions that do not solve the fundamental problem: how do we create a single view of the entire network that gives insights into what is happening (good and bad) and apply policy instantaneously, globally?
Introducing Magic Firewall
Instead of more band-aids, we’re excited to launch Magic Firewall as a single, comprehensive, solution to network filtering. Unlike legacy appliances, Magic Firewall runs in the Cloudflare network. That network scales up or down with a customer’s needs at any given time.
Running in our network delivers an added benefit. Many customers backhaul network traffic to single chokepoints in order to perform firewalling operations, adding latency. Cloudflare operates data centers in 200 cities around the world and each of those points of presence is capable of delivering the same solution. Regional offices and data centers can instead rely on a Cloudflare Magic Firewall engine running within 100 milliseconds of their operation.
Integrated with Cloudflare One
Cloudflare One consists of products that allow you to apply a single filtering engine with consistent security controls to your entire network, not just part of it. The same types of controls that your organization wants to apply to traffic leaving your networks should be applied to traffic leaving your devices.
Magic Firewall will integrate with what you’re already using in Cloudflare. For example, traffic leaving endpoints outside of the network can reach Cloudflare using the Cloudflare WARP client where Gateway will apply the same rules your team configures for network level filtering. Branch offices and data centers can connect through Magic Transit with the same set of rules. This gives you a one-stop overview of your entire network instead of having to hunt down information across multiple devices and vendors.
How does it work?
So what is Magic Firewall? Magic Firewall is a way to replace your antiquated on-premises network firewall with an as-a-service solution, pushing your perimeter out to the edge. We already allow you to apply firewall rules at our edge with Magic Transit, but the process to add or change rules has previously involved working with your account team or Cloudflare support. Our first version, generally available in the next few months, will allow all our Magic Transit customers to apply static OSI Layer 3 & 4 mitigations completely self-service, at Cloudflare scale.
Cloudflare applies firewall policies at every data center
Meaning you have firewalls applying policies across the globe
Our first version of Magic Firewall will focus on static mitigations, allowing you to set a standard set of rules that apply to your entire network, whether devices or applications are sitting in the cloud, an employee’s device or a branch office. You’ll be able to express rules allowing or blocking based on:
Source or destination IP and port
Bit field match
Rules can be crafted in Wireshark syntax, a domain specific language common in the networking world and the same syntax we use across our other products. With this syntax, you can easily craft extremely powerful rules to precisely allow or deny any traffic in or out of your network. If you suspect there’s a bad actor inside or outside of your perimeter, simply log on to the dashboard and block that traffic. Rules are pushed out globally in seconds, shutting down threats at the edge.
Configuring firewalls should be easy and powerful. With Magic Firewall, rules can be configured using an easy UI that allows for complex logic. Or, just type the filter rule manually using Wireshark filter syntax and configure that way. Don’t want to mess with a UI? Rules can be added just as easily through the API.
Looking at packets is not enough… Even with firewall rules, teams still need visibility into what’s actually happening on their network: what’s happening inside of these datastreams? Is this legitimate traffic or do we have malicious actors either inside or outside of our network doing nefarious things? Deploying Cloudflare to sit between any two actors that interact with any of your assets (be they employee devices or services exposed to the Internet) allows us to enforce any policy, anywhere, either on where the traffic is coming from or what’s inside the traffic. Applying policies based on traffic type is just around the corner and we’re excited to announce that we’re planning to add additional capabilities to automatically detect intrusion events based on what’s happening inside datastreams in the near future.
We’re excited about this new journey. With Cloudflare One, we’re reinventing what the network looks like for corporations. We integrate access management, security features and performance across the board: for your network’s visitors but also for anyone inside it. All of this built on top of a network that was #BuiltForThis.
We’ll be opening up Magic Firewall in a limited beta, starting with existing Magic Transit customers. If you’re interested, please let us know.
Earlier this week, we announced Cloudflare One™, our comprehensive, cloud-based network-as-a-service solution. Cloudflare One improves network performance and security while reducing cost and complexity for companies of all sizes.
Cloudflare One is built to handle the scale and complexity of the largest corporate networks. But when it comes to network security and performance, the industry has focused all too often on the largest of customers with significant budgets and technology teams. At Cloudflare, we think it’s our opportunity and responsibility to serve everyone, and help companies of all sizes benefit from a better Internet.
This is Zero Trust Week at Cloudflare, and we’ve already talked about our mantra of Zero Trust for Everyone. As a quick refresher, Zero Trust is a security framework that assumes all networks, devices, and Internet destinations are inherently compromised and therefore should not be trusted. Cloudflare One facilitates Zero Trust security by securing how your users connect to corporate applications and the Internet at large.
As a small business network administrator, there are fundamentally three things you need to protect: devices, applications, and the network itself. Below, I’ll outline how you can secure devices whether they are in your office (DNS Filtering) or remote (WARP+ and Gateway), as well as applications and your network by moving to a Zero Trust model of security (Access).
By design, Cloudflare One is accessible to teams of any size. You shouldn’t need a massive IT department or a Fortune 500 budget to connect to your tools safely. On Tuesday, we announced a new free plan which provides many of the features of Cloudflare One, including DNS filtering, Zero Trust access, and a management dashboard – for up to 50 users at no cost.
Starting now, your team can begin deploying Cloudflare One in your organization in just a few simple steps.
Step 1: Protect offices from threats on the Internet with DNS Filtering (10 minutes) Step 2: Secure remote workers connecting to the Internet with Cloudflare WARP+ (30 minutes) Step 3: Connect users to applications without a VPN with Cloudflare Access (1 hour) Step 4: Block threats and data loss on devices with a Secure Web Gateway (1 hour) Step 5: Add Zero Trust to your SaaS applications (2 hours)
1. Start blocking malicious sites and phishing attempts in 10 minutes
The Internet can be a dangerous place with malware and threats lurking everywhere. Protecting employees from threats on the Internet requires a way to inspect and filter their traffic. That starts with DNS-level filtering that can quickly and easily eliminate known malicious sites as well as restrict access to potentially dangerous neighborhoods on the Internet.
When your devices connect to a website, they start by sending a DNS query to a DNS resolver to find the IP address of the hostname for that site. The resolver responds and the device initiates the connection. That initial query creates two challenges for your team’s security:
Most DNS queries are unencrypted. ISPs can spy on DNS queries made by your employees and corporate devices while they work from home. Even worse, a malicious actor could modify responses to launch an attack.
DNS queries can resolve to malicious hostnames. Team members can click on links that lead to phishing attacks or malware downloads.
Cloudflare One can help keep that first query private and stop devices from inadvertently requesting a known malicious hostname.
Start by signing up for a Cloudflare account and navigating to the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard.
Next, set up a location. You’ll be prompted to create a location which you can do if you want to protect the DNS queries of an office network. Simply deploy Gateway’s DNS filtering for your office by changing your network’s router to point to the assigned Gateway IP address.
Cloudflare operates 220.127.116.11, the world’s fastest DNS resolver. We’ve built Cloudflare Gateway’s DNS filtering tools on top of that same architecture so that your team has faster and safer DNS.
Now you can easily create a Gateway DNS policy to filter security threats or specific content categories.
Then use the Gateway dashboard to monitor queries that are allowed or blocked.
Then navigate to the dashboard on the “Overview” tab and see your traffic including what you are blocking and allowing.
2.Next, protect all of your remote employees and send all traffic through Cloudflare over an encrypted connection
Employees who used to connect to the Internet through your office network now connect from hundreds or thousands of different home networks or mobile hotspots to do their jobs. That traffic relies on connections that might not be private.
You can use Cloudflare One to route all team member traffic over an encrypted, accelerated path to the Internet with Cloudflare WARP. Cloudflare WARP is available as an application that your team members can install on macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android. The client will route all of their device’s traffic to a nearby Cloudflare data center over Cloudflare’s implementation of a technology called WireGuard.
When they connect, Cloudflare One uses WARP+, our implementation of WARP that uses the Argo Smart Routing service to find the shortest path through our global network of data centers to reach the user’s destination.
Your team can begin using Cloudflare WARP today. Navigate to the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard and purchase the Cloudflare Gateway or Cloudflare for Teams Standard plan. Once purchased, you can create a rule to determine who in your organization can use Cloudflare WARP.
Your end users can launch the client, input your team’s organization name, and login to begin using WARP+. Alternatively, you can deploy the application with settings preconfigured using an device management solution like JAMF or InTune.
Cloudflare WARP seamlessly integrates with Gateway’s DNS filtering to bring secure, encrypted, DNS resolution to roaming devices. Users can input the DoH subdomain of a location in your Cloudflare for Teams account to begin using your organization’s DNS filtering settings wherever they work.
3. Replace your VPN with Cloudflare Access
When we were a smaller team and relied on a VPN, our IT help desk received hundreds of tickets complaining about our VPN. Some of these descriptions might look familiar.
We built Cloudflare Access as a way to replace using a VPN as the gatekeeper to applications. Cloudflare Access follows a model known as Zero Trust security where Cloudflare’s network, by default, does not trust any connection. Every user attempting to reach an application has to prove they should be allowed to access that application based on rules that administrators configure. With our new Teams free plan, up to 50 seats of Access are available at no cost.
That sounds like adding a burden, but Cloudflare Access integrates with your team’s identity provider and single sign-on (SSO) options to make any application feel as seamless as a SaaS application with SSO. Even if your team does not have a corporate identity provider, you can integrate Access with free services like GitHub and LinkedIn, so your employees and partners can authenticate without adding cost.
For hosted applications, you can connect your origin to Cloudflare’s network without opening holes in your firewall using Argo Tunnel. Cloudflare’s network will accelerate the traffic from that origin to your users along fast lanes using our global private backbone.
When your team members need to connect to an application, they can visit it directly or start from a custom app launcher for your team. When they arrive, they’ll be prompted to login with your identity provider and Access will check their identity, and other characteristics like country of login, against rules that you create in the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard.
Cloudflare’s free plan includes up to 50 seats of Cloudflare Access at no cost so that your team can begin
4. Add a Secure Web Gateway to block threats and file loss
With Cloudflare WARP, all of the traffic leaving your devices now routes through Cloudflare’s network. However, threats and data loss can hide inside of that traffic. You can add Cloudflare Gateway’s HTTP filtering to your team’s Cloudflare WARP usage to block threats and file loss. For example, if your team uses Box you can restrict all file uploads to other cloud based storage services to ensure everything stays in one, approved place.
To get started, navigate to the Policies section of the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard. Select the HTTP tab to begin building rules that inspect traffic for potential issues like known malicious URLs or files being uploaded to unapproved destinations.
To inspect traffic, you’ll need to download and install a certificate on the enrolled devices. Once installed, you can enable HTTP filtering from the Policies tab to begin enforcing the policies that you created and capturing event logs.
5. Bring Zero Trust rules to your SaaS applications
If you don’t have self-hosted applications, or also use SaaS applications, you can still bring the same Zero Trust rules to the SaaS applications that your team uses with Cloudflare Access for SaaS – wherever they live. With Access for SaaS, companies can now centrally manage user access and security monitoring for all applications.
You can integrate Cloudflare Access as an identity provider to any SaaS application that supports SAML SSO. That integration will send all login attempts through Cloudflare’s network to your configured identity providers and enforce rules that you control.
Access for SaaS still includes the ability to run multiple identity providers simultaneously. When users login to the SaaS application, they’ll be prompted to pick the identity provider they need, or we’ll send them directly to the only provider you want to use for that application.
Once deployed, Access for SaaS gives your team high visibility, with low effort, into every login to both internal and SaaS applications. You can use the new Access for SaaS feature as part of the Cloudflare for Teams free plan for up to 50 users.
6. Soon: Protect small business office networks
Cloudflare’s Magic Transit™ product takes everything we learned protecting our own network from IP-layer attacks and extends that security to our customers who operate their own IP address space. By protecting that network, customers also benefit from performant and reliable IP connectivity to the Internet.
Today, some of the largest enterprises in the world rely on Magic Transit to keep their business safe from attack. We plan to extend that same protection and connectivity to teams who operate smaller networks in upcoming releases.
Cloudflare One represents our vision for the future of the corporate network, and we’re just getting started adding products and features that help teams move to that model. That said, your team shouldn’t have to wait to begin connecting through Cloudflare and securing your data and applications with our network.
To get started, sign up for a Cloudflare account and follow the steps above. If you have any questions on setting up Cloudflare One as a small business, or large enterprise, please let us know in this community forum post.
Web browsers are the culprit behind 70% of endpoint compromises. The same application that connects users to the entire Internet also connects you to all of the potentially harmful parts of the Internet. It’s an open door to nearly every connected system on the planet, which is powerful and terrifying.
We also rely on browsers more than ever. Most applications that we use live in a browser and that will continue to increase. For more and more organizations, a corporate laptop is just a managed web browser machine.
To keep those devices safe, and the data they hold or access, enterprises have started to deploy “browser isolation” services where the browser itself doesn’t run on the machine. Instead, the browser runs on a virtual machine in a cloud provider somewhere. By running away from the device, threats from the browser stay on that virtual machine somewhere in the cloud.
However, most isolation solutions take one of two approaches that both ruin the convenience and flexibility of a web browser:
Record the isolated browser and send a live stream of it to the user, which is slow and makes it difficult to do basic things like input text to a form.
Unpack the webpage, inspect it, repack it and send it to the user – sometimes missing threats or more often failing to repack the webpage in a way that it still works.
Today, we’re excited to open up a beta of a third approach to keeping web browsing safe with Cloudflare Browser Isolation. Browser sessions run in sandboxed environments in Cloudflare data centers in 200 cities around the world, bringing the remote browser milliseconds away from the user so it feels like local web browsing.
Instead of streaming pixels to the user, Cloudflare Browser Isolation sends the final output of a browser’s web page rendering. The approach means that the only thing ever sent to the device is a package of draw commands to render the webpage, which also makes Cloudflare Browser Isolation compatible with any HTML5 compliant browser.
The result is a browser that just feels like a browser, while keeping threats far away from the device.
We’re inviting users to sign up for the beta today as part of Zero Trust week at Cloudflare. If you’re interested in signing up now, visit the bottom of this post. If you’d like to find out how this works, keep reading.
The unexpected universal productivity application
While it never quite became the replacement operating system Marc Andreessen predicted in 1995, the web browser is perhaps the most important application today on end-user devices. In the workplace, many people spend the majority of their at-work computer time entirely within a web browser connected to internal apps and external SaaS applications and services. As this has occurred, browsers have needed to become increasingly complex — to address the expanding richness of the web and the demands of modern web applications such as Office 365 and Google Workplace.
However, despite the pivotal and ubiquitous role of web browsers, they are the least controlled application in the enterprise. Businesses struggle to control how users interact with web browsers. It’s all too easy for a user to inadvertently download an infected file, install a malicious extension, upload sensitive company data or click a malicious zero-day link in an email or on a webpage.
Making the problem worse is the growing prevalence of BYOD. It makes it difficult to enforce which browsers are used or if they are properly patched. Mobile device management (MDM) is a step in the right direction, but just like the slow patching cycles of on-premise firewalls, MDM can often be too slow to protect against zero day threats. I’ve been the recipient of many mass emails from CISO’s reminding everyone to patch their browser and to do it right now because this time it’s “really important” (CVE-2019-5786).
Reimagining the browser
Earlier this week we announced Cloudflare One, which is our vision for the future of the corporate network. The fundamental approach we’ve taken is a blank sheet: to zero out all the assumptions of the old model (like castle-and-moat) and usher in a new model based on the complex nature of today’s corporate networking and the shift to Zero Trust, cloud-based networking-as-a-service.
It would be impossible to do this without thinking about the browser. Remote computing technologies have offered the promise of fixing the problems of the browser for some time — a future where anyone can benefit from the security and scale of cloud computing on their personal device. The reality has been that getting a generally performant solution is much more difficult than it sounds. It requires sending a user’s input over the Internet, computing that input, retrieving resources off the web, and then streaming them back to the user. And it all must occur in milliseconds, to create an illusion of using a local piece of software.
The general experience has been terrible, and many implementations have created nothing but angry emails and help-desk tickets for IT folks.
How secure remote browsing fits in with Cloudflare for Teams
Before Cloudflare Browser Isolation, Cloudflare for Teams consisted of two core services:
Cloudflare Access creates a Zero Trust network perimeter that allows users to access corporate applications without needing to poke holes in their internal network with a legacy VPN appliance.
Cloudflare Gateway creates a Secure Web Gateway that protects users from threats on any website.
These tools are excellent for protecting private Internet properties from unauthorized access and web browsing activity from known malicious websites. But what about unknown and unforeseeable threats?
Cloudflare Browser Isolation answers this question by sandboxing a web browser in a remote container that is easily disposed of at the end of the user’s browsing session or when compromised.
Should an unknown threat such as a zero day vulnerability or malicious website exploit any of the hundreds of Web APIs, the attack is limited to a browser running in a supervised cloud environment leaving the end-user’s device unaffected.
The Network is the Computer®
Web browsers are the foundation that the shift to the cloud has been built on. It’s just that they’ve always run in the wrong place.
In the same way that it made no sense for a developer to run and maintain the hardware that their application runs on, the same exact case can be made for the other side of the cloud’s equation: the browser. Funnily enough, the solution is exactly the same: like the developer’s application, the browser needed to move to the cloud. However, as with all disruptions, it takes time and investment for the performance of the new technology to catch up to the old one. When AWS was first launched in 2006, the inherent limitations meant that for most developers, it made sense to continue to run on-premise solutions.
At some point though, the technology improves to the point where the disruption can start taking over from the previous paradigm.
The limiting factor until today for a cloud-based browser has often been the experience of using it. A user’s experience is limited by the speed of light; it limits the time it takes a user’s input to travel to the remote data center and be returned to their display. In a perfect world, this needs to occur within milliseconds to deliver a real time experience.
Cloudflare has one very big advantage in solving that problem.
To deliver real-time remote computing experiences, each of our 200+ data centers are capable of serving remote browsing sessions within the blink of an eye of nearly everyone connected to the Internet. This allows us to deliver a low latency, responsive stream of a webpage regardless of where you’re physically located.
But that’s enough talking about it. We’d love for you to try it! Please complete the form here to sign up to be one of the first users of this new technology in our network. We’ll be in touch as we expand the beta to more users.
Earlier this week, we announced Cloudflare One, a single platform for networking and security management. Cloudflare One extends the speed, reliability, and security we’ve brought to Internet properties and applications over the last decade to make the Internet the new enterprise WAN.
Underpinning Cloudflare One is Cloudflare’s global network – today, our network spans more than 200 cities worldwide and is within milliseconds of nearly everyone connected to the Internet. Our network handles, on average, 18 million HTTP requests and 6 million DNS requests per second. With 1 billion unique IP addresses connecting to the Cloudflare network each day, we have one of the broadest views on Internet activity worldwide.
We see a large diversity of Internet traffic across our entire product suite. Every day, we block 72 billion cyberthreats. This visibility provides us with a unique position to understand and mitigate Internet threats, and enables us to see new threats and malware before anyone else.
At the beginning of this month, as part of our 10th Birthday Week, we launched Cloudflare Radar, which shares high-level trends with the general public based on our network’s aggregate data. The same data that powers that view of the Internet also gives us the ability to create new insights to keep your team safer.
Today, we are excited to announce the next phase of network and threat intelligence at Cloudflare: the launch of Cloudflare One Intel. Cloudflare One Intel streamlines network and security operations by converting the data we can gather on our network into actionable insights.
The challenge with the traditional security operations
Most enterprises use a large array of point solutions to ensure that the corporate network remains fast, available and secure. Security teams typically aggregate logs from these point solutions into their SIEM and create custom alerts for incident detection.
Once an incident has been detected, security teams will quickly respond with remediating actions to prevent data loss, such as removing a compromised device’s access controls or adding a malicious hostname or URL to a block list.
Along with incident remediation, security teams will conduct an investigation of the incident to uncover more details about the attacker. Pivoting across historical DNS records, SSL certificate fingerprints, malware samples, and other indicators of compromise, security researchers will try to uncover more details about an attacker. Linked indicators then get fed back onto block lists in point solutions to prevent subsequent attacks.
However, there are several challenges with traditional incident detection and response. Security operations teams are often overwhelmed by the plethora of logs and alerts. With threat intelligence, SIEMs, and control planes all in different platforms, incident detection, remediation and forensics can be slow, arduous, and expensive.
Improving Incident Response with Cloudflare One
We want to make network and security operations as streamlined as possible. Cloudflare One Intel helps network and security teams detect and respond to incidents more efficiently. That means bringing together insights from your network activity, global Internet intelligence, and automated remediation in a single platform.
As part of the mission to help security teams detect and block emerging security threats more efficiently we are releasing two features within Cloudflare Gateway: DNS tunneling detection and domain insights.
What is DNS Tunneling?
DNS tunneling is the misuse of the Domain Name System (DNS) protocol to encode another protocol’s data into a series of DNS queries and response messages. DNS tunneling is often used to circumvent a corporate firewall. For example, DNS tunneling might be used to visit a website that is blocked on the corporate firewall, distribute malware from a command & control server, or exfiltrate sensitive data.
DNS tunneling isn’t only used for malicious activities. One of the most common uses of DNS tunneling is by antivirus software, which will often use DNS tunneling to look up file signatures.
Blocking DNS tunneling using Cloudflare Gateway
Starting today, customers using Cloudflare Gateway can block hostnames associated with DNS tunneling using the “DNS Tunneling” filter in Gateway’s DNS filtering policies. This feature is available to all Gateway users at no additional cost.
You can begin using the filter by navigating to the Policies section of the Gateway product and selecting the “Security Threats” tab. Once you check the “DNS Tunneling” box, Gateway will automatically block any requests made by your organization’s users to domains on this list. Should you want to manually override any specific domains, you can use the “Domain Override” feature to remove the block policy on a specific domain.
We previously included known malicious DNS tunnels in our “Anonymizer” category within Gateway’s security threat categories. We are now pulling that into its own category so that customers can have more granular visibility into threats on their network. Further, we are expanding the filter beyond known malicious DNS tunnels to include newly emerging threats, so that customers can block these threats as soon as we see them on our network.
How we use machine learning to detect DNS tunneling
Using machine learning, Cloudflare detects anomalous DNS request patterns and flags these requests as suspected DNS tunneling. Our model analyzes requests and detects anomalous behavior at a frequency of every five minutes.
Once a set of requests is flagged, we add the associated hostname to our “DNS Tunneling” category. We do not add hostnames of commonly allowed DNS tunnels to this list, such as those used by antivirus software.
Our model not only blocks hostnames associated with DNS tunneling seen on your network, but across the entire Cloudflare network. Processing over 500 billion DNS queries each day, we have unique insight into global DNS traffic patterns.
Adding transparency to security
Cloudflare’s unique insight into global Internet traffic is what powers the intelligence behind Cloudflare One. DNS tunneling detection is one example of how we use aggregated data from our network to improve Internet security for everyone. But, until now, that has been opaque to users.
Security teams investigating the threats that impact their organization need more transparency. Cloudflare One Intel consolidates the information we have about the potentially harmful sites and properties that can target your organization.
Starting today, with a single click, administrators reviewing logs in Cloudflare Gateway can get a comprehensive breakdown of any site being allowed or blocked.
In this expanded view, you can now click the “View Domain Insights” button, which will take you to the Cloudflare Radar Domain Insights page for the requested hostname. This feature is available to all Gateway users at no additional cost.
These new features are just the beginning of Cloudflare One Intel. Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll be rolling out more features across the Cloudflare One platform that will make our Internet intelligence more accessible and actionable. Stay tuned for premium features available in Cloudflare Radar for Cloudflare Gateway customers.
Get started now
Cloudflare Radar is available to everyone for free – you can check it out here and start exploring our Internet intelligence.
To protect your team from threats on the Internet that utilize DNS tunnelling, sign up for a Cloudflare Gateway account and use the Security filter setting to block DNS tunnelling attempts. DNS-based security and content filtering is available for free across every Gateway plan.
Cloudflare launched ten years ago to keep web-facing properties safe from attack and fast for visitors. Cloudflare customers owned Internet properties that they placed on our network. Visitors to those sites and applications enjoyed a faster experience, but that speed was not consistent for accessing Internet properties outside the Cloudflare network.
Over the last few years, we began building products that could help deliver a faster and safer Internet to everyone, not just visitors to sites on our network. We started with the first step to visiting any website, a DNS query, and released the world’s fastest public DNS resolver, 18.104.22.168. Any Internet user could improve the speed to connect to any website simply by changing their resolver.
While making the Internet faster for users, we also focused on making it more private. We built 22.214.171.124 to accelerate the last mile of connections, from user to our edge or other destinations on the Internet. Unlike other providers, we did not build it to sell ads.
Last year we went one step further to make the entire connection from a device both faster and safer when we launched Cloudflare WARP. With the push of a button, users could connect their mobile device to the entire Internet using a WireGuard tunnel through a Cloudflare data center near to them. Traffic to sites behind Cloudflare became even faster and a user’s experience with the rest of the Internet became more secure and private.
We brought that experience to desktops in beta earlier this year, and are excited to announce the general availability of Cloudflare WARP for desktop users today. The entire Internet can now be more secure and private regardless of how you connect.
Bringing the power of WARP to security teams everywhere
WARP made the Internet faster and more private for individual users everywhere. But as businesses embraced remote work models at scale, security teams struggled to extend the security controls they had enabled in the office to their remote workers. Today, we’re bringing everything our users have come to expect from WARP to security teams. The release also enables new functionality in our Cloudflare Gateway product.
Customers can use the Cloudflare WARP application to connect corporate desktops to Cloudflare Gateway for advanced web filtering. The Gateway features rely on the same performance and security benefits of the underlying WARP technology, now with security filtering available to the connection.
The result is a simple way for enterprises to protect their users wherever they are without requiring the backhaul of network traffic to a centralized security boundary. Instead, organizations can configure the WARP client application to securely and privately send remote users’ traffic through a Cloudflare data center near them. Gateway administrators apply policies to outbound Internet traffic proxied through the client, allowing organizations to protect users from threats on the Internet, and stop corporate data from leaving their organization.
Privacy, Security and Speed for Everyone
WARP was built on the philosophy that even people who don’t know what “VPN” stands for should be able to still easily get the protection a VPN offers. For those of us unfortunately very familiar with traditional corporate VPNs, something better was needed. Enter our own WireGuard implementation called BoringTun.
The WARP application uses BoringTun to encrypt all the traffic from your device and send it directly to Cloudflare’s edge, ensuring that no one in between is snooping on what you’re doing. If the site you are visiting is already a Cloudflare customer, the content is immediately sent down to your device. With WARP+ we use Argo Smart Routing to to devise the shortest path through our global network of data centers to reach whomever you are talking to.
Combined with the power of 126.96.36.199 (the world’s fastest public DNS resolver), WARP keeps your traffic secure, private and fast. Since nearly everything you do on the Internet starts with a DNS request, choosing the fastest DNS server across all your devices will accelerate almost everything you do online. Speed isn’t everything though, and while the connection between your application and a website may be encrypted, DNS lookups for that website were not. This allowed anyone, even your Internet Service Provider, to potentially snoop (and sell) on where you are going on the Internet.
Cloudflare will never snoop or sell your personal data. And if you use DNS-over-HTTPS or DNS-over-TLS to our 188.8.131.52 resolver, your DNS request will be sent over a secure channel. This means that if you use the 184.108.40.206 resolver then in addition to our privacy guarantees an eavesdropper can’t see your DNS requests. Don’t take our word for it though, earlier this year we published the results of a third-party privacy examination, something we’ll keep doing and wish others would do as well.
For Gateway customers, we are committed to privacy and trust and will never sell your personal data to third parties. While your administrator will have the ability to audit your organization’s traffic, create rules around how long data is retained, or create specific policies about where they can go, Cloudflare will never sell your personal data or use your personal data to retarget you with advertisements. Privacy and control of your organization’s data is in your hands.
Now integrated with Cloudflare Gateway
Traditionally, companies have used VPN solutions to gate access to corporate resources and keep devices secure with their filtering rules. These connections quickly became a point of failure (and intrusion vector) as organizations needed to manage and scale up VPN servers as traffic through their on premise servers grew. End users didn’t like it either. VPN servers were usually overwhelmed at peak times, the client was bulky and they were rarely made with performance in mind. And once a bad actor got in, they had access to everything.
In January 2020, we launched Cloudflare for Teams as a replacement to this model. Cloudflare for Teams is built around two core products. Cloudflare Access is a Zero Trust solution allowing organizations to connect internal (and now, SaaS) applications to Cloudflare’s edge and build security rules to enforce safe access to them. No longer were VPNs a single entry point to your organization; users could work from anywhere and still get access. Cloudflare Gateway’s first features focused on protecting users from threats on the Internet with a DNS resolver and policy engine built for enterprises.
The strength and power of WARP clients, used today by millions of users around the world, will enable incredible new use cases for security teams:
Encrypt all user traffic – Regardless of your users’ location, all traffic from their device is encrypted with WARP and sent privately to the nearest WARP endpoint. This keeps your users and your organizations protected from whomever may be snooping. If you still used a traditional VPN on top of Access to encrypt user traffic, that is no longer needed.
WARP+ – Cloudflare offers a premium WARP+ service for customers who want additional speed benefits. That now comes packaged into Teams deployments. Any Teams customer who deploys the Teams client applications will automatically receive the premium speed benefits of WARP+.
Gateway for remote workers – Until today, Gateway required that you keep track of all your users’ IP addresses and build policies per location. This made it difficult to enforce policy or provide malware protection when a user took their device to a new location. With the client installed, these policies can be enforced anywhere.
L7 Firewall and user based policies – Today’s announcement of Cloudflare Gateway SWG and Secure DNS allows your organization to enforce device authentication to your Teams account, enabling you to build user-specific policies and force all traffic through the firewall.
Device and User auditing – Along with user and device policies, administrators will also be able to audit specific user and device traffic. Used in conjunction with logpush, this will allow your organization to do detailed level tracing in case of a breach or audit.
Enroll your organization to use the WARP client with Cloudflare for Teams
We know how hard it can be to deploy another piece of software in your organization, so we’ve worked hard to make deployment easy. To get started, just navigate to our sign-up page and create an account. If you already have an active account, you can bypass this step and head straight to the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard where you’ll be dropped directly into our onboarding flow. After you have signed up and configured your team, setup a Gateway policy and then choose one of the three ways to install the clients to enforce that policy from below:
Self Install If you are a small organization without an IT department, asking your users to download the client themselves and type in the required settings is the fastest way to get going.
Scripted Install Our desktop installers support the ability to quickly script the installation. In the case of Windows, this is as easy as this command line:
Cloudflare_WARP_Release-x64.msi /quiet ORGANIZATION="<insert your org>" SERVICE_MODE="warp" ENABLE="true" GATEWAY_UNIQUE_ID="<insert your gateway DoH domain>" SUPPORT_URL=”<mailto or http of your support person>"
Managed Device Organizations with MDM tools like Intune or JAMF can deploy WARP to their entire fleet of devices from a single operation. Just as you preconfigure all other device settings, WARP can be set so that all end users need to do is login with your team’s identity provider by clicking on the Cloudflare WARP client after it has been deployed.
For a complete list of the installation options, required fields and step by step instructions for all platforms see the WARP Client documentation.
What’s coming next
There is still more we want to build for both our consumer users of WARP and our Cloudflare for Teams customers. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the ones we are most excited about (and allowed to share):
New partner integrations with CrowdStrike and VMware Carbon Black (Tanium available today) will allow you to build even more comprehensive Cloudflare Access policies that check for device health before allowing users to connect to applications
Split Tunnel support will allow you or your organization to specify applications, sites or IP addresses that should be excluded from WARP. This will allow content like games, streaming services, or any application you choose to work outside the connection.
BYOD device support, especially for mobile clients. Enterprise users that are not on the clock should be able to easily toggle off “office mode,” so corporate policies don’t limit personal use of their personal devices.
We are still missing one major operating system from our client portfolio and Linux support is coming.
We are excited to finally share these applications with our customers. We’d especially like to thank our Cloudflare MVP’s, the 100,000+ beta users on desktop, and the millions of existing users on mobile who have helped grow WARP into what it is today.
In January 2020, we launched Cloudflare for Teams—a new way to protect organizations and their employees globally, without sacrificing performance. Cloudflare for Teams centers around two core products – Cloudflare Access and Cloudflare Gateway.
In March 2020, Cloudflare launched the first feature of Cloudflare Gateway, a secure DNS filtering solution powered by the world’s fastest DNS resolver. Gateway’s DNS filtering feature kept users safe by blocking DNS queries to potentially harmful destinations associated with threats like malware, phishing, or ransomware. Organizations could change the router settings in their office and, in about five minutes, keep the entire team safe.
Shortly after that launch, entire companies began leaving their offices. Users connected from initially makeshift home offices that have become permanent in the last several months. Protecting users and data has now shifted from a single office-level setting to user and device management in hundreds or thousands of locations.
Security threats on the Internet have also evolved. Phishing campaigns and malware attacks have increased in the last six months. Detecting those types of attacks requires looking deeper than just the DNS query.
Starting today, we’re excited to announce two features in Cloudflare Gateway that solve those new challenges. First, Cloudflare Gateway now integrates with the Cloudflare WARP desktop client. We built WARP around WireGuard, a modern, efficient VPN protocol that is much more efficient and flexible than legacy VPN protocols.
Second, Cloudflare Gateway becomes a Secure Web Gateway and performs L7 filtering to inspect traffic for threats that hide below the surface. Like our DNS filtering and 220.127.116.11 resolver, both features are powered by everything we’ve learned by offering Cloudflare WARP to millions of users globally.
Securing the distributed workforce
Our customers are largely distributed workforces with employees split between corporate offices and their homes. Due to the pandemic, this is their operating environment for the foreseeable future.
The fact that users aren’t located at fixed, known locations (with remote workers allowed by exception) has created challenges for already overworked IT staff:
VPNs are an all-or-nothing approach to providing remote access to internal applications. We address this with Cloudflare Access and our Zero Trust approach to security for internal applications and now SaaS applications as well.
VPNs are slow and expensive. However, backhauling traffic to a centralized security boundary has been the primary approach to enforcing corporate content and security policies to protect roaming users. Cloudflare Gateway was created to tackle this problem for our customers.
Until today, Cloudflare Gateway has provided security for our customers through DNS filtering. While this provides a level of security and content control that’s application-agnostic, it still leaves our customers with a few challenges:
Customers need to register the source IP address of all locations that send DNS queries to Gateway, so their organization’s traffic can be identified for policy enforcement. This is tedious at best, if not intractable for larger organizations with hundreds of locations.
DNS policies are relatively coarse, with enforcement performed with an all-or-nothing approach per domain. Organizations lack the ability to, for example, allow access to a cloud storage provider but block the download of harmful files from known-malicious URLs.
Organizations that register IP addresses frequently use Network Address Translation (NAT) traffic in order to share public IP addresses across many users. This results in a loss of visibility into DNS activity logs at the individual user level. So while IT security admins can see that a malicious domain was blocked, they must leverage additional forensic tools to track down a potentially compromised device.
Starting today, we are taking Cloudflare Gateway beyond a secure DNS filtering solution by pairing the Cloudflare for Teams client with a cloud L7 firewall. Now our customers can toss out another hardware appliance in their centralized security boundary and provide enterprise-level security for their users directly from the Cloudflare edge.
Protecting users and preventing corporate data loss
DNS filtering provides a baseline level of security across entire systems and even networks, since it’s leveraged by all applications for Internet communications. However, application-specific protection offers granular policy enforcement and visibility into whether traffic should be classified as malicious.
Today we’re excited to extend the protection we offer through DNS filtering by adding an L7 firewall that allows our customers to apply security and content policies to HTTP traffic. This provides administrators with a better tool to protect users through granular controls within HTTP sessions, and with visibility into policy enforcement. Just as importantly, it also gives our customers greater control over where their data resides. By building policies, customers can specify whether to allow or block a request based on file type, on whether the request was to upload or download a file, or on whether the destination is an approved cloud storage provider for the organization.
Enterprises protect their users’ Internet traffic wherever they are by connecting to Cloudflare with the Cloudflare for Teams client. This client provides a fast, secure connection to the Cloudflare data center nearest them, and it relies on the same Cloudflare WARP application millions of users connect through globally. Because the client uses the same WARP application under the hood, enterprises can be sure it has been tested at scale to provide security without compromising on performance. Cloudflare WARP optimizes network performance by leveraging WireGuard for the connection to the Cloudflare edge.
The result is a secure, performant connection for enterprise users wherever they are without requiring the backhaul of network traffic to a centralized security boundary. By connecting to Cloudflare Gateway with the Cloudflare for Teams client, enterprise users are protected through filtering policies applied to all outbound Internet traffic–protecting users as they navigate the Internet and preventing the loss of corporate data.
Cloudflare Gateway now supports HTTP traffic filtering based on a variety of criteria including:
To complement DNS filtering policies, IT admins can now create L7 firewall rules to apply granular policies on HTTP traffic.
For example, an admin may want to allow users to navigate to useful parts of Reddit, but block undesirable subreddits.
Or to prevent data loss, an admin could create a rule that allows users to receive content from popular cloud storage providers but not upload select file types from corporate devices.
Another admin might want to prevent malicious files from being smuggled in through zip file downloads, so they may decide to configure a rule to block downloads of compressed file types.
Having used our DNS filtering categories to protect internal users, an admin may want to simply block security threats based on the classification of full URLs. Malware payloads are frequently disseminated from cloud storage and with DNS filtering an admin has to choose whether to allow or deny access to the entire domain for a given storage provider. URL filtering gives admins the ability to filter requests for the exact URLs where malware payloads reside, allowing customers to continue to leverage the usefulness of their chosen storage provider.
And because all of this is made possible with the Cloudflare for Teams client, distributed workforces with roaming clients receive this protection wherever they are through a secure connection to the Cloudflare data center nearest them.
We’re excited to protect teams as they browse the Internet by inspecting HTTP traffic, but what about non-HTTP traffic? Later this year, we will extend Cloudflare Gateway by adding support for IP, port, and protocol filtering with a cloud L4 firewall. This will allow administrators to apply rules to all Internet-bound traffic, like rules that allow outbound SSH, or rules that determine whether to send HTTP traffic arriving on a non-standard port to the L7 firewall for HTTP inspection.
At launch, Cloudflare Gateway will allow administrators to create policies that filter DNS and HTTP traffic across all users in an organization. This creates a great baseline for security. However, exceptions are part of reality: a one-size-fits-all approach to content and security policy enforcement rarely matches the specific needs of all users.
To address this, we’re working on supporting rules based on user and group identity by integrating Cloudflare Access with a customer’s existing identity provider. This will let administrators create granular rules that also leverage context around the user, such as:
Deny access to social media to all users. But if John Doe is in the marketing group, allow him to access these sites in order to perform his job role.
Only allow Jane Doe to connect to specific SaaS applications through Cloudflare Gateway, or a certain device posture.
The need for policy enforcement and logging visibility based on identity arises from the reality that users aren’t tied to fixed, known workplaces. We meet that need by integrating identity and protecting users wherever they are with the Cloudflare for Teams client.
People do not start businesses to deal with the minutiae of information technology and security. They have a vision and a product or service they want to get out in the world, and we want to get them back to doing that. We can help eliminate the hard parts around implementing advanced security tools that are usually reserved for larger, more sophisticated organizations, and we want to make them available to teams regardless of size.
The launch of both the Cloudflare for Teams client and L7 firewall lays the foundation for an advanced Secure Web Gateway with integrations including anti-virus scanning, CASB, and remote browser isolation—all performed at the Cloudflare edge. We’re excited to share this glimpse of the future our team has built—and we’re just getting started.
Cloudflare secures your origin servers by proxying requests to your DNS records through our anycast network and to the external IP of your origin. However, external IP addresses can provide attackers with a path around Cloudflare security if they discover those destinations.
We launched Argo Tunnel as a secure way to connect your origin to Cloudflare without a publicly routable IP address. With Tunnel, you don’t send traffic to an external IP. Instead, a lightweight daemon runs in your infrastructure and creates outbound-only connections to Cloudflare’s edge. With Argo Tunnel, you can quickly deploy infrastructure in a Zero Trust model by ensuring all requests to your resources pass through Cloudflare’s security filters.
Originally, your Argo Tunnel connection corresponded to a DNS record in your account. Requests to that hostname hit Cloudflare’s network first and our edge sends those requests over the Argo Tunnel to your origin. Since these connections are outbound-only, you no longer need to poke holes in your infrastructure’s firewall. Your origins can serve traffic through Cloudflare without being vulnerable to attacks that bypass Cloudflare.
However, fitting an outbound-only connection into a reverse proxy creates some ergonomic and stability hurdles. The original Argo Tunnel architecture attempted to both manage DNS records and create connections. When connections became disrupted, Argo Tunnel would recreate the entire deployment. Additionally, Argo Tunnel connections could not be treated like regular origin servers in Cloudflare’s control plane and had to be managed directly from the server-side software.
Today, we’re introducing a new architecture that treats Argo Tunnel connections like a true origin server without the risk of exposure to the rest of the Internet. Now, when you create a Tunnel connection, you can point DNS records for any hostname in your account, or load balancer pools, to that connection from the Cloudflare dashboard. You can also run Argo Tunnel connections without the need for leaving certificates and service tokens on your servers.
Keeping persistent objects persistent
Argo Tunnel has objects that tend to stay persistent (DNS records) and objects that deliberately change and recreate (connections from `cloudflared` to Cloudflare). Argo Tunnel previously conflated the two categories, which led to some issues.
The edge vs. the control plane
Cloudflare as a whole consists of two components: the edge network and the control plane that manages the configuration of that network.
The data centers in 200 cities around the world that proxy traffic to your origin make up the edge network. These data centers are highly available and, thanks to Anycast IP routing, can gracefully handle traffic if one or more data centers go offline.
When you make a change to something in Cloudflare (whether via the UI in Cloudflare’s dashboard, or the API) our control plane receives it, authenticates it, and then pushes it to our edge.
If the control plane goes down, the edge should not be degraded – traffic will continue to be served using the most recent configuration. At launch, Argo Tunnel muddled the two in some places, which meant that control plane issues could become edge issues for Tunnel users.
Starting every Tunnel from scratch
Regardless of whether a Tunnel is connecting for the first time or the 100th, the operation repeated a series of high-level steps in the original architecture:
cloudflared connects to an Argo Tunnel service running in Cloudflare’s control plane. That service registers your Tunnel and its connections.
cloudflared creates a public DNS record for your hostname which points to a randomly generated CNAME record for load balanced Tunnels or an IPv6 for traditional Tunnels. The ephemeral CNAME record represents your Tunnel.
The control plane then tells Cloudflare’s edge about these DNS entries and where the CNAME or IP address should send traffic. Traffic can now be routed to cloudflared.
If the Tunnel disconnects, for any reason, the Argo Tunnel service unregistered the Tunnel and deleted the DNS record.
The last step is an issue. In most cases, you create an Argo Tunnel for a service meant to run indefinitely. The DNS record should stay persistent – it’s an app that you manage that should not change. However, a simple restart or disconnection meant that cloudflared had to follow every step and start itself from scratch. If any of those upstream services were degraded, the Tunnel would fail to reconnect.
This model also introduces other shortcomings. You cannot gracefully change the DNS record of a Tunnel; instead, you had to stop cloudflared and rerun the service. Visibility was limited. Load balancing introduced complications with how origins were counted.
Phase 1: Improving stability
The team started by reducing the impact of those dependencies. Over the last year, Argo Tunnel has quietly replaced single points of failure with distributed systems that are more fault tolerant.
Tunnels now live longer. Argo Tunnel has migrated to Cloudflare’s Unimog platform, which has increased the average life of a connection from minutes to days. When connections live longer, they restart less, and are then subject to fewer upstream hiccups.
Additionally, some Tunnels no longer need to follow the entire creation flow. If your Tunnel reconnects, we opportunistically try to reestablish it with the records already at our edge.
These changes have dramatically improved the stability of Argo Tunnel as a platform, but still left a couple of core problems: Tunnel reconnections were treated like new connections and managing those connections added friction.
Phase 2: Named Tunnels that outlive connections
Starting today, Argo Tunnel’s architecture distinguishes between the persistent objects (DNS records, cloudflared) from the ephemeral objects (the connections). To do that, this release introduces the concept of a permanent name that you assign to a Tunnel.
In the old model, cloudflaredcreated both the DNS record entries and established the connections from the server to Cloudflare’s network. DNS records became tied to those connections and could not be changed. Even worse, each time cloudflared restarted, we treated it like a new Tunnel and had to propagate this information into DNS and Load Balancer systems. If those had delays, the restart could become an outage.
Today’s release separates DNS creation from connection creation to make tunnels more stable and more simple to manage. In this model, you can use `cloudflared` to create an Argo Tunnel that has a persistent, stable name, that can be entirely unrelated to the hostname.
Once created, you can point DNS records in your account to a stable subdomain that relies on a UUID tied to that persistent name. Since the name and UUID do not change, your DNS record never needs to be cleaned up or recreated when Argo Tunnel restarts. In the event of a restart, the enrolled instance of cloudflared connects back to that UUID address.
You can also treat named Argo Tunnels like origin servers in this architecture – except these origins can only be connected to via a DNS record in your account. You can delete a DNS record and create a new one that points to the UUID address and traffic will be served – all without touching cloudflared.
How it works
You can begin using this new architecture today with the following steps. First, you’ll need to upgrade to the latest version of cloudflared.
1. Login to Cloudflare from `cloudflared`
Run cloudflared tunnel login and authenticate to your Cloudflare account. This step will generate a cert.pem file. That certificate contains a token that gives your instance of cloudflared the ability to create Named Tunnels in your account, as well as the ability to eventually point DNS records to them.
2. Create your Tunnel
You can now create a Tunnel that has a persistent name. Run cloudflared tunnel create <name> to do so. The name does not have to be a hostname. For example, you can assign a name that represents the application, the particular server, or the cloud environment where it runs.
cloudflared will create a Tunnel with the name that you give it and a UUID. This name will be associated with your account. Only DNS records in your account will proxy traffic to the connection. Additionally, the name will not be removed unless you actively delete it. The connections can stop and restart and will use the same name and UUID.
Creating a named Tunnel also generates a credentials file that is distinct from the cert.pem issued during the login. You only need the credentials file to run the Tunnel. If you do not want to create additional named Tunnels or DNS records from cloudflared, you can delete the cert.pem file to avoid leaving API tokens and certificates in your environment.
3. Configure Tunnel details
Configure your instance of cloudflared, including the URL that cloudflared will proxy traffic to in the configuration file. Alternatively, you can run the Tunnel in an ad hoc mode from the command line using the steps below.
4. Run your Tunnel
You can begin running the Tunnel with the command, cloudflared tunnel run <name> or cloudflared tunnel run <UUID> and it will start proxying traffic. If you are running the Tunnel without the cert.pem file and only the credentials file, you must use cloudflared tunnel run <UUID>.
5. Send traffic to your Tunnel
You can now decide how to send traffic to this persistent Tunnel. If you want to create a long-lived DNS record in the Cloudflare dashboard, you can point it to the Tunnel UUID subdomain in the format UUID.cfargotunnel.com. You can do the same in the Cloudflare Load Balancer panel to add this object to a load balanced pool where it will be treated as just one additional origin.
Alternatively, you can continue to create DNS records from cloudflared. Run the following command, cloudflared tunnel route dns <name> <hostname> or cloudflared tunnel route dns <UUID> <hostname> to associate the DNS record with the Tunnel address. You will only be able to create a DNS record from cloudflared for the zone name you selected when authenticating. Unlike the previous architecture, this DNS record will not be deleted if the Tunnel disconnects.
When this instance of cloudflared restarts, the name, UUID, and DNS record will not need to be recreated. The connection will reestablish and begin serving traffic.
[Optional] Check what Tunnels exist
You can also use this architecture to see your active Tunnels. Run cloudflared tunnel list to view the Tunnels created and their connection status. You can delete Tunnels, as well, by running cloudflared tunnel delete <name> or cloudflare tunnel delete <UUID>. To delete Tunnels, you do need the cert.pem file.
Credential and cert management
Once you have created a named Tunnel, you no longer need the cert.pem file to run that Tunnel and connect it to Cloudflare’s network. If you’re running the tunnel on a remote server or in a container, you can copy the credential file without sharing cert.pem outside your computer.
Similarly, if you want to let another person on your team run the Tunnel, you can send them the credentials file without sharing the cert.pem file as well. The cert.pem file is still required to create additional Tunnels, list existing tunnels, manage DNS records, or delete Tunnels.
The credentials file contains a secret scoped to the specific Tunnel UUID which establishes a connection from cloudflared to Cloudflare’s network. cloudflared operates like a client and establishes a TLS connection from your infrastructure to Cloudflare’s edge.
The new Argo Tunnel architecture is available today. You’ll need cloudflared version 2020.9.3 or later to begin using these features. The latest version of cloudflared is backwards compatible with the legacy model of Argo Tunnel. Additional documentation is available here.
We launched Cloudflare for Teams to make Zero Trust security accessible for all organizations, regardless of size, scale, or resources. Starting today, we are excited to take another step on this journey by announcing our new Teams plans, and more specifically, our Cloudflare for Teams Free plan, which protects up to 50 users at no cost. To get started, sign up today.
If you’re interested in how and why we’re doing this, keep scrolling.
Our Approach to Zero Trust
Cloudflare Access is one-half of Cloudflare for Teams – a Zero Trust solution that secures inbound connections to your protected applications. Cloudflare Access works like a bouncer, checking identity at the door to all of your applications.
The other half of Cloudflare for Teams is Cloudflare Gateway which, as our clever name implies, is a Secure Web Gateway protecting all of your users’ outbound connections to the Internet. To continue with this analogy, Cloudflare Gateway is your organization’s bodyguard, securing your users as they navigate the Internet.
Together, these two solutions provide a powerful, single dashboard to protect your users, networks, and applications from malicious actors.
A Mission-Driven Solution
At Cloudflare, our mission is to help build a better Internet. That means a better Internet for everyone, regardless of size, scale, or resources. With Cloudflare for Teams, our part in this mission is to keep your team members secure from unknown threats and your applications safe from attack, so that your team can focus on your business.
Earlier this year, shortly after we launched Cloudflare for Teams, organizations suddenly had to change the way they worked. Users left offices, and the security provided by those offices, to work from home. This accelerated the pace of IT transformation from years to days, or even hours.
To alleviate that burden, we provided Cloudflare for Teams for everyone at no cost, and with no restrictions until September 1, 2020. We also offered free one-on-one onboarding to make adoption seamless, and used those sessions to improve the product for our current users as well.
Moving forward, users will continue to work from home, and applications will continue to move away from managed data centers. While our initial free program is no longer available, our team wanted to find a new way to continue helping organizations of any size adjust to this new security model that seems to be here to stay.
The New Free Plan
Today, we are launching the Cloudflare for Teams Free plan, which brings the features of enterprise Zero Trust products and Secure Web Gateways to small teams as well.
Cloudflare for Teams Free offers robust Zero Trust security features for both internal and SaaS applications, and supports integration with a myriad of social and enterprise identity providers like AzureAD or Github. Our Free plan also includes DNS content and security filtering for multiple network locations, complete with 24 hour log retention. By offering Cloudflare for Teams Free, our goal is to empower you to take your first step on a journey to Zero Trust with us.
What You Can Do with Teams Free
With up to 50 seats of Access and Gateway, we’ve seen that the possibilities are endless. In fact, here are some of our favorite ways users are already getting the most out of Cloudflare for Teams Free today.
Collaborate on your startup. Build your product without worrying about security. Use Access to protect your development environment.
Secure your home Wi-Fi network. Point your home Wi-Fi router’s traffic to Gateway, and set up simple filtering rules to block malware and phishing attacks.
Protect the backend of your personal website. Lock down your WordPress admin panel pages, and invite collaborators to work on your blog by using Access’ one-time-pin feature.
Safeguard a guest Wi-Fi network. Shield a retail location with Gateway by enforcing your Acceptable Use Policy on your network.
Standalone and Standard
In addition to our new Cloudflare for Teams Free plan, we’re also making it easier to continue your Zero Trust journey by offering enhanced features in our standalone Cloudflare Access or Cloudflare Gateway plans.
With standalone Access, you can easily scale up or down with as many users as you need at any time for $3 per user.
Similarly, with Gateway standalone, you can safely and securely deploy DNS or HTTP security controls from 1 up to 20 different locations for $5 per user without compromising on reliability or performance.
Last but not least, we’re excited to finally give users a way to bundle with Teams Standard, which brings together everything from Access and Gateway under one simple plan at $7 per user.
To get started, just navigate to our sign-up page and create an account. If you already have an active account, you can head straight to the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard, where you’ll be dropped directly into our self-guided onboarding flow. From here, you’re just three steps away from deploying Access or Gateway but, in our opinion, you can’t go wrong kicking off with either.
We built Cloudflare Access™ as a tool to solve a problem we had inside of Cloudflare. We rely on a set of applications to manage and monitor our network. Some of these are popular products that we self-host, like the Atlassian suite, and others are tools we built ourselves. We deployed those applications on a private network. To reach them, you had to either connect through a secure WiFi network in a Cloudflare office, or use a VPN.
That VPN added friction to how we work. We had to dedicate part of Cloudflare’s onboarding just to teaching users how to connect. If someone received a PagerDuty alert, they had to rush to their laptop and sit and wait while the VPN connected. Team members struggled to work while mobile. New offices had to backhaul their traffic. In 2017 and early 2018, our IT team triaged hundreds of help desk tickets with titles like these:
While our IT team wrestled with usability issues, our Security team decided that poking holes in our private network was too much of a risk to maintain. Once on the VPN, users almost always had too much access. We had limited visibility into what happened on the private network. We tried to segment the network, but that was error-prone.
Around that time, Google published its BeyondCorp paper that outlined a model of what has become known as Zero Trust Security. Instead of trusting any user on a private network, a Zero Trust perimeter evaluates every request and connection for user identity and other variables.
We decided to create our own implementation by building on top of Cloudflare. Despite BeyondCorp being a new concept, we had experience in this field. For nearly a decade, Cloudflare’s global network had been operating like a Zero Trust perimeter for applications on the Internet – we just didn’t call it that. For example, products like our WAF evaluated requests to public-facing applications. We could add identity as a new layer and use the same network to protect applications teams used internally.
We began moving our self-hosted applications to this new project. Users logged in with our SSO provider from any network or location, and the experience felt like any other SaaS app. Our Security team gained the control and visibility they needed, and our IT team became more productive. Specifically, our IT teams have seen ~80% reduction in the time they spent servicing VPN-related tickets, which unlocked over $100K worth of help desk efficiency annually. Later in 2018, we launched this as a product that our customers could use as well.
By shifting security to Cloudflare’s network, we could also make the perimeter smarter. We could require that users login with a hard key, something that our identity provider couldn’t support. We could restrict connections to applications from specific countries. We added device posture integrations. Cloudflare Access became an aggregator of identity signals in this Zero Trust model.
As a result, our internal tools suddenly became more secure than the SaaS apps we used. We could only add rules to the applications we could place on Cloudflare’s reverse proxy. When users connected to popular SaaS tools, they did not pass through Cloudflare’s network. We lacked a consistent level of visibility and security across all of our applications. So did our customers.
Starting today, our team and yours can fix that. We’re excited to announce that you can now bring the Zero Trust security features of Cloudflare Access to your SaaS applications. You can protect any SaaS application that can integrate with a SAML identity provider with Cloudflare Access.
Even though that SaaS application is not deployed on Cloudflare, we can still add security rules to every login. You can begin using this feature today and, in the next couple of months, you’ll be able to ensure that all traffic to these SaaS applications connects through Cloudflare Gateway.
Standardizing and aggregating identity in Cloudflare’s network
Support for SaaS applications in Cloudflare Access starts with standardizing identity. Cloudflare Access aggregates different sources of identity: username, password, location, and device. Administrators build rules to determine what requirements a user must meet to reach an application. When users attempt to connect, Cloudflare enforces every rule in that checklist before the user ever reaches the app.
The primary rule in that checklist is user identity. Cloudflare Access is not an identity provider; instead, we source identity from SSO services like Okta, Ping Identity, OneLogin, or public apps like GitHub. When a user attempts to access a resource, we prompt them to login with the provider configured. If successful, the provider shares the user’s identity and other metadata with Cloudflare Access.
A username is just one part of a Zero Trust decision. We consider additional rules, like country restrictions or device posture via partners like Tanium or, soon, additional partners CrowdStrike and VMware Carbon Black. If the user meets all of those criteria, Cloudflare Access summarizes those variables into a standard proof of identity that our network trusts: a JSON Web Token (JWT).
A JWT is a secure, information-dense way to share information. Most importantly, JWTs follow a standard, so that different systems can trust one another. When users login to Cloudflare Access, we generate and sign a JWT that contains the decision and information about the user. We store that information in the user’s browser and treat that as proof of identity for the duration of their session.
Every JWT must consist of three Base64-URL strings: the header, the payload, and the signature.
The header defines the cryptographic operation that encrypts the data in the JWT.
The payload consists of name-value pairs for at least one and typically multiple claims, encoded in JSON. For example, the payload can contain the identity of a user.
The signature allows the receiving party to confirm that the payload is authentic.
We store the identity data inside of the payload and include the following details:
User identity: typically the email address of the user retrieved from your identity provider.
Authentication domain: the domain that signs the token. For Access, we use “example.cloudflareaccess.com” where “example” is a subdomain you can configure.
amr: If available, the multifactor authentication method the login used, like a hard key or a TOTP code.
Country: The country where the user is connecting from.
Audience: The domain of the application you are attempting to reach.
Expiration: the time at which the token is no longer valid for use.
Some applications support JWTs natively for SSO. We can send the token to the application and the user can login. In other cases, we’ve released plugins for popular providers like Atlassian and Sentry. However, most applications lack JWT support and rely on a different standard: SAML.
Converting JWT to SAML with Cloudflare Workers
You can deploy Cloudflare’s reverse proxy to protect the applications you host, which puts Cloudflare Access in a position to add identity checks when those requests hit our edge. However, the SaaS applications you use are hosted and managed by the vendors themselves as part of the value they offer. In the same way that I cannot decide who can walk into the front door of the bakery downstairs, you can’t build rules about what requests should and shouldn’t be allowed.
When those applications support integration with your SSO provider, you do have control over the login flow. Many applications rely on a popular standard, SAML, to securely exchange identity data and user attributes between two systems. The SaaS application does not need to know the details of the identity provider’s rules.
Cloudflare Access uses that relationship to force SaaS logins through Cloudflare’s network. The application itself thinks of Cloudflare Access as the SAML identity provider. When users attempt to login, the application sends the user to login with Cloudflare Access.
That said, Cloudflare Access is not an identity provider – it’s an identity aggregator. When the user reaches Access, we will redirect them to the identity provider in the same way that we do today when users request a site that uses Cloudflare’s reverse proxy. By adding that hop through Access, though, we can layer the additional contextual rules and log the event.
We still generate a JWT for every login providing a standard proof of identity. Integrating with SaaS applications required us to convert that JWT into a SAML assertion that we can send to the SaaS application. Cloudflare Access runs in every one of Cloudflare’s data centers around the world to improve availability and avoid slowing down users. We did not want to lose those advantages for this flow. To solve that, we turned to Cloudflare Workers.
The core login flow of Cloudflare Access already runs on Cloudflare Workers. We built support for SaaS applications by using Workers to take the JWT and convert its content into SAML assertions that are sent to the SaaS application. The application thinks that Cloudflare Access is the identity provider, even though we’re just aggregating identity signals from your SSO provider and other sources into the JWT, and sending that summary to the app via SAML.
Integrate with Gateway for comprehensive logging (coming soon)
Cloudflare Gateway keeps your users and data safe from threats on the Internet by filtering Internet-bound connections that leave laptops and offices. Gateway gives administrators the ability to block, allow, or log every connection and request to SaaS applications.
However, users are connecting from personal devices and home WiFi networks, potentially bypassing Internet security filtering available on corporate networks. If users have their password and MFA token, they can bypass security requirements and reach into SaaS applications from their own, unprotected devices at home.
To ensure traffic to your SaaS apps only connects over Gateway-protected devices, Cloudflare Access will add a new rule type that requires Gateway when users login to your SaaS applications. Once enabled, users will only be able to connect to your SaaS applications when they use Cloudflare Gateway. Gateway will log those connections and provide visibility into every action within SaaS apps and the Internet.
Every identity provider is now capable of SAML SSO
Identity providers come in two flavors and you probably use both every day. One type is purpose-built to be an identity provider, and the other accidentally became one. With this release, Cloudflare Access can convert either into a SAML-compliant SSO option.
Corporate identity providers, like Okta or Azure AD, manage your business identity. Your IT department creates and maintains the account. They can integrate it with SaaS Applications for SSO.
The second type of login option consists of SaaS providers that began as consumer applications and evolved into public identity providers. LinkedIn, GitHub, and Google required users to create accounts in their applications for networking, coding, or email.
Over the last decade, other applications began to trust those public identity provider logins. You could use your Google account to log into a news reader and your GitHub account to authenticate to DigitalOcean. Services like Google and Facebook became SSO options for everyone. However, most corporate applications only supported integration with a single SAML provider, something public identity providers do not provide. To rely on SSO as a team, you still needed a corporate identity provider.
Cloudflare Access converts a user login from any identity provider into a JWT. With this release, we also generate a standard SAML assertion. Your team can now use the SAML SSO features of a corporate identity provider with public providers like LinkedIn or GitHub.
Multi-SSO meets SaaS applications
We describe Cloudflare Access as a Multi-SSO service because you can integrate multiple identity providers, and their SSO flows, into Cloudflare’s Zero Trust network. That same capability now extends to integrating multiple identity providers with a single SaaS application.
Most SaaS applications will only integrate with a single identity provider, limiting your team to a single option. We know that our customers work with partners, contractors, or acquisitions which can make it difficult to standardize around a single identity option for SaaS logins.
Cloudflare Access can connect to multiple identity providers simultaneously, including multiple instances of the same provider. When users are prompted to login, they can choose the option that their particular team uses.
We’ve taken that ability and extended it into the Access for SaaS feature. Access generates a consistent identity from any provider, which we can now extend for SSO purposes to a SaaS application. Even if the application only supports a single identity provider, you can still integrate Cloudflare Access and merge identities across multiple sources. Now, team members who use your Okta instance and contractors who use LinkedIn can both SSO into your Atlassian suite.
All of your apps in one place
Cloudflare Access released the Access App Launch as a single destination for all of your internal applications. Your team members visit a URL that is unique to your organization and the App Launch displays all of the applications they can reach. The feature requires no additional administrative configuration; Cloudflare Access reads the user’s JWT and returns only the applications they are allowed to reach.
That experience now extends to all applications in your organization. When you integrate SaaS applications with Cloudflare Access, your users will be able to discover them in the App Launch. Like the flow for internal applications, this requires no additional configuration.
How to get started
To get started, you’ll need a Cloudflare Access account and a SaaS application that supports SAML SSO. Navigate to the Cloudflare for Teams dashboard and choose the “SaaS” application option to start integrating your applications. Cloudflare Access will walk through the steps to configure the application to trust Cloudflare Access as the SSO option.
Do you have an application that needs additional configuration? Please let us know.
Protect SaaS applications with Cloudflare for Teams today
Today we’re announcing Cloudflare One™. It is the culmination of engineering and technical development guided by conversations with thousands of customers about the future of the corporate network. It provides secure, fast, reliable, cost-effective network services, integrated with leading identity management and endpoint security providers.
Over the course of this week, we’ll be rolling out the components that enable Cloudflare One, including our WARP Gateway Clients for desktop and mobile, our Access for SaaS solution, our browser isolation product, and our next generation network firewall and intrusion detection system.
The old model of the corporate network has been made obsolete by mobile, SaaS, and the public cloud. The events of 2020 have only accelerated the need for a new model. Zero Trust networking is the future and we are proud to be enabling that future. Having worked on the components of what is Cloudflare One for the last two years, we’re excited to unveil today how they’ve come together into a robust SASE solution and share how customers are already using it to deliver the more secure and productive future of the corporate network.
What Is Cloudflare One? Secure, Optimized Global Networking
Cloudflare One is a comprehensive, cloud-based network-as-a-service solution that is designed to be secure, fast, reliable and define the future of the corporate network. It replaces a patchwork of appliances and WAN technologies with a single network that provides cloud-based security, performance, and control through one user interface.
Cloudflare One brings together how users connect, on ramps for branch offices, secure connectivity for applications, and controlled access to SaaS into a single platform.
Cloudflare One reflects the complex nature of corporate networking today: mobile and remote users, SaaS applications, a mix of applications hosted in private data centers and public cloud, as well the challenge of employees using the broader Internet securely from their corporate and personal devices.
Whether you call this SASE or simply the new reality, today’s enterprise needs flexibility at every layer of the network and application stack. Secure and authenticated access is needed for users wherever they are: at the office, on a mobile device or working from home. Corporate network architectures need to reflect the state of modern computing that requires secure, filtered Internet access to get to SaaS or public cloud, secure application connectivity to protect against hackers and DDoS, and fast, reliable branch and home office access.
And the new corporate network needs to be global. No matter where applications are hosted, or employees reside, connectivity needs to be secure and fast. With Cloudflare’s massive global presence, traffic is secured, routed, and filtered over an optimized backbone that uses real time Internet intelligence to protect against the latest threats and route traffic around bad Internet weather and outages.
However, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. It doesn’t matter how secure your network is if you allow the wrong people access, or your end user’s devices are compromised. That is why we’re incredibly excited to announce that Cloudflare One takes the power of Cloudflare’s network and combines it with best-of-breed identity management and device integrity to create a complete solution that encompasses the entire corporate network of today and tomorrow.
Partner ecosystem: Identity Management
Most organizations already have one or more identity management systems. Rather than requiring them to change, we are integrating with all the major providers. This week we’re announcing partnerships with Okta, Ping Identity, and OneLogin. We support nearly all the other leading identity providers including Microsoft Active Directory and Google Workspace, as well as broadly adopted consumer and developer identity platforms like Github, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Powerfully, Cloudflare One does not require you to standardize on just one identity provider. We see multiple companies that may have one identity provider for full-time employees and another for contractors. Or one they chose themselves and another they inherited from an acquisition. Cloudflare One will integrate with one or more identity providers and allow you to then set consistent policies across all your applications.
The metaphor that makes sense to me is that the identity provider issues passports and Cloudflare One is the border agent that checks that they’re valid. At any particular moment, different passports from different providers may be allowed or forbidden to enter just by updating the instructions the border agent follows.
Partner ecosystem: Device Integrity
In addition to identity, device integrity and endpoint security are an important part of a zero trust solution. This week we’re announcing partnerships with CrowdStrike, VMware Carbon Black, SenitnelOne, and Tanium. These providers run on devices and ensure that they haven’t been compromised. Again, organizations can centralize around a single vendor for device integrity or can mix and match with Cloudflare One providing a consistent control plane.
Extending the border control analogy, it’s like having a temperature screening and COVID-19 test when you enter a country. Even if you have a valid passport, if you’re not healthy then you will be turned away. By partnering with the leading identity and device integrity providers, Cloudflare One provides a robust identity and access management solution that fully delivers on the promise of Zero Trust.
We’re thrilled to partner with these leading identity management and endpoint security companies to make Cloudflare One flexible and robust.
With this as an introduction to Cloudflare One, I wanted to provide some context on why the existing paradigm doesn’t work, what the future of the enterprise network looks like, and where we go from here. In order to understand the power of Cloudflare One, you first have to understand the way we used to build and secure corporate networks and how the transition to mobile, cloud, and remote work have all forced this fundamental change in the paradigm.
The Middle(box) Ages: How Corporate Security Used to Work
The Internet was designed to be a massive, decentralized network. Any computer could connect to that network and route data from one location to another. The model provided resiliency, but did not guarantee fast or available connections. The early Internet also lacked a framework for security.
As a result, enterprises did not trust the Internet as a platform for their businesses. To keep employees productive, network connections had to be fast and available. Those connections also had to be secure. So, businesses built their own shadow versions of the Internet:
Companies purchased dedicated, private connections between offices and across their data centers in the form of expensive MPLS links.
IT teams managed complex routing across offices, VPN hardware, and clients.
Security teams deployed physical firewall boxes and DDoS appliances to keep the private network safe.
When employees had to use the Internet, security teams backhauled traffic through a central location to filter outbound connections with yet more hardware: Internet gateways.
Legacy corporate security followed a castle and moat approach. You put all your sensitive applications and data in the castle, you required all your employees to come to work in the castle every day, and then you built a metaphorical moat around the castle using firewalls, DDoS appliances, gateways and more: an unmanageable mess of devices and vendors.
The Middle(box) Ages Are Long Gone
While smarter attackers finding ways to breach moats were always a concern for the castle and moat approach, ultimately they weren’t what caused the approach to fail. Instead the change came from transformation of the technical landscape. Smartphones made workers increasingly mobile, letting them venture outside the moat. SaaS and the public cloud moved data and corporate applications out of the metaphorical castle.
And, in 2020, COVID-19 changed everything by forcing everyone who could to work remotely. If the employees weren’t coming to work in the castle anymore, the whole paradigm completely breaks down. This transition was happening already, but this year poured gasoline on the already smoldering fire. Increasingly companies are realizing that the only way forward is to embrace the fact that employees, servers and applications are now “on the Internet” and not “in the castle.” This new paradigm is known as “Zero Trust.”
Google’s seminal paper, “BeyondCorp: A New Approach to Enterprise Security,” published in 2014, brought the idea of Zero Trust security into the mainstream. Google’s insight in 2014 was that you could solve the challenges of every employee and application being on the Internet by ensuring that every application would inherently distrust every connection. If there was zero trust inherent to what network you were on, then every user of every application would be continuously authenticated. Powerfully, that would simultaneously enhance security while enabling more use of cloud applications as well as mobile and remote work.
The Future LAN: A Secure WAN
What we realized talking to customers was that even the analyst and competitor framing of the future corporate network didn’t fully recognize some challenges that come with a Zero Trust model. One of the benefits of embracing a Zero Trust model is that it makes enabling branch and home offices easier and less expensive. Rather than having to lease expensive MPLS circuits to connect branch offices — something that is literally impossible as people work from home — you instead require every use of every application to be authenticated.
This lines up with something else we’ve heard from our customers over the last six months: “maybe the Internet is almost good enough.” Like physical offices, many MPLS or SD-WAN deployments are currently sitting idle. And yet, employees continue to be productive. If users could move to a model that runs on the Internet, and one that improves the Internet, teams can stop spending money on legacy routing. Rather than trying to build more private networks, the corporate network of the future leverages the Internet but with heightened security, performance, and reliability.
That sounds great, but it opens a whole new can of worms. Inherently to do this you need to expose more of your applications to the Internet. While they may be safe from unauthorized use if you’ve properly implemented Zero Trust, that opens them to many less sophisticated, but highly disruptive challenges.
At the end of 2019 we saw a disturbing new trend begin to emerge. DDoS attackers shifted their focus from embarrassing companies by knocking their websites offline to increasingly targeting internal applications and networks. Unfortunately, we’ve seen more of these attacks launched throughout the pandemic.
It’s not a coincidence. It’s the direct result of companies being forced to expose more of their internal applications to the Internet in order to support remote work. To our surprise, it has turned out that while we anticipated Access and Gateway being the natural pairing of products, equally often customers looking to move to a Zero Trust model are bundling Cloudflare’s DDoS and WAF products.
It makes sense. If you are exposing more of your applications to the Internet, then the problems that Internet-facing applications have had to deal with in the past now become the problems of your internal applications as well. It’s become clear to us that the future of a SASE or Zero Trust network needs to also include DDoS mitigation and WAF as well.
Making the Internet Secure and Reliable Enough for the Enterprise
We agree with the customers we’ve talked to who say that the Internet is almost good enough to replace a corporate network. We’ve been building products to fill in the gaps where it needs to be better. Virtual appliances in regional public cloud providers are not sufficient. Enterprises need a global, distributed network that accelerates traffic in any location.
We’ve spent the last decade building Cloudflare’s network; bringing the Internet closer to users around the world and supporting incredible scale. According to W3Techs, more than 14% of the web already relies on our network. We can also use that to constantly measure the Internet at scale and find faster routes. That scale allows us to deliver Cloudflare One to any organization, no matter where they are located or how global their workforce, and ensure their network and applications are secure, fast, and reliable.
Foreshadowing Cloudflare One
The same lessons we’ve learned handling traffic for the websites on our network can be applied to how enterprises connect to everything else. We started that journey last year when we launched Cloudflare WARP, a consumer product that routes all connections leaving a personal device through Cloudflare’s network, where we can encrypt and accelerate it. This week, we’ll show how the WARP Client is now one of the on-ramps to get employee traffic onto Cloudflare One.
We launched WARP on mobile devices because we knew they would prove to be the most difficult to get right. Traditionally, VPN clients are clunky battery sucks designed for desktops and, if they have mobile versions at all, they’ve been clumsily ported over. We set out to build WARP to work great on mobile, not burning battery life or slowing connections down, because we knew if we could pull that off then it would be easy to port it to the less limited constraints of the desktop.
We also launched it for consumers first because they are the best QA team you could ever assemble. More than 10 million consumers have been putting WARP through its paces for the last year. We’ve seen edge cases from every corner of the Internet and used them to iron the bugs out. We knew that if we could make the WARP Client something that consumers loved to use then it would be a stark contrast to every other enterprise solution in the market.
Meanwhile, we built products to deliver the same improvements to data centers and offices. We announced Magic Transit last year to provide secure, performant, and reliable IP connectivity to the Internet. Earlier this year, we expanded that model when we launched Cloudflare Network Interconnect (CNI) to allow our customers to interconnect branch offices and data centers directly with Cloudflare.
Cloudflare Access starts by introducing identity into Cloudflare’s network. We apply filters based on identity and context to both inbound and outbound connections. Every login, request, and response proxies through Cloudflare’s network regardless of the location of the server or user.
Cloudflare Gateway keeps connections to the rest of the Internet safe. By routing all traffic through Cloudflare’s network first, customers can deprecrate on-premise firewalls eliminating Internet backhaul requirements that slow down users.
Pulling the Pieces Together
We think about the products in Cloudflare One in two categories:
On-ramps: the products that connect a user, device, or location to Cloudflare’s edge. WARP for endpoints, Magic Transit and CNI for networks, Argo Smart Routing to accelerate traffic.
Filters: the products that shield networks from attacks, inspect traffic for threats, and apply least privilege rules to data and applications. Access for Zero Trust rules, Gateway for traffic filtering, Magic Firewall for network filtering.
Most competitors in this space focus on one area, which loses out on the efficiencies of combining them in a single solution. Cloudflare One brings those together on our network. By integrating both sides of the challenge, we can give administrators a single place to manage and secure their network.
What Differentiates Cloudflare One
Easy to Deploy, Manage, and Use
We’ve always offered free and pay-as-you-go plans that teams of any size could sign up for with a credit card. Those customers lack the systems integrators or IT departments of large enterprises. To serve those teams, we had to build a control plane and dashboard that was accessible and easy to use.
The products in Cloudflare One follow that same approach; comprehensive enough for enterprises but easy to use to make these products accessible to any team. We’ve also extended that to end users; the client application that powers Gateway is built on what we learned creating Cloudflare WARP for consumer users.
Cloudflare One puts the entire corporate network behind a single pane of glass. By integrating with leading identity providers and endpoint security solutions, Cloudflare One enables companies to enforce a consistent set of policies across all their applications. Since the network is the common denominator of all applications, by building control into the network Cloudflare One ensures consistent policies whether an application is new or legacy, run on-premise or in the cloud, and delivered from your own infrastructure or a multi-tenant SaaS provider.
Cloudflare One also helps rationalize complicated deployments. While it would be great if every app and every employee and contractor used the same identity provider, for example, that isn’t always possible. Acquisitions, skunkworks projects, and internal disagreements can cause multiple different solutions to be present inside one company. Cloudflare One allows you to plug different providers into one unified network control plane to ensure consistent policies.
Our core tenet of serving the entire Internet has always forced us to obsess over costs. Efficiency is in the DNA of Cloudflare and we use our efficiency to pass along customer-friendly, fixed-rate pricing. Cloudflare One builds on that experience to deliver a platform that is more cost-effective than combining point solution vendors. The differences are especially apparent versus other providers who have tried to build on top of public cloud platforms and inherit their cost and inconsistent network performance.
To achieve the level of efficiency needed to compete with hardware appliances required us to invent a new type of platform. That platform needed to be built our own network where we could drive costs down and ensure the highest level of performance. It needed to be architected so any server in any city that made up Cloudflare’s network could run every one of our services. That means that Cloudflare One runs across Cloudflare’s global network spanning more than 200 cities worldwide. Even your farthest flung branch offices and remote workers are likely within milliseconds of servers powering Cloudflare One, ensuring our service works well wherever your team works.
Leverages Cloudflare’s Scale
Cloudflare already sits in front of a huge portion of the Internet. That allows us to see and respond to new security threats continuously. It also means that Cloudflare One customers’ traffic can be more efficiently routed, even when going to applications that would appear to be on the public Internet.
For instance, an employee behind Cloudflare One who is catching up on holiday shopping during their lunch break can have their traffic routed from a corporate branch office, across Cloudflare’s Magic Transit, over Cloudflare’s global backbone, across Cloudflare’s Network Interconnect, and to the ecommerce provider. Because Cloudflare handles the packets end-to-end, we can ensure they are encrypted, optimally routed, and efficiently delivered. As more of the Internet uses Cloudflare, the experience of surfing the Internet for Cloudflare One customers will grow even more exceptional.
What Does Cloudflare One Replace?
Instead of expensive MPLS links or complex SD-WAN deployments, Cloudflare One provides two on-ramps to your applications and the entire Internet: WARP and Magic Transit. WARP connects employees from any device, and any location, to Cloudflare’s network. Magic Transit allows broad deployments across whole offices or data centers.
Cloudflare Access replaces private-networks-as-security with Zero Trust controls. Later this week, we’ll announce how you can extend Access to any application, including SaaS applications.
Finally, Cloudflare One eliminates traditional network firewalls and web gateways. Cloudflare Gateway inspects traffic leaving any device in your organization to block threats on the Internet and prevent data from leaving. Magic Firewall will give your networks the same security, filtering traffic at the transport layer to replace the top-of-rack firewalls that block data exfiltration or attacks from unsecure network protocols.
What Comes Next?
Your team can start using Cloudflare One today. Add Zero Trust control to your applications with Cloudflare Access and secure DNS queries with Cloudflare Gateway. Keep networks safe from DDoS attacks with Magic Transit and connect your applications through Cloudflare with Argo Tunnel.
Over the course of the week, we’ll be launching new features and products to start to complete this vision. On Tuesday, we’ll extend the Zero Trust security of Cloudflare Access to all of your applications. Starting Wednesday, teams will be able to use Cloudflare WARP to proxy all employee traffic to Cloudflare where Gateway will now secure more than just DNS queries. You’ll be invited to sign up for Cloudflare’s browser isolation beta on Thursday and we’ll wrap the week with new APIs to control how Magic Transit secures your network.
It’s going to be a busy week, but we’re just getting started. Replacing a corporate network should not also mean you lose control over how that network operates. Magic WAN is our solution to complex SD-WAN deployments.
Security for that entire network should also work in both directions. Magic Firewall is our alternative to the clunky “next-generation firewall” appliances that secure outbound traffic. Data loss prevention (DLP) is another space that has lacked innovation and where we plan to extend Cloudflare One.
Finally, you should have visibility into that network. We’ll be launching new tools to detect and mitigate intrusion attempts that happen anywhere on your network, including unauthorized access to any SaaS applications you use. Now that we’ve built the on-ramps onto Cloudflare One, we’re excited to continue to innovate to provide more functionality and control to solve our customers biggest network security, performance, and reliability challenges.
Delivering the Network Customers Need Today
Over the last 10 years, Cloudflare has built one of the fastest, most reliable, most secure networks in the world. We’ve seen the power of using that network internally to enable our own teams to innovate quickly and securely. With the launch of Cloudflare One, we’re extending the power of Cloudflare’s network to meet the challenges of any company. The move to Zero Trust is a paradigm shift but the changes to how we work we believe has made it inevitable for every company. We’re proud of how we’ve been able to help some of Cloudflare One’s first customers reinvent their corporate networks. It makes sense to close with their own words.
“JetBlue Travel Products needed a way to give crew-members secure and simple access to internally-managed benefit apps. Cloudflare gave us all that and more — a much more efficient way to connect business partners and crew-members to critical internal tools.” — Vitaliy Faida, General Manager, Data/DevSecOps at JetBlue Travel Products.
“OneTrust relies on Cloudflare to maintain our network perimeter, so we can focus on delivering technology that helps our customers be more trusted. “With Cloudflare, we can easily build context-aware Zero Trust policies for secure access to our developer tools. Employees can connect to the tools they need so simply teams don’t even know Cloudflare is powering the backend. It just works.” — Blake Brannon, CTO of OneTrust.
“Discord is where the world builds relationships. Cloudflare helps us deliver on that mission, connecting our internal engineering team to the tools they need. With Cloudflare, we can rest easy knowing every request to our critical apps is evaluated for identity and context — a true Zero Trust approach.” — Mark Smith, Director of Infrastructure at Discord.
“When you’re a fast-growing, security-focused company like Area 1, anything that slows development down is the enemy. With Cloudflare, we’ve found a simpler, more secure way to connect our employees to the tools they need to keep us growing – and the experience is lightning-fast.” — Blake Darché, CSO at Area 1 Security.
“We launched quickly in April 2020 to bring remote learning to children throughout the UK during the coronavirus pandemic, Cloudflare Access made it fast and simple to authenticate a huge network of teachers and developers into our production sites and we set it up in literally less than an hour. Cloudflare’s WAF helped ensure the security and resilience of our public-facing website from day one.” — John Roberts, Technology Director at Oak National Academy.
“With Cloudflare, we’ve been able to reduce our dependence on VPNs and IP allow-listing for development environments. Our developers and testers aren’t required to login from specific locations, and we’ve been able to deploy an SSO solution to simplify the login process. Access is easier to manage than VPNs and other remote access solutions, which has removed pressure from our IT teams. They can focus on internal projects instead of spending time managing remote access.” — Alexandre Papadopoulos, Director of Cyber Security, INSEAD.
Running a secure enterprise network is really difficult. Employees spread all over the world work from home. Applications are run from data centers, hosted in public cloud, and delivered as services. Persistent and motivated attackers exploit any vulnerability.
Enterprises used to build networks that resembled a castle-and-moat. The walls and moat kept attackers out and data in. Team members entered over a drawbridge and tended to stay inside the walls. Trust folks on the inside of the castle to do the right thing, and deploy whatever you need in the relative tranquility of your secure network perimeter.
The Internet, SaaS, and “the cloud” threw a wrench in that plan. Today, more of the workloads in a modern enterprise run outside the castle than inside. So why are enterprises still spending money building more complicated and more ineffective moats?
Today, we’re excited to share Cloudflare One™, our vision to tackle the intractable job of corporate security and networking.
Cloudflare One combines networking products that enable employees to do their best work, no matter where they are, with consistent security controls deployed globally.
Starting today, you can begin replacing traffic backhauls to security appliances with Cloudflare WARP and Gateway to filter outbound Internet traffic. For your office networks, we plan to bring next-generation firewall capabilities to Magic Transit with Magic Firewall to let you get rid of your top-of-shelf firewall appliances.
With multiple on-ramps to the Internet through Cloudflare, and the elimination of backhauled traffic, we plan to make it simple and cost-effective to manage that routing compared to MPLS and SD-WAN models. Cloudflare Magic WAN will provide a control plane for how your traffic routes through our network.
You can use Cloudflare One today to replace the other function of your VPN: putting users on a private network for access control. Cloudflare Access delivers Zero Trust controls that can replace private network security models. Later this week, we’ll announce how you can extend Access to any application – including SaaS applications. We’ll also preview our browser isolation technology to keep the endpoints that connect to those applications safe from malware.
Finally, the products in Cloudflare One focus on giving your team the logs and tools to both understand and then remediate issues. As part of our Gateway filtering launch this week we’re including logs that provide visibility into the traffic leaving your organization. We’ll be sharing how those logs get smarter later this week with a new Intrusion Detection System that detects and stops intrusion attempts.
Many of those components are available today, some new features are arriving this week, and other pieces will be launching soon. All together, we’re excited to share this vision and for the future of the corporate network.
Problems in enterprise networking and security
The demands placed on a corporate network have changed dramatically. IT has gone from a back-office function to mission critical. In parallel with networks becoming more integral, users spread out from offices to work from home. Applications left the datacenter and are now being run out of multiple clouds or are being delivered by vendors directly over the Internet.
Direct network paths became hairpin turns
Employees sitting inside of an office could connect over a private network to applications running in a datacenter nearby. When team members left the office, they could use a VPN to sneak back onto the network from outside the walls. Branch offices hopped on that same network over expensive MPLS links.
When applications left the data center and users left their offices, organizations responded by trying to force that scattered world into the same castle-and-moat model. Companies purchased more VPN licenses and replaced MPLS links with difficult SD-WAN deployments. Networks became more complex in an attempt to mimic an older model of networking when in reality the Internet had become the new corporate network.
Attackers looking to compromise corporate networks have a multitude of tools at their disposal, and may execute surgical malware strikes, throw a volumetric kitchen sink at your network, or any number of things in between. Traditionally, defense against each class of attack was provided by a separate, specialized piece of hardware running in a datacenter.
Security controls used to be relatively easy when every user and every application sat in the same place. When employees left offices and workloads left data centers, the same security controls struggled to follow. Companies deployed a patchwork of point solutions, attempting to rebuild their topside firewall appliances across hybrid and dynamic environments.
High-visibility required high-effort
The move to a patchwork model sacrificed more than just defense-in-depth — companies lost visibility into what was happening in their networks and applications. We hear from customers that this capture and standardization of logs has become one of their biggest hurdles. They purchased expensive data ingestion, analysis, storage, and analytics tools.
Enterprises now rely on multiple point solutions that one of the biggest hurdles is the capture and standardization of logs. Increasing regulatory and compliance pressures place more emphasis on data retention and analysis. Splintered security solutions become a data management nightmare.
Fixing issues relied on best guesses
Without visibility into this new networking model, security teams had to guess at what could go wrong. Organizations who wanted to adopt an “assume breach” model struggled to determine what kind of breach could even occur, so they threw every possible solution at the problem.
We talk to enterprises who purchase new scanning and filtering services, delivered in virtual appliances, for problems they are unsure they have. These teams attempt to remediate every possible event manually, because they lack visibility, rather than targeting specific events and adapting the security model.
How does Cloudflare One fit?
Over the last several years, we’ve been assembling the components of Cloudflare One. We launched individual products to target some of these problems one-at-a-time. We’re excited to share our vision for how they all fit together in Cloudflare One.
Flexible data planes
Cloudflare launched as a reverse proxy. Customers put their Internet-facing properties on our network and their audience connected to those specific destinations through our network. Cloudflare One represents years of launches that allow our network to process any type of traffic flowing in either the “reverse” or “forward” direction.
In 2019, we launchedCloudflare WARP — a mobile application that kept Internet-bound traffic private with an encrypted connection to our network while also making it faster and more reliable. We’re now packaging that same technology into an enterprise version launching this week to connect roaming employees to Cloudflare Gateway.
Your data centers and offices should have the same advantage. We launchedMagic Transit last year to secure your networks from IP-layer attacks. Our initial focus with Magic Transit has been delivering best-in-class DDoS mitigation to on-prem networks. DDoS attacks are a persistent thorn in network operators’ sides, and Magic Transit effectively diffuses their sting without forcing performance compromises. That rock-solid DDoS mitigation is the perfect platform on which to build higher level security functions that apply to the same traffic already flowing across our network.
Earlier this year, we expanded that model when we launchedCloudflare Network Interconnect (CNI) to allow our customers to interconnect branch offices and data centers directly with Cloudflare. As part of Cloudflare One, we’ll apply outbound filtering to that same connection.
Cloudflare One should not just help your team move to the Internet as a corporate network, it should be faster than the Internet. Our network is carrier-agnostic, exceptionally well-connected and peered, and delivers the same set of services globally. In each of these on-ramps, we’re adding smarter routing based on our Argo Smart Routing technology, which has been shown to reduce latency by 30% or more in the real-world. Security + Performance, because they’re better together.
A single, unified control plane
When users connect to the Internet from branch offices and devices, they skip the firewall appliances that used to live in headquarters altogether. To keep pace, enterprises need a way to secure traffic that no longer lives entirely within their own network. Cloudflare One applies standard security controls to all traffic – regardless of how that connection starts or where in the network stack it lives.
Cloudflare Access starts by introducing identity into Cloudflare’s network. Teams apply filters based on identity and context to both inbound and outbound connections. Every login, request, and response proxies through Cloudflare’s network regardless of the location of the server or user. The scale of our network and its distribution can filter and log enterprise traffic without compromising performance.
Cloudflare Gateway keeps connections to the rest of the Internet safe. Gateway inspects traffic leaving devices and networks for threats and data loss events that hide inside of connections at the application layer. Launching soon, Gateway will bring that same level of control lower in the stack to the transport layer.
You should have the same level of control over how your networks send traffic. We’re excited to announce Magic Firewall, a next-generation firewall for all traffic leaving your offices and data centers. With Gateway and Magic Firewall, you can build a rule once and run it everywhere, or tailor rules to specific use cases in a single control plane.
We know some attacks can’t be filtered because they launch before filters can be built to stop them. Cloudflare Browser, our isolated browser technology gives your team a bulletproof pane of glass from threats that can evade known filters. Later this week, we’ll invite customers to sign up to join the beta to browse the Internet on Cloudflare’s edge without the risk of code leaping out of the browser to infect an endpoint.
Finally, the PKI infrastructure that secures your network should be modern and simpler to manage. We heard from customers who described certificate management as one of the core problems of moving to a better model of security. Cloudflare works with, not against, modern encryption standards like TLS 1.3. Cloudflare made it easy to add encryption to your sites on the Internet with one click. We’re going to bring that ease-of-management to the network functions you run on Cloudflare One.
One place to get your logs, one location for all of your security analysis
Cloudflare’s network serves 18 million HTTP requests per second on average. We’ve built logging pipelines that make it possible for some of the largest Internet properties in the world to capture and analyze their logs at scale. Cloudflare One builds on that same capability.
Cloudflare Access and Gateway capture every request, inbound or outbound, without any server-side code changes or advanced client-side configuration. Your team can export those logs to the SIEM provider of your choice with our Cloudflare Logpush service – the same pipeline that exports HTTP request events at scale for public sites. Magic Transit expands that logging capability to entire networks and offices to ensure you never lose visibility from any location.
We’re going beyond just logging events. Available today for your websites, Cloudflare Web Analytics converts logs into insights. We plan to keep expanding that visibility into how your network operates, as well. Just as Cloudflare has replaced the “band-aid boxes” that performed disparate network functions and unified them into a cohesive, adaptable edge, we intend to do the same for the fragmented, hard to use, and expensive security analytics ecosystem. More to come on this soon.Smarter, faster remediation
Data and analytics should surface events that a team can remediate. Log systems that lead to one-click fixes can be powerful tools, but we want to make that remediation automatic.
Launching into a closed preview later this week, Cloudflare Intrusion Detection System (IDS) will proactively scan your network for anomalous events and recommend actions or, better yet, take actions for you to remediate problems. We plan to bring that same proactive scanning and remediation approach to Cloudflare Access and Cloudflare Gateway.
Run your network on our globally scaled network
Over 25 million Internet properties rely on Cloudflare’s network to reach their audiences. More than 10% of all websites connect through our reverse proxy, including 16% of the Fortune 1000. Cloudflare accelerates traffic for huge chunks of the Internet by delivering services from datacenters around the world.
We deliver Cloudflare One from those same data centers. And critically, every datacenter we operate delivers the same set of services, whether that is Cloudflare Access, WARP, Magic Transit, or our WAF. As an example, when your employees connect through Cloudflare WARP to one of our data centers, there is a real chance they never have to leave our network or that data center to reach the site or data they need. As a result, their entire Internet experience becomes extraordinarily fast, no matter where they are in the world.
We expect that performance bonus to become even more meaningful as browsing moves to Cloudflare’s edge with Cloudflare Browser. The isolated browsers running in Cloudflare’s data centers can request content that sits just centimeters away. Even further, as more web properties rely on Cloudflare Workers to power their applications, entire workflows can stay inside of a data center within 100 ms of your employees.
While many of these features are available today, we’re going to be launching several new features over the next several days as part of Cloudflare’s Zero Trust week. Stay tuned for announcements each day this week that add new pieces to the Cloudflare One featureset.
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