Tag Archives: Zero-Trust

Cloudflare named in 2024 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge

Post Syndicated from Sam Rhea original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-sse-gartner-magic-quadrant-2024


Gartner has once again named Cloudflare to the Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge (SSE) report1. We are excited to share that Cloudflare is one of only ten vendors recognized in this report. For the second year in a row, we are recognized for our ability to execute and the completeness of our vision. You can read more about our position in the report here.

Last year, we became the only new vendor named in the 2023 Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for SSE. We did so in the shortest amount of time as measured by the date since our first product launched. We also made a commitment to our customers at that time that we would only build faster. We are happy to report back on the impact that has had on customers and the Gartner recognition of their feedback.

Cloudflare can bring capabilities to market quicker, and with greater cost efficiency, than competitors thanks to the investments we have made in our global network over the last 14 years. We believe we were able to become the only new vendor in 2023 by combining existing advantages like our robust, multi-use global proxy, our lightning-fast DNS resolver, our serverless compute platform, and our ability to reliably route and accelerate traffic around the world.

We believe we advanced further in the SSE market over the last year by building on the strength of that network as larger customers adopted Cloudflare One. We took the ability of our Web Application Firewall (WAF) to scan for attacks without compromising speed and applied that to our now comprehensive Data Loss Prevention (DLP) approach. We repurposed the tools that we use to measure our own network and delivered an increasingly mature Digital Experience Monitoring (DEX) suite for administrators. And we extended our Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) toolset to scan more applications for new types of data.

We are grateful to the customers who have trusted us on this journey so far, and we are especially proud of our customer reviews in the Gartner® Peer Insights™ panel as those customers report back on their experience with Cloudflare One. The feedback has been so consistently positive that Gartner named Cloudflare a Customers’ Choice2 for 2024. We are going to make the same commitment to you today that we made in 2023: Cloudflare will only build faster as we continue to build out the industry’s best SSE platform.

What is a Security Service Edge?

A Security Service Edge (SSE) “secures access to the web, cloud services and private applications. Capabilities include access control, threat protection, data security, security monitoring, and acceptable-use control enforced by network-based and API-based integration. SSE is primarily delivered as a cloud-based service, and may include on-premises or agent-based components.”3

The SSE solutions in the market began to take shape as companies dealt with users, devices, and data leaving their security perimeters at scale. In previous generations, teams could keep their organization safe by hiding from the rest of the world behind a figurative castle-and-moat. The firewalls that protected their devices and data sat inside the physical walls of their space. The applications their users needed to reach sat on the same intranet. When users occasionally left the office they dealt with the hassle of backhauling their traffic through a legacy virtual private network (VPN) client.

This concept started to fall apart when applications left the building. SaaS applications offered a cheaper, easier alternative to self-hosting your resources. The cost and time savings drove IT departments to migrate and security teams had to play catch up as all of their most sensitive data also migrated.

At the same time, users began working away from the office more often. The rarely used VPN infrastructure inside an office suddenly struggled to stay afloat with the new demands from more users connecting to more of the Internet.

As a result, the band-aid boxes in an organization failed — in some cases slowly and in other situations all at once. SSE vendors offer a cloud-based answer. SSE providers operate their own security services from their own data centers or on a public cloud platform. Like the SaaS applications that drove the first wave of migration, these SSE services are maintained by the vendor and scale in a way that offers budget savings. The end user experience improves by avoiding the backhaul and security administrators can more easily build smarter, safer policies to defend their team.

The SSE space covers a broad category. If you ask five security teams what an SSE or Zero Trust solution is, you’ll probably get six answers. In general, SSE provides a helpful framing that gives teams guard rails as they try to adopt a Zero Trust architecture. The concept breaks down into a few typical buckets:

  • Zero Trust Access Control: protect applications that hold sensitive data by creating least-privilege rules that check for identity and other contextual signals on each and every request or connection.
  • Outbound Filtering: keep users and devices safe as they connect to the rest of the Internet by filtering and logging DNS queries, HTTP requests, or even network-level traffic.
  • Secure SaaS Usage: analyze traffic to SaaS applications and scan the data sitting inside of SaaS applications for potential Shadow IT policy violations, misconfigurations, or data mishandling.
  • Data Protection: scan for data leaving your organization or for destinations that do not comply with your organization’s policies. Find data stored inside your organization, even in trusted tools, that should not be retained or needs tighter access controls.
  • Employee Experience: monitor and improve the experience that your team members have when using tools and applications on the Internet or hosted inside your own organization.

The SSE space is a component of the larger Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) market. You can think of the SSE capabilities as the security half of SASE while the other half consists of the networking technologies that connect users, offices, applications, and data centers. Some vendors only focus on the SSE side and rely on partners to connect customers to their security solutions. Other companies just provide the networking pieces. While today’s announcement highlights our SSE capabilities, Cloudflare offers both components as a comprehensive, single-vendor SASE provider.

How does Cloudflare One fit into the SSE space?

Customers can rely on Cloudflare to solve the entire range of security problems represented by the SSE category. They also can just start with a single component. We know that an entire “digital transformation” can be an overwhelming prospect for any organization. While all the use cases below work better together, we make it simple for teams to start by just solving one problem at a time.

Zero Trust access control

Most organizations begin that problem-solving journey by attacking their virtual private network (VPN). In many cases, a legacy VPN operates in a model where anyone on that private network is trusted by default to access anything else. The applications and data sitting on that network become vulnerable to any user who can connect. Augmenting or replacing legacy VPNs is one of the leading Zero Trust use cases we see customers adopting, in part to eliminate pains related to the ongoing series of high-impact VPN vulnerabilities in on-premises firewalls and gateways.

Cloudflare provides teams with the ability to build Zero Trust rules that replace the security model of a traditional VPN with one that evaluates every request and connection for trust signals like identity, device posture, location, and multifactor authentication method. Through Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA), administrators can make applications available to employees and third-party contractors through a fully clientless option that makes traditional tools feel just like SaaS applications. Teams that need more of a private network can still build one on Cloudflare that supports arbitrary TCP, UDP, and ICMP traffic, including bidirectional traffic, while still enforcing Zero Trust rules.

Cloudflare One can also apply these rules to the applications that sit outside your infrastructure. You can deploy Cloudflare’s identity proxy to enforce consistent and granular policies that determine how team members log into their SaaS applications, as well.

DNS filtering and Secure Web Gateway capabilities

Cloudflare operates the world’s fastest DNS resolver, helping users connect safely to the Internet whether they are working from a coffee shop or operating inside some of the world’s largest networks.

Beyond just DNS filtering, Cloudflare also provides organizations with a comprehensive Secure Web Gateway (SWG) that inspects the HTTP traffic leaving a device or entire network. Cloudflare filters each request for dangerous destinations or potentially malicious downloads. Besides SSE use cases, Cloudflare operates one of the largest forward proxies in the world for Internet privacy used by Apple iCloud Private Relay, Microsoft Edge Secure Network, and beyond.

You can also mix-and-match how you want to send traffic to Cloudflare. Your team can decide to send all traffic from every mobile device or just plug in your office or data center network to Cloudflare’s network. Each request or DNS query is logged and made available for review in our dashboard or can be exported to a 3rd party logging solution.

In-line and at-rest CASB

SaaS applications relieve IT teams of the burden to host, maintain, and monitor the tools behind their business. They also create entirely new headaches for corresponding security teams.

Any user in an enterprise now needs to connect to an application on the public Internet to do their work, and some users prefer to use their favorite application rather than the ones vetted and approved by the IT department. This kind of Shadow IT infrastructure can lead to surprise fees, compliance violations, and data loss.

Cloudflare offers comprehensive scanning and filtering to detect when team members are using unapproved tools. With a single click, administrators can block those tools outright or control how those applications can be used. If your marketing team needs to use Google Drive to collaborate with a vendor, you can apply a quick rule that makes sure they can only download files and never upload. Alternatively, allow users to visit an application and read from it while blocking all text input. Cloudflare’s Shadow IT policies offer easy-to-deploy controls over how your organization uses the Internet.

Beyond unsanctioned applications, even approved resources can cause trouble. Your organization might rely on Microsoft OneDrive for day-to-day work, but your compliance policies prohibit your HR department from storing files with employee Social Security numbers in the tool. Cloudflare’s Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) can routinely scan the SaaS applications your team relies on to detect improper usage, missing controls, or potential misconfiguration.

Digital Experience Monitoring

Enterprise users have consumer expectations about how they connect to the Internet. When they encounter delays or latency, they turn to IT help desks to complain. Those complaints only get louder when help desks lack the proper tools to granularly understand or solve the issues.

Cloudflare One provides teams with a Digital Experience Monitoring toolkit that we built based on the tools we have used for years inside of Cloudflare to monitor our own global network. Administrators can measure global, regional, or individual latency to applications on the Internet. IT teams can open our dashboard to troubleshoot connectivity issues with single users. The same capabilities we use to proxy approximately 20% of the web are now available to teams of any size, so they can help their users.

Data security

The most pressing concern we have heard from CIOs and CISOs over the last year is the fear around data protection. Whether data loss is malicious or accidental, the consequences can erode customer trust and create penalties for the business.

We also hear that deploying any sort of effective data security is just plain hard. Customers tell us anecdotes about expensive point solutions they purchased with the intention to implement them quickly and keep data safe, that ultimately just didn’t work or slowed down their teams to the point that they became shelfware.

We have spent the last year aggressively improving our solution to that problem as the single largest focus area of investment in the Cloudflare One team. Our data security portfolio, including data loss prevention (DLP), can now scan for data leaving your organization, as well as data stored inside your SaaS applications, and prevent loss based on exact data matches that you provide or through fuzzier patterns. Teams can apply optical character recognition (OCR) to find potential loss in images, scan for public cloud keys in a single click, and software companies can rely on predefined ML-based source code detections.

Data security will continue to be our largest area of focus in Cloudflare One over the next year. We are excited to continue to deliver an SSE platform that gives administrators comprehensive control without interrupting or slowing down their users.

Beyond the SSE

The scope of an SSE solution captures a wide range of the security problems that plague enterprises. We also know that issues beyond that definition can compromise a team. In addition to offering an industry-leading SSE platform, Cloudflare gives your team a full range of tools to protect your organization, to connect your team, and to secure all of your applications.

IT compromise tends to start with email. The majority of attacks begin with some kind of multi-channel phishing campaign or social engineering attack sent to the largest hole in any organization’s perimeter: their employees’ email inboxes. We believe that you should be protected from that too, even before the layers of our SSE platform kick in to catch malicious links or files from those emails, so Cloudflare One also features best-in-class cloud email security. The capabilities just work with the rest of Cloudflare One to help stop all phishing channels — inbox (cloud email security), social media (SWG), SMS (ZTNA together with hard keys), and cloud collaboration (CASB). For example, you can allow team members to still click on potentially malicious links in an email while forcing those destinations to load in an isolated browser that is transparent to the user.

Most SSE solutions stop there, though, and only solve the security challenge. Team members, devices, offices, and data centers still need to connect in a way that is performant and highly available. Other SSE vendors partner with networking providers to solve that challenge while adding extra hops and latency. Cloudflare customers don’t have to compromise. Cloudflare One offers a complete WAN connectivity solution delivered in the same data centers as our security components. Organizations can rely on a single vendor to solve how they connect and how they do so securely. No extra hops or invoices needed.

We also know that security problems do not distinguish between what happens inside your enterprise and the applications you make available to the rest of the world. You can secure and accelerate the applications that you build to serve your own customers through Cloudflare, as well. Analysts have also recognized Cloudflare’s Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) platform, which protects some of the world’s largest Internet destinations.

How does that impact customers?

Tens of thousands of organizations trust Cloudflare One to secure their teams every day. And they love it. Over 200 enterprises have reviewed Cloudflare’s Zero Trust platform as part of Gartner® Peer Insights™. As mentioned previously, the feedback has been so consistently positive that Gartner named Cloudflare a Customers’ Choice for 2024.

We talk to customers directly about that feedback, and they have helped us understand why CIOs and CISOs choose Cloudflare One. For some teams, we offer a cost-efficient opportunity to consolidate point solutions. Others appreciate that our ease-of-use means that many practitioners have set up our platform before they even talk to our team. We also hear that speed matters to ensure a slick end user experience when we are 46% faster than Zscaler, 56% faster than Netskope, and 10% faster than Palo Alto Networks.

What’s next?

We kicked off 2024 with a week focused on new security features that teams can begin deploying now. Looking ahead to the rest of the year, you can expect additional investment as we add depth to our Secure Web Gateway product. We also have work underway to make our industry-leading access control features even easier to use. Our largest focus areas will include our data protection platform, digital experience monitoring, and our in-line and at-rest CASB tools. And stay tuned for an overhaul to how we surface analytics and help teams meet compliance needs, too.

Our commitment to our customers in 2024 is the same as it was in 2023. We are going to continue to help your teams solve more security problems so that you can focus on your own mission.

Ready to hold us to that commitment? Cloudflare offers something unique among the leaders in this space — you can start using nearly every feature in Cloudflare One right now at no cost. Teams of up to 50 users can adopt our platform for free, whether for their small team or as part of a larger enterprise proof of concept. We believe that organizations of any size should be able to start their journey to deploy industry-leading security.

***

1Gartner, Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge, By Charlie Winckless, Thomas Lintemuth, Dale Koeppen, April 15, 2024
2Gartner, Voice of the Customer for Zero Trust Network Access, By Peer Contributors, 30 January 2024
3https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/security-service-edge-sse

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, MAGIC QUADRANT and PEER INSIGHTS are registered trademarks and The GARTNER PEER INSIGHTS CUSTOMERS’ CHOICE badge is a trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Gartner® Peer Insights content consists of the opinions of individual end users based on their own experiences, and should not be construed as statements of fact, nor do they represent the views of Gartner or its a iliates. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in this content nor makes any warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this content, about its accuracy or completeness, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Introducing WARP Connector: paving the path to any-to-any connectivity

Post Syndicated from Abe Carryl original https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-warp-connector-paving-the-path-to-any-to-any-connectivity-2


In the ever-evolving domain of enterprise security, CISOs and CIOs have to tirelessly build new enterprise networks and maintain old ones to achieve performant any-to-any connectivity. For their team of network architects, surveying their own environment to keep up with changing needs is half the job. The other is often unearthing new, innovative solutions which integrate seamlessly into the existing landscape. This continuous cycle of construction and fortification in the pursuit of secure, flexible infrastructure is exactly what Cloudflare’s SASE offering, Cloudflare One, was built for.

Cloudflare One has progressively evolved based on feedback from customers and analysts.,  Today, we are thrilled to introduce the public availability of the Cloudflare WARP Connector, a new tool that makes bidirectional, site-to-site, and mesh-like connectivity even easier to secure without the need to make any disruptive changes to existing network infrastructure.

Bridging a gap in Cloudflare’s Zero Trust story

Cloudflare’s approach has always been focused on offering a breadth of products, acknowledging that there is no one-size-fits-all solution for network connectivity. Our vision is simple: any-to-any connectivity, any way you want it.

Prior to the WARP Connector, one of the easiest ways to connect your infrastructure to Cloudflare, whether that be a local HTTP server, web services served by a Kubernetes cluster, or a private network segment, was through the Cloudflare Tunnel app connector, cloudflared. In many cases this works great, but over time customers began to surface a long tail of use cases which could not be supported based on the underlying architecture of cloudflared. This includes situations where customers utilize VOIP phones, necessitating a SIP server to establish outgoing connections to user’s softphones, or a CI/CD server sending notifications to relevant stakeholders for each stage of the CI/CD pipelines. Later in this blog post, we explore these use cases in detail.

As clouflared proxies at Layer 4 of the OSI model, its design was optimized specifically to proxy requests to origin services — it was not designed to be an active listener to handle requests from origin services. This design trade-off means that cloudflared needs to source NAT all requests it proxies to the application server. This setup is convenient for scenarios where customers don’t need to update routing tables to deploy cloudflared in front of their original services. However, it also means that customers can’t see the true source IP of the client sending the requests. This matters in scenarios where a network firewall is logging all the network traffic, as the source IP of all the requests will be cloudflared’s IP address, causing the customer to lose visibility into the true client source.

Build or borrow

To solve this problem, we identified two potential solutions: start from scratch by building a new connector, or borrow from an existing connector, likely in either cloudflared or WARP.

The following table provides an overview of the tradeoffs of the two approaches:

Features

Build in cloudflared

Borrow from WARP 

Bidirectional traffic flows

As described in the earlier section, limitations of Layer 4 proxying.

This does proxying at 

Layer 3, because of which it can act as default gateway for that subnet, enabling it to support traffic flows from both directions.

User experience

For Cloudflare One customers, they have to work with two distinct products (cloudflared and WARP) to connect their services and users.

For Cloudflare One customers, they just have to get familiar with a single product to connect their users as well as their networks.

Site-to-site connectivity between branches, data centers (on-premise and cloud) and headquarters.

Not recommended

For sites where running  agents on each device is not feasible, this could easily connect the sites to users running WARP clients in other sites/branches/data centers. This would work seamlessly where the underlying tunnels are all the same.

Visibility into true source IP

It does source NATting.

Since it acts as the default gateway, it preserves the true source IP address for any traffic flow.

High availability

Inherently reliable by design and supports replicas for failover scenarios.

Reliability specifications are very different for a default gateway use case vs endpoint device agent. Hence, there is opportunity to innovate here. 

Introducing WARP Connector

Starting today, the introduction of WARP Connector opens up new possibilities: server initiated (SIP/VOIP) flows; site-to-site connectivity, connecting branches, headquarters, and cloud platforms; and even mesh-like networking with WARP-to-WARP. Under the hood, this new connector is an extension of warp-client that can act as a virtual router for any subnet within the network to on/off-ramp traffic through Cloudflare.

By building on WARP, we were able to take advantage of its design, where it creates a virtual network interface on the host to logically subdivide the physical interface (NIC) for the purpose of routing IP traffic. This enables us to send bidirectional traffic through the WireGuard/MASQUE tunnel that’s maintained between the host and Cloudflare edge. By virtue of this architecture, customers also get the added benefit of visibility into the true source IP of the client.

WARP Connector can be easily deployed on the default gateway without any additional routing changes. Alternatively, static routes can be configured for specific CIDRs that need to be routed via WARP Connector, and the static routes can be configured on the default gateway or on every host in that subnet.

Private network use cases

Here we’ll walk through a couple of key reasons why you may want to deploy our new connector, but remember that this solution can support numerous services, such as Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Active Directory server updates, VOIP and SIP traffic, and developer workflows with complex CI/CD pipeline interaction. It’s also important to note this connector can either be run alongside cloudflared and Magic WAN, or can be a standalone remote access and site-to-site connector to the Cloudflare Global network.

Softphone and VOIP servers

For users to establish a voice or video call over a VOIP software service, typically a SIP server within the private network brokers the connection using the last known IP address of the end-user. However, if traffic is proxied anywhere along the path, this often results in participants only receiving partial voice or data signals. With the WARP Connector, customers can now apply granular policies to these services for secure access, fortifying VOIP infrastructure within their Zero Trust framework.

Securing access to CI/CD pipeline

An organization’s DevOps ecosystem is generally built out of many parts, but a CI/CD server such as Jenkins or Teamcity is the epicenter of all development activities. Hence, securing that CI/CD server is critical. With the WARP Connector and WARP Client, organizations can secure the entire CI/CD pipeline and also streamline it easily.

Let’s look at a typical CI/CD pipeline for a Kubernetes application. The environment is set up as depicted in the diagram above, with WARP clients on the developer and QA laptops and a WARP Connector securely connecting the CI/CD server and staging servers on different networks:

  1. Typically, the CI/CD pipeline is triggered when a developer commits their code change, invoking a webhook on the CI/CD server.
  2. Once the images are built, it’s time to deploy the code, which is typically done in stages: test, staging and production.
  3. Notifications are sent to the developer and QA engineer to notify them when the images are ready in the test/staging environments.
  4. QA engineers receive the notifications via webhook from the CI/CD servers to kick-start their monitoring and troubleshooting workflow.

With WARP Connector, customers can easily connect their developers to the tools in the DevOps ecosystem by keeping the ecosystem private and not exposing it to the public. Once the DevOps ecosystem is securely connected to Cloudflare, granular security policies can be easily applied to secure access to the CI/CD pipeline.

True source IP address preservation

Organizations running Microsoft AD Servers or non-web application servers often need to identify the true source IP address for auditing or policy application. If these requirements exist, WARP Connector simplifies this, offering solutions without adding NAT boundaries. This can be useful to rate-limit unhealthy source IP addresses, for ACL-based policies within the perimeter, or to collect additional diagnostics from end-users.

Getting started with WARP Connector

As part of this launch, we’re making some changes to the Cloudflare One Dashboard to better highlight our different network on/off ramp options. As of today, a new “Network” tab will appear on your dashboard. This will be the new home for the Cloudflare Tunnel UI.

We are also introducing the new “Routes” tab next to “Tunnels”. This page will present an organizational view of customer’s virtual networks, Cloudflare Tunnels, and routes associated with them. This new page helps answer a customer’s questions pertaining to their network configurations, such as: “Which Cloudflare Tunnel has the route to my host 192.168.1.2 ” or “If a route for CIDR 192.168.2.1/28 exists, how can it be accessed” or “What are the overlapping CIDRs in my environment and which VNETs do they belong to?”. This is extremely useful for customers who have very complex enterprise networks that use the Cloudflare dashboard for troubleshooting connectivity issues.

Embarking on your WARP Connector journey is straightforward. Currently deployable on Linux hosts, users can select “create a Tunnel” and pick from either cloudflared or WARP to deploy straight from the dashboard. Follow our developer documentation to get started in a few easy steps. In the near future we will be adding support for more platforms where WARP Connectors can be deployed.

What’s next?

Thank you to all of our private beta customers for their invaluable feedback. Moving forward, our immediate focus in the coming quarters is on simplifying deployment, mirroring that of cloudflared, and enhancing high availability through redundancy and failover mechanisms.

Stay tuned for more updates as we continue our journey in innovating and enhancing the Cloudflare One platform. We’re excited to see how our customers leverage WARP Connector to transform their connectivity and security landscape.

Security Week 2024 wrap up

Post Syndicated from Daniele Molteni original https://blog.cloudflare.com/security-week-2024-wrap-up


The next 12 months have the potential to reshape the global political landscape with elections occurring in more than 80 nations, in 2024, while new technologies, such as AI, capture our imagination and pose new security challenges.

Against this backdrop, the role of CISOs has never been more important. Grant Bourzikas, Cloudflare’s Chief Security Officer, shared his views on what the biggest challenges currently facing the security industry are in the Security Week opening blog.

Over the past week, we announced a number of new products and features that align with what we believe are the most crucial challenges for CISOs around the globe. We released features that span Cloudflare’s product portfolio, ranging from application security to securing employees and cloud infrastructure. We have also published a few stories on how we take a Customer Zero approach to using Cloudflare services to manage security at Cloudflare.

We hope you find these stories interesting and are excited by the new Cloudflare products. In case you missed any of these announcements, here is a recap of Security Week:

Responding to opportunity and risk from AI

Title Excerpt
Cloudflare announces Firewall for AI Cloudflare announced the development of Firewall for AI, a protection layer that can be deployed in front of Large Language Models (LLMs) to identify abuses and attacks.
Defensive AI: Cloudflare’s framework for defending against next-gen threats Defensive AI is the framework Cloudflare uses when integrating intelligent systems into its solutions. Cloudflare’s AI models look at customer traffic patterns, providing that organization with a tailored defense strategy unique to their environment.
Cloudflare launches AI Assistant for Security Analytics We released a natural language assistant as part of Security Analytics. Now it is easier than ever to get powerful insights about your applications by exploring log and security events using the new natural language query interface.
Dispelling the Generative AI fear: how Cloudflare secures inboxes against AI-enhanced phishing Generative AI is being used by malicious actors to make phishing attacks much more convincing. Learn how Cloudflare’s email security systems are able to see past the deception using advanced machine learning models.

Maintaining visibility and control as applications and clouds change

Title Excerpt
Magic Cloud Networking simplifies security, connectivity, and management of public clouds Introducing Magic Cloud Networking, a new set of capabilities to visualize and automate cloud networks to give our customers easy, secure, and seamless connection to public cloud environments.
Secure your unprotected assets with Security Center: quick view for CISOs Security Center now includes new tools to address a common challenge: ensuring comprehensive deployment of Cloudflare products across your infrastructure. Gain precise insights into where and how to optimize your security posture.
Announcing two highly requested DLP enhancements: Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and Source Code Detections Cloudflare One now supports Optical Character Recognition and detects source code as part of its Data Loss Prevention service. These two features make it easier for organizations to protect their sensitive data and reduce the risks of breaches.
Introducing behavior-based user risk scoring in Cloudflare One We are introducing user risk scoring as part of Cloudflare One, a new set of capabilities to detect risk based on user behavior, so that you can improve security posture across your organization.
Eliminate VPN vulnerabilities with Cloudflare One The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency issued an Emergency Directive due to the Ivanti Connect Secure and Policy Secure vulnerabilities. In this post, we discuss the threat actor tactics exploiting these vulnerabilities and how Cloudflare One can mitigate these risks.
Zero Trust WARP: tunneling with a MASQUE This blog discusses the introduction of MASQUE to Zero Trust WARP and how Cloudflare One customers will benefit from this modern protocol.
Collect all your cookies in one jar with Page Shield Cookie Monitor Protecting online privacy starts with knowing what cookies are used by your websites. Our client-side security solution, Page Shield, extends transparent monitoring to HTTP cookies.
Protocol detection with Cloudflare Gateway Cloudflare Secure Web Gateway now supports the detection, logging, and filtering of network protocols using packet payloads without the need for inspection.
Introducing Requests for Information (RFIs) and Priority Intelligence Requirements (PIRs) for threat intelligence teams Our Security Center now houses Requests for Information and Priority Intelligence Requirements. These features are available via API as well and Cloudforce One customers can start leveraging them today for enhanced security analysis.

Consolidating to drive down costs

Title Excerpt
Log Explorer: monitor security events without third-party storage With the combined power of Security Analytics and Log Explorer, security teams can analyze, investigate, and monitor logs natively within Cloudflare, reducing time to resolution and overall cost of ownership by eliminating the need of third-party logging systems.
Simpler migration from Netskope and Zscaler to Cloudflare: introducing Deskope and a Descaler partner update Cloudflare expands the Descaler program to Authorized Service Delivery Partners (ASDPs). Cloudflare is also launching Deskope, a new set of tooling to help migrate existing Netskope customers to Cloudflare One.
Protecting APIs with JWT Validation Cloudflare customers can now protect their APIs from broken authentication attacks by validating incoming JSON Web Tokens with API Gateway.
Simplifying how enterprises connect to Cloudflare with Express Cloudflare Network Interconnect Express Cloudflare Network Interconnect makes it fast and easy to connect your network to Cloudflare. Customers can now order Express CNIs directly from the Cloudflare dashboard.
Cloudflare treats SASE anxiety for VeloCloud customers The turbulence in the SASE market is driving many customers to seek help. We’re doing our part to help VeloCloud customers who are caught in the crosshairs of shifting strategies.
Free network flow monitoring for all enterprise customers Announcing a free version of Cloudflare’s network flow monitoring product, Magic Network Monitoring. Now available to all Enterprise customers.
Building secure websites: a guide to Cloudflare Pages and Turnstile Plugin Learn how to use Cloudflare Pages and Turnstile to deploy your website quickly and easily while protecting it from bots, without compromising user experience.
General availability for WAF Content Scanning for file malware protection Announcing the General Availability of WAF Content Scanning, protecting your web applications and APIs from malware by scanning files in-transit.

How can we help make the Internet better?

Title Excerpt
Cloudflare protects global democracy against threats from emerging technology during the 2024 voting season At Cloudflare, we’re actively supporting a range of players in the election space by providing security, performance, and reliability tools to help facilitate the democratic process.
Navigating the maze of Magecart: a cautionary tale of a Magecart impacted website Learn how a sophisticated Magecart attack was behind a campaign against e-commerce websites. This incident underscores the critical need for a strong client side security posture.
Cloudflare’s URL Scanner, new features, and the story of how we built it Discover the enhanced URL Scanner API, now integrated with the Security Center Investigate Portal. Enjoy unlisted scans, multi-device screenshots, and seamless integration with the Cloudflare ecosystem.
Changing the industry with CISA’s Secure by Design principles Security considerations should be an integral part of software’s design, not an afterthought. Explore how Cloudflare adheres to Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency’s Secure by Design principles to shift the industry.
The state of the post-quantum Internet Nearly two percent of all TLS 1.3 connections established with Cloudflare are secured with post-quantum cryptography. In this blog post we discuss where we are now in early 2024, what to expect for the coming years, and what you can do today.
Advanced DNS Protection: mitigating sophisticated DNS DDoS attacks Introducing the Advanced DNS Protection system, a robust defense mechanism designed to protect against the most sophisticated DNS-based DDoS attacks.

Sharing the Cloudflare way

Title Excerpt
Linux kernel security tunables everyone should consider adopting This post illustrates some of the Linux kernel features that are helping Cloudflare keep its production systems more secure. We do a deep dive into how they work and why you should consider enabling them.
Securing Cloudflare with Cloudflare: a Zero Trust journey A deep dive into how we have deployed Zero Trust at Cloudflare while maintaining user privacy.
Network performance update: Security Week 2024 Cloudflare is the fastest provider for 95th percentile connection time in 44% of networks around the world. We dig into the data and talk about how we do it.
Harnessing chaos in Cloudflare offices This blog discusses the new sources of “chaos” that have been added to LavaRand and how you can make use of that harnessed chaos in your next application.
Launching email security insights on Cloudflare Radar The new Email Security section on Cloudflare Radar provides insights into the latest trends around threats found in malicious email, sources of spam and malicious email, and the adoption of technologies designed to prevent abuse of email.

A final word

Thanks for joining us this week, and stay tuned for our next Innovation Week in early April, focused on the developer community.

Protocol detection with Cloudflare Gateway

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


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

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

Why is this needed?

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

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

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

How we built it

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

How to set up Gateway protocol filtering

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

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

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

Get started

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

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

Magic Cloud Networking simplifies security, connectivity, and management of public clouds

Post Syndicated from Steve Welham original https://blog.cloudflare.com/introducing-magic-cloud-networking


Today we are excited to announce Magic Cloud Networking, supercharged by Cloudflare’s recent acquisition of Nefeli Networks’ innovative technology. These new capabilities to visualize and automate cloud networks will give our customers secure, easy, and seamless connection to public cloud environments.

Public clouds offer organizations a scalable and on-demand IT infrastructure without the overhead and expense of running their own datacenter. Cloud networking is foundational to applications that have been migrated to the cloud, but is difficult to manage without automation software, especially when operating at scale across multiple cloud accounts. Magic Cloud Networking uses familiar concepts to provide a single interface that controls and unifies multiple cloud providers’ native network capabilities to create reliable, cost-effective, and secure cloud networks.

Nefeli’s approach to multi-cloud networking solves the problem of building and operating end-to-end networks within and across public clouds, allowing organizations to securely leverage applications spanning any combination of internal and external resources. Adding Nefeli’s technology will make it easier than ever for our customers to connect and protect their users, private networks and applications.

Why is cloud networking difficult?

Compared with a traditional on-premises data center network, cloud networking promises simplicity:

  • Much of the complexity of physical networking is abstracted away from users because the physical and ethernet layers are not part of the network service exposed by the cloud provider.
  • There are fewer control plane protocols; instead, the cloud providers deliver a simplified software-defined network (SDN) that is fully programmable via API.
  • There is capacity — from zero up to very large — available instantly and on-demand, only charging for what you use.

However, that promise has not yet been fully realized. Our customers have described several reasons cloud networking is difficult:

  • Poor end-to-end visibility: Cloud network visibility tools are difficult to use and silos exist even within single cloud providers that impede end-to-end monitoring and troubleshooting.
  • Faster pace: Traditional IT management approaches clash with the promise of the cloud: instant deployment available on-demand. Familiar ClickOps and CLI-driven procedures must be replaced by automation to meet the needs of the business.
  • Different technology: Established network architectures in on-premises environments do not seamlessly transition to a public cloud. The missing ethernet layer and advanced control plane protocols were critical in many network designs.
  • New cost models: The dynamic pay-as-you-go usage-based cost models of the public clouds are not compatible with established approaches built around fixed cost circuits and 5-year depreciation. Network solutions are often architected with financial constraints, and accordingly, different architectural approaches are sensible in the cloud.
  • New security risks: Securing public clouds with true zero trust and least-privilege demands mature operating processes and automation, and familiarity with cloud-specific policies and IAM controls.
  • Multi-vendor: Oftentimes enterprise networks have used single-vendor sourcing to facilitate interoperability, operational efficiency, and targeted hiring and training. Operating a network that extends beyond a single cloud, into other clouds or on-premises environments, is a multi-vendor scenario.

Nefeli considered all these problems and the tensions between different customer perspectives to identify where the problem should be solved.

Trains, planes, and automation

Consider a train system. To operate effectively it has three key layers:

  • tracks and trains
  • electronic signals
  • a company to manage the system and sell tickets.

A train system with good tracks, trains, and signals could still be operating below its full potential because its agents are unable to keep up with passenger demand. The result is that passengers cannot plan itineraries or purchase tickets.

The train company eliminates bottlenecks in process flow by simplifying the schedules, simplifying the pricing, providing agents with better booking systems, and installing automated ticket machines. Now the same fast and reliable infrastructure of tracks, trains, and signals can be used to its full potential.

Solve the right problem

In networking, there are an analogous set of three layers, called the networking planes:

  • Data Plane: the network paths that transport data (in the form of packets) from source to destination.
  • Control Plane: protocols and logic that change how packets are steered across the data plane.
  • Management Plane: the configuration and monitoring interfaces for the data plane and control plane.

In public cloud networks, these layers map to:

  • Cloud Data Plane: The underlying cables and devices are exposed to users as the Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) or Virtual Network (VNet) service that includes subnets, routing tables, security groups/ACLs and additional services such as load-balancers and VPN gateways.
  • Cloud Control Plane: In place of distributed protocols, the cloud control plane is a software defined network (SDN) that, for example, programs static route tables. (There is limited use of traditional control plane protocols, such as BGP to interface with external networks and ARP to interface with VMs.)
  • Cloud Management Plane: An administrative interface with a UI and API which allows the admin to fully configure the data and control planes. It also provides a variety of monitoring and logging capabilities that can be enabled and integrated with 3rd party systems.

Like our train example, most of the problems that our customers experience with cloud networking are in the third layer: the management plane.

Nefeli simplifies, unifies, and automates cloud network management and operations.

Avoid cost and complexity

One common approach to tackle management problems in cloud networks is introducing Virtual Network Functions (VNFs), which are virtual machines (VMs) that do packet forwarding, in place of native cloud data plane constructs. Some VNFs are routers, firewalls, or load-balancers ported from a traditional network vendor’s hardware appliances, while others are software-based proxies often built on open-source projects like NGINX or Envoy. Because VNFs mimic their physical counterparts, IT teams could continue using familiar management tooling, but VNFs have downsides:

  • VMs do not have custom network silicon and so instead rely on raw compute power. The VM is sized for the peak anticipated load and then typically runs 24x7x365. This drives a high cost of compute regardless of the actual utilization.
  • High-availability (HA) relies on fragile, costly, and complex network configuration.
  • Service insertion — the configuration to put a VNF into the packet flow — often forces packet paths that incur additional bandwidth charges.
  • VNFs are typically licensed similarly to their on-premises counterparts and are expensive.
  • VNFs lock in the enterprise and potentially exclude them benefitting from improvements in the cloud’s native data plane offerings.

For these reasons, enterprises are turning away from VNF-based solutions and increasingly looking to rely on the native network capabilities of their cloud service providers. The built-in public cloud networking is elastic, performant, robust, and priced on usage, with high-availability options integrated and backed by the cloud provider’s service level agreement.

In our train example, the tracks and trains are good. Likewise, the cloud network data plane is highly capable. Changing the data plane to solve management plane problems is the wrong approach. To make this work at scale, organizations need a solution that works together with the native network capabilities of cloud service providers.

Nefeli leverages native cloud data plane constructs rather than third party VNFs.

Introducing Magic Cloud Networking

The Nefeli team has joined Cloudflare to integrate cloud network management functionality with Cloudflare One. This capability is called Magic Cloud Networking and with it, enterprises can use the Cloudflare dashboard and API to manage their public cloud networks and connect with Cloudflare One.

End-to-end

Just as train providers are focused only on completing train journeys in their own network, cloud service providers deliver network connectivity and tools within a single cloud account. Many large enterprises have hundreds of cloud accounts across multiple cloud providers. In an end-to-end network this creates disconnected networking silos which introduce operational inefficiencies and risk.

Imagine you are trying to organize a train journey across Europe, and no single train company serves both your origin and destination. You know they all offer the same basic service: a seat on a train. However, your trip is difficult to arrange because it involves multiple trains operated by different companies with their own schedules and ticketing rates, all in different languages!

Magic Cloud Networking is like an online travel agent that aggregates multiple transportation options, books multiple tickets, facilitates changes after booking, and then delivers travel status updates.

Through the Cloudflare dashboard, you can discover all of your network resources across accounts and cloud providers and visualize your end-to-end network in a single interface. Once Magic Cloud Networking discovers your networks, you can build a scalable network through a fully automated and simple workflow.

Resource inventory shows all configuration in a single and responsive UI

Taming per-cloud complexity

Public clouds are used to deliver applications and services. Each cloud provider offers a composable stack of modular building blocks (resources) that start with the foundation of a billing account and then add on security controls. The next foundational layer, for server-based applications, is VPC networking. Additional resources are built on the VPC network foundation until you have compute, storage, and network infrastructure to host the enterprise application and data. Even relatively simple architectures can be composed of hundreds of resources.

The trouble is, these resources expose abstractions that are different from the building blocks you would use to build a service on prem, the abstractions differ between cloud providers, and they form a web of dependencies with complex rules about how configuration changes are made (rules which differ between resource types and cloud providers). For example, say I create 100 VMs, and connect them to an IP network. Can I make changes to the IP network while the VMs are using the network? The answer: it depends.

Magic Cloud Networking handles these differences and complexities for you. It configures native cloud constructs such as VPN gateways, routes, and security groups to securely connect your cloud VPC network to Cloudflare One without having to learn each cloud’s incantations for creating VPN connections and hubs.

Continuous, coordinated automation

Returning to our train system example, what if the railway maintenance staff find a dangerous fault on the railroad track? They manually set the signal to a stop light to prevent any oncoming trains using the faulty section of track. Then, what if, by unfortunate coincidence, the scheduling office is changing the signal schedule, and they set the signals remotely which clears the safety measure made by the maintenance crew? Now there is a problem that no one knows about and the root cause is that multiple authorities can change the signals via different interfaces without coordination.

The same problem exists in cloud networks: configuration changes are made by different teams using different automation and configuration interfaces across a spectrum of roles such as billing, support, security, networking, firewalls, database, and application development.

Once your network is deployed, Magic Cloud Networking monitors its configuration and health, enabling you to be confident that the security and connectivity you put in place yesterday is still in place today. It tracks the cloud resources it is responsible for, automatically reverting drift if they are changed out-of-band, while allowing you to manage other resources, like storage buckets and application servers, with other automation tools. And, as you change your network, Cloudflare takes care of route management, injecting and withdrawing routes globally across Cloudflare and all connected cloud provider networks.

Magic Cloud Networking is fully programmable via API, and can be integrated into existing automation toolchains.

The interface warns when cloud network infrastructure drifts from intent

Ready to start conquering cloud networking?

We are thrilled to introduce Magic Cloud Networking as another pivotal step to fulfilling the promise of the Connectivity Cloud. This marks our initial stride in empowering customers to seamlessly integrate Cloudflare with their public clouds to get securely connected, stay securely connected, and gain flexibility and cost savings as they go.

Join us on this journey for early access: learn more and sign up here.

Securing Cloudflare with Cloudflare: a Zero Trust journey

Post Syndicated from Derek Pitts original https://blog.cloudflare.com/securing-cloudflare-with-cloudflare-zero-trust


Cloudflare is committed to providing our customers with industry-leading network security solutions. At the same time, we recognize that establishing robust security measures involves identifying potential threats by using processes that may involve scrutinizing sensitive or personal data, which in turn can pose a risk to privacy. As a result, we work hard to balance privacy and security by building privacy-first security solutions that we offer to our customers and use for our own network.

In this post, we’ll walk through how we deployed Cloudflare products like Access and our Zero Trust Agent in a privacy-focused way for employees who use the Cloudflare network. Even though global legal regimes generally afford employees a lower level of privacy protection on corporate networks, we work hard to make sure our employees understand their privacy choices because Cloudflare has a strong culture and history of respecting and furthering user privacy on the Internet. We’ve found that many of our customers feel similarly about ensuring that they are protecting privacy while also securing their networks.

So how do we balance our commitment to privacy with ensuring the security of our internal corporate environment using Cloudflare products and services? We start with the basics: We only retain the minimum amount of data needed, we de-identify personal data where we can, we communicate transparently with employees about the security measures we have in place on corporate systems and their privacy choices, and we retain necessary information for the shortest time period needed.

How we secure Cloudflare using Cloudflare

We take a comprehensive approach to securing our globally distributed hybrid workforce with both organizational controls and technological solutions. Our organizational approach includes a number of measures, such as a company-wide Acceptable Use Policy, employee privacy notices tailored by jurisdiction, required annual and new-hire privacy and security trainings, role-based access controls (RBAC), and least privilege principles. These organizational controls allow us to communicate expectations for both the company and the employees that we can implement with technological controls and that we enforce through logging and other mechanisms.

Our technological controls are rooted in Zero Trust best practices and start with a focus on our Cloudflare One services to secure our workforce as described below.

Securing access to applications

Cloudflare secures access to self-hosted and SaaS applications for our workforce, whether remote or in-office, using our own Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) service, Cloudflare Access, to verify identity, enforce multi-factor authentication with security keys, and evaluate device posture using the Zero Trust client for every request. This approach evolved over several years and has enabled Cloudflare to more effectively protect our growing workforce.

Defending against cyber threats

Cloudflare leverages Cloudflare Magic WAN to secure our office networks and the Cloudflare Zero Trust agent to secure our workforce. We use both of these technologies as an onramp to our own Secure Web Gateway (also known as Gateway) to secure our workforce from a rise in online threats.

As we have evolved our hybrid work and office configurations, our security teams have benefited from additional controls and visibility for forward-proxied Internet traffic, including:

  • Granular HTTP controls: Our security teams inspect HTTPS traffic to block access to specific websites identified as malicious by our security team, conduct antivirus scanning, and apply identity-aware browsing policies.
  • Selectively isolating Internet browsing: With remote browser isolated (RBI) sessions, all web code is run on Cloudflare’s network far from local devices, insulating users from any untrusted and malicious content. Today, Cloudflare isolates social media, news outlets, personal email, and other potentially risky Internet categories, and we have set up feedback loops for our employees to help us fine-tune these categories.
  • Geography-based logging: Seeing where outbound requests originate helps our security teams understand the geographic distribution of our workforce, including our presence in high-risk areas.
  • Data Loss Prevention: To keep sensitive data inside our corporate network, this tool allows us to identify data we’ve flagged as sensitive in outbound HTTP/S traffic and prevent it from leaving the network.
  • Cloud Access Security Broker: This tool allows us to monitor our SaaS apps for misconfigurations and sensitive data that is potentially exposed or shared too broadly.

Protecting inboxes with cloud email security

Additionally, we have deployed our Cloud Email Security solution to protect our workforce from increased phishing and business email compromise attacks that we have not only seen directed against our employees, but that are plaguing organizations globally. One key feature we use is email link isolation, which uses RBI and email security functionality to open potentially suspicious links in an isolated browser. This allows us to be slightly more relaxed with blocking suspicious links without compromising security. This is a big win for productivity for our employees and the security team, as both sets of employees aren’t having to deal with large volumes of false positives.

More details on our implementation can be found in our Securing Cloudflare with Cloudflare One case study.

How we respect privacy

The very nature of these powerful security technologies Cloudflare has created and deployed underscores the responsibility we have to use privacy-first principles in handling this data, and to recognize that the data should be respected and protected at all times.

The journey to respecting privacy starts with the products themselves. We develop products that have privacy controls built in at their foundation. To achieve this, our product teams work closely with Cloudflare’s product and privacy counsels to practice privacy by design. A great example of this collaboration is the ability to manage personally identifiable information (PII) in the Secure Web Gateway logs. You can choose to exclude PII from Gateway logs entirely or redact PII from the logs and gain granular control over access to PII with the Zero Trust PII Role.

In addition to building privacy-first security products, we are also committed to communicating transparently with Cloudflare employees about how these security products work and what they can – and can’t – see about traffic on our internal systems. This empowers employees to see themselves as part of the security solution, rather than set up an “us vs. them” mentality around employee use of company systems.

For example, while our employee privacy policies and our Acceptable Use Policy provide broad notice to our employees about what happens to data when they use the company’s systems, we thought it was important to provide even more detail. As a result, our security team collaborated with our privacy team to create an internal wiki page that plainly explains the data our security tools collect and why. We also describe the privacy choices available to our employees. This is particularly important for the “bring your own device” (BYOD) employees who have opted for the convenience of using their personal mobile device for work. BYOD employees must install endpoint management (provided by a third party) and Cloudflare’s Zero trust client on their devices if they want to access Cloudflare systems. We described clearly to our employees what this means about what traffic on their devices can be seen by Cloudflare teams, and we explained how they can take steps to protect their privacy when they are using their devices for purely personal purposes.

For the teams that develop for and support our Zero Trust services, we ensure that data is available only on a strict, need-to-know basis and is restricted to Cloudflare team members that require access as an essential part of their job. The set of people with access are required to take training that reminds them of their responsibility to respect this data and provides them with best practices for handling sensitive data. Additionally, to ensure we have full auditability, we log all the queries run against this database and by whom they are run.

Cloudflare has also made it easy for our employees to express any concerns they may have about how their data is handled or what it is used for. We have mechanisms in place that allow employees to ask questions or express concerns about the use of Zero Trust Security on Cloudflare’s network.

In addition, we make it easy for employees to reach out directly to the leaders responsible for these tools. All of these efforts have helped our employees better understand what information we collect and why. This has helped to expand our strong foundation for security and privacy at Cloudflare.

Encouraging privacy-first security for all

We believe firmly that great security is critical for ensuring data privacy, and that privacy and security can co-exist harmoniously. We also know that it is possible to secure a corporate network in a way that respects the employees using those systems.

For anyone looking to secure a corporate network, we encourage focusing on network security products and solutions that build in personal data protections, like our Zero Trust suite of products. If you are curious to explore how to implement these Cloudflare services in your own organizations, request a consultation here.

We also urge organizations to make sure they communicate clearly with their users. In addition to making sure company policies are transparent and accessible, it is important to help employees understand their privacy choices. Under the laws of almost every jurisdiction globally, individuals have a lower level of privacy on a company device or a company’s systems than they do on their own personal accounts or devices, so it’s important to communicate clearly to help employees understand the difference. If an organization has privacy champions, works councils, or other employee representation groups, it is critical to communicate early and often with these groups to help employees understand what controls they can exercise over their data.

Enhancing security analysis with Cloudflare Zero Trust logs and Elastic SIEM

Post Syndicated from Corey Mahan original https://blog.cloudflare.com/enhancing-security-analysis-with-cloudflare-zero-trust-logs-and-elastic-siem


Today, we are thrilled to announce new Cloudflare Zero Trust dashboards on Elastic. Shared customers using Elastic can now use these pre-built dashboards to store, search, and analyze their Zero Trust logs.

When organizations look to adopt a Zero Trust architecture, there are many components to get right. If products are configured incorrectly, used maliciously, or security is somehow breached during the process, it can open your organization to underlying security risks without the ability to get insight from your data quickly and efficiently.

As a Cloudflare technology partner, Elastic helps Cloudflare customers find what they need faster, while keeping applications running smoothly and protecting against cyber threats. “I’m pleased to share our collaboration with Cloudflare, making it even easier to deploy log and analytics dashboards. This partnership combines Elastic’s open approach with Cloudflare’s practical solutions, offering straightforward tools for enterprise search, observability, and security deployment,” explained Mark Dodds, Chief Revenue Officer at Elastic.

Value of Zero Trust logs in Elastic

With this joint solution, we’ve made it easy for customers to seamlessly forward their Zero Trust logs to Elastic via Logpush jobs. This can be achieved directly via a Restful API or through an intermediary storage solution like AWS S3 or Google Cloud. Additionally, Cloudflare’s integration with Elastic has undergone improvements to encompass all categories of Zero Trust logs generated by Cloudflare.

Here are detailed some highlights of what the integration offers:

  • Comprehensive Visibility: Integrating Cloudflare Logpush into Elastic provides organizations with a real-time, comprehensive view of events related to Zero Trust. This enables a detailed understanding of who is accessing resources and applications, from where, and at what times. Enhanced visibility helps detect anomalous behavior and potential security threats more effectively, allowing for early response and mitigation.
  • Field Normalization: By unifying data from Zero Trust logs in Elastic, it’s possible to apply consistent field normalization not only for Zero Trust logs but also for other sources. This simplifies the process of search and analysis, as data is presented in a uniform format. Normalization also facilitates the creation of alerts and the identification of patterns of malicious or unusual activity.
  • Efficient Search and Analysis: Elastic provides powerful data search and analysis capabilities. Having Zero Trust logs in Elastic enables quick and precise searching for specific information. This is crucial for investigating security incidents, understanding workflows, and making informed decisions.
  • Correlation and Threat Detection: By combining Zero Trust data with other security events and data, Elastic enables deeper and more effective correlation. This is essential for detecting threats that might go unnoticed when analyzing each data source separately. Correlation aids in pattern identification and the detection of sophisticated attacks.
  • Prebuilt Dashboards: The integration provides out-of-the-box dashboards offering a quick start to visualizing key metrics and patterns. These dashboards help security teams visualize the security landscape in a clear and concise manner. The integration not only provides the advantage of prebuilt dashboards designed for Zero Trust datasets but also empowers users to curate their own visualizations.

What’s new on the dashboards

One of the main assets of the integration is the out-of-the-box dashboards tailored specifically for each type of Zero Trust log. Let’s explore some of these dashboards in more detail to find out how they can help us in terms of visibility.

Gateway HTTP

This dashboard focuses on HTTP traffic and allows for monitoring and analyzing HTTP requests passing through Cloudflare’s Secure Web Gateway.

Here, patterns of traffic can be identified, potential threats detected, and a better understanding gained of how resources are being used within the network.

Every visualization in the stage is interactive. Therefore, the whole dashboard adapts to enabled filters, and they can be pinned across dashboards for pivoting. For instance, if clicking on one of the sections of the donut showing the different actions, a filter is automatically applied on that value and the whole dashboard is oriented around it.

CASB

Following with a different perspective, the CASB (Cloud Access Security Broker) dashboard provides visibility over cloud applications used by users. Its visualizations are targeted to detect threats effectively, helping in the risk management and regulatory compliance.

These examples illustrate how dashboards in the integration between Cloudflare and Elastic offer practical and effective data visualization for Zero Trust. They enable us to make data-driven decisions, identify behavioral patterns, and proactively respond to threats. By providing relevant information in a visual and accessible manner, these dashboards strengthen security posture and allow for more efficient risk management in the Zero Trust environment.

How to get started

Setup and deployment is simple. Use the Cloudflare dashboard or API to create Logpush jobs with all fields enabled for each dataset you’d like to ingest on Elastic. There are eight account-scoped datasets available to use today (Access Requests, Audit logs, CASB findings, Gateway logs including DNS, Network, HTTP; Zero Trust Session Logs) that can be ingested into Elastic.

Setup Logpush jobs to your Elastic destination via one of the following methods:

  • HTTP Endpoint mode – Cloudflare pushes logs directly to an HTTP endpoint hosted by your Elastic Agent.
  • AWS S3 polling mode – Cloudflare writes data to S3 and Elastic Agent polls the S3 bucket by listing its contents and reading new files.
  • AWS S3 SQS mode – Cloudflare writes data to S3, S3 pushes a new object notification to SQS, Elastic Agent receives the notification from SQS, and then reads the S3 object. Multiple Agents can be used in this mode.

Enabling the integration in Elastic

  1. In Kibana, go to Management > Integrations
  2. In the integrations search bar type Cloudflare Logpush.
  3. Click the Cloudflare Logpush integration from the search results.
  4. Click the Add Cloudflare Logpush button to add Cloudflare Logpush integration.
  5. Enable the Integration with the HTTP Endpoint, AWS S3 input or GCS input.
  6. Under the AWS S3 input, there are two types of inputs: using AWS S3 Bucket or using SQS.
  7. Configure Cloudflare to send logs to the Elastic Agent.

What’s next

As organizations increasingly adopt a Zero Trust architecture, understanding your organization’s security posture is paramount. The dashboards help with necessary tools to build a robust security strategy, centered around visibility, early detection, and effective threat response.  By unifying data, normalizing fields, facilitating search, and enabling the creation of custom dashboards, this integration becomes a valuable asset for any cybersecurity team aiming to strengthen their security posture.

We’re looking forward to continuing to connect Cloudflare customers with our community of technology partners, to help in the adoption of a Zero Trust architecture.

Explore this new integration today.

Fulfilling the promise of single-vendor SASE through network modernization

Post Syndicated from Michael Keane http://blog.cloudflare.com/author/michael-keane/ original https://blog.cloudflare.com/single-vendor-sase-announcement-2024


As more organizations collectively progress toward adopting a SASE architecture, it has become clear that the traditional SASE market definition (SSE + SD-WAN) is not enough. It forces some teams to work with multiple vendors to address their specific needs, introducing performance and security tradeoffs. More worrisome, it draws focus more to a checklist of services than a vendor’s underlying architecture. Even the most advanced individual security services or traffic on-ramps don’t matter if organizations ultimately send their traffic through a fragmented, flawed network.

Single-vendor SASE is a critical trend to converge disparate security and networking technologies, yet enterprise “any-to-any connectivity” needs true network modernization for SASE to work for all teams. Over the past few years, Cloudflare has launched capabilities to help organizations modernize their networks as they navigate their short- and long-term roadmaps of SASE use cases. We’ve helped simplify SASE implementation, regardless of the team leading the initiative.

Announcing (even more!) flexible on-ramps for single-vendor SASE

Today, we are announcing a series of updates to our SASE platform, Cloudflare One, that further the promise of a single-vendor SASE architecture. Through these new capabilities, Cloudflare makes SASE networking more flexible and accessible for security teams, more efficient for traditional networking teams, and uniquely extend its reach to an underserved technical team in the larger SASE connectivity conversation: DevOps.

These platform updates include:

  • Flexible on-ramps for site-to-site connectivity that enable both agent/proxy-based and appliance/routing-based implementations, simplifying SASE networking for both security and networking teams.
  • New WAN-as-a-service (WANaaS) capabilities like high availability, application awareness, a virtual machine deployment option, and enhanced visibility and analytics that boost operational efficiency while reducing network costs through a “light branch, heavy cloud” approach.
  • Zero Trust connectivity for DevOps: mesh and peer-to-peer (P2P) secure networking capabilities that extend ZTNA to support service-to-service workflows and bidirectional traffic.

Cloudflare offers a wide range of SASE on- and off-ramps — including connectors for your WAN, applications, services, systems, devices, or any other internal network resources — to more easily route traffic to and from Cloudflare services. This helps organizations align with their best fit connectivity paradigm, based on existing environment, technical familiarity, and job role.

We recently dove into the Magic WAN Connector in a separate blog post and have explained how all our on-ramps fit together in our SASE reference architecture, including our new WARP Connector. This blog focuses on the main impact those technologies have for customers approaching SASE networking from different angles.

More flexible and accessible for security teams

The process of implementing a SASE architecture can challenge an organization’s status quo for internal responsibilities and collaboration across IT, security, and networking. Different teams own various security or networking technologies whose replacement cycles are not necessarily aligned, which can reduce the organization’s willingness to support particular projects.

Security or IT practitioners need to be able to protect resources no matter where they reside. Sometimes a small connectivity change would help them more efficiently protect a given resource, but the task is outside their domain of control. Security teams don’t want to feel reliant on their networking teams in order to do their jobs, and yet they also don’t need to cause downstream trouble with existing network infrastructure. They need an easier way to connect subnets, for instance, without feeling held back by bureaucracy.

Agent/proxy-based site-to-site connectivity

To help push these security-led projects past the challenges associated with traditional siloes, Cloudflare offers both agent/proxy-based and appliance/routing-based implementations for site-to-site or subnet-to-subnet connectivity. This way, networking teams can pursue the traditional networking concepts with which they are familiar through our appliance/routing-based WANaaS — a modern architecture vs. legacy SD-WAN overlays. Simultaneously, security/IT teams can achieve connectivity through agent/proxy-based software connectors (like the WARP Connector) that may be more approachable to implement. This agent-based approach blurs the lines between industry norms for branch connectors and app connectors, bringing WAN and ZTNA technology closer together to help achieve least-privileged access everywhere.

Agent/proxy-based connectivity may be a complementary fit for a subset of an organization’s total network connectivity. These software-driven site-to-site use cases could include microsites with no router or firewall, or perhaps cases in which teams are unable to configure IPsec or GRE tunnels like in tightly regulated managed networks or cloud environments like Kubernetes. Organizations can mix and match traffic on-ramps to fit their needs; all options can be used composably and concurrently.

Our agent/proxy-based approach to site-to-site connectivity uses the same underlying technology that helps security teams fully replace VPNs, supporting ZTNA for apps with server-initiated or bidirectional traffic. These include services such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) traffic, Microsoft’s System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Active Directory (AD) domain replication, and as detailed later in this blog, DevOps workflows.

This new Cloudflare on-ramp enables site-to-site, bidirectional, and mesh networking connectivity without requiring changes to underlying network routing infrastructure, acting as a router for the subnet within the private network to on-ramp and off-ramp traffic through Cloudflare.

More efficient for networking teams

Meanwhile, for networking teams who prefer a network-layer appliance/routing-based implementation for site-to-site connectivity, the industry norms still force too many tradeoffs between security, performance, cost, and reliability. Many (if not most) large enterprises still rely on legacy forms of private connectivity such as MPLS. MPLS is generally considered expensive and inflexible, but it is highly reliable and has features such as quality of service (QoS) that are used for bandwidth management.

Commodity Internet connectivity is widely available in most parts of the inhabited world, but has a number of challenges which make it an imperfect replacement to MPLS. In many countries, high speed Internet is fast and cheap, but this is not universally true. Speed and costs depend on the local infrastructure and the market for regional service providers. In general, broadband Internet is also not as reliable as MPLS. Outages and slowdowns are not unusual, with customers having varying degrees of tolerance to the frequency and duration of disrupted service. For businesses, outages and slowdowns are not tolerable. Disruptions to network service means lost business, unhappy customers, lower productivity and frustrated employees. Thus, despite the fact that a significant amount of corporate traffic flows have shifted to the Internet anyway, many organizations face difficulty migrating away from MPLS.

SD-WAN introduced an alternative to MPLS that is transport neutral and improves networking stability over conventional broadband alone. However, it introduces new topology and security challenges. For example, many SD-WAN implementations can increase risk if they bypass inspection between branches. It also has implementation-specific challenges such as how to address scaling and the use/control (or more precisely, the lack of) a middle mile. Thus, the promise of making a full cutover to Internet connectivity and eliminating MPLS remains unfulfilled for many organizations.  These issues are also not very apparent to some customers at the time of purchase and require continuing market education.

Evolution of the enterprise WAN

Cloudflare Magic WAN follows a different paradigm built from the ground up in Cloudflare’s connectivity cloud; it takes a “light branch, heavy cloud” approach to augment and eventually replace existing network architectures including MPLS circuits and SD-WAN overlays. While Magic WAN has similar cloud-native routing and configuration controls to what customers would expect from traditional SD-WAN, it is easier to deploy, manage, and consume. It scales with changing business requirements, with security built in. Customers like Solocal agree that the benefits of this architecture ultimately improve their total cost of ownership:

“Cloudflare’s Magic WAN Connector offers a centralized and automated management of network and security infrastructure, in an intuitive approach. As part of Cloudflare’s SASE platform, it provides a consistent and homogeneous single-vendor architecture, founded on market standards and best practices. Control over all data flows is ensured, and risks of breaches or security gaps are reduced. It is obvious to Solocal that it should provide us with significant savings, by reducing all costs related to acquiring, installing, maintaining, and upgrading our branch network appliances by up to 40%. A high-potential connectivity solution for our IT to modernize our network.”
– Maxime Lacour, Network Operations Manager, Solocal

This is quite different from other single-vendor SASE vendor approaches which have been trying to reconcile acquisitions that were designed around fundamentally different design philosophies. These “stitched together” solutions lead to a non-converged experience due to their fragmented architectures, similar to what organizations might see if they were managing multiple separate vendors anyway. Consolidating the components of SASE with a vendor that has built a unified, integrated solution, versus piecing together different solutions for networking and security, significantly simplifies deployment and management by reducing complexity, bypassed security, and potential integration or connectivity challenges.

Magic WAN can automatically establish IPsec tunnels to Cloudflare via our Connector device, manually via Anycast IPsec or GRE Tunnels initiated on a customer’s edge router or firewall, or via Cloudflare Network Interconnect (CNI) at private peering locations or public cloud instances. It pushes beyond “integration” claims with SSE to truly converge security and networking functionality and help organizations more efficiently modernize their networks.

New Magic WAN Connector capabilities

In October 2023, we announced the general availability of the Magic WAN Connector, a lightweight device that customers can drop into existing network environments for zero-touch connectivity to Cloudflare One, and ultimately used to replace other networking hardware such as legacy SD-WAN devices, routers, and firewalls. Today, we’re excited to announce new capabilities of the Magic WAN Connector including:

  • High Availability (HA) configurations for critical environments: In enterprise deployments, organizations generally desire support for high availability to mitigate the risk of hardware failure. High availability uses a pair of Magic WAN Connectors (running as a VM or on a supported hardware device) that work in conjunction with one another to seamlessly resume operation if one device fails. Customers can manage HA configuration, like all other aspects of the Magic WAN Connector, from the unified Cloudflare One dashboard.
  • Application awareness: One of the central differentiating features of SD-WAN vs. more traditional networking devices has been the ability to create traffic policies based on well-known applications, in addition to network-layer attributes like IP and port ranges. Application-aware policies provide easier management and more granularity over traffic flows. Cloudflare’s implementation of application awareness leverages the intelligence of our global network, using the same categorization/classification already shared across security tools like our Secure Web Gateway, so IT and security teams can expect consistent behavior across routing and inspection decisions – a capability not available in dual-vendor or stitched-together SASE solutions.
  • Virtual machine deployment option: The Magic WAN Connector is now available as a virtual appliance software image, that can be downloaded for immediate deployment on any supported virtualization platform / hypervisor. The virtual Magic WAN Connector has the same ultra-low-touch deployment model and centralized fleet management experience as the hardware appliance, and is offered to all Magic WAN customers at no additional cost.
  • Enhanced visibility and analytics: The Magic WAN Connector features enhanced visibility into key metrics such as connectivity status, CPU utilization, memory consumption, and device temperature. These analytics are available via dashboard and API so operations teams can integrate the data into their NOCs.

Extending SASE’s reach to DevOps

Complex continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) pipeline interaction is famous for being agile, so the connectivity and security supporting these workflows should match. DevOps teams too often rely on traditional VPNs to accomplish remote access to various development and operational tools. VPNs are cumbersome to manage, susceptible to exploit with known or zero-day vulnerabilities, and use a legacy hub-and-spoke connectivity model that is too slow for modern workflows.

Of any employee group, developers are particularly capable of finding creative workarounds that decrease friction in their daily workflows, so all corporate security measures need to “just work,” without getting in their way. Ideally, all users and servers across build, staging, and production environments should be orchestrated through centralized, Zero Trust access controls, no matter what components and tools are used and no matter where they are located. Ad hoc policy changes should be accommodated, as well as temporary Zero Trust access for contractors or even emergency responders during a production server incident.

Zero Trust connectivity for DevOps

ZTNA works well as an industry paradigm for secure, least-privileged user-to-app access, but it should extend further to secure networking use cases that involve server-initiated or bidirectional traffic. This follows an emerging trend that imagines an overlay mesh connectivity model across clouds, VPCs, or network segments without a reliance on routers. For true any-to-any connectivity, customers need flexibility to cover all of their network connectivity and application access use cases. Not every SASE vendor’s network on-ramps can extend beyond client-initiated traffic without requiring network routing changes or making security tradeoffs, so generic “any-to-any connectivity” claims may not be what they initially seem.

Cloudflare extends the reach of ZTNA to ensure all user-to-app use cases are covered, plus mesh and P2P secure networking to make connectivity options as broad and flexible as possible. DevOps service-to-service workflows can run efficiently on the same platform that accomplishes ZTNA, VPN replacement, or enterprise-class SASE. Cloudflare acts as the connectivity “glue” across all DevOps users and resources, regardless of the flow of traffic at each step. This same technology, i.e., WARP Connector, enables admins to manage different private networks with overlapping IP ranges — VPC & RFC1918, support server-initiated traffic and P2P apps (e.g., SCCM, AD, VoIP & SIP traffic) connectivity over existing private networks, build P2P private networks (e.g., CI/CD resource flows), and deterministically route traffic. Organizations can also automate management of their SASE platform with Cloudflare’s Terraform provider.

The Cloudflare difference

Cloudflare’s single-vendor SASE platform, Cloudflare One, is built on our connectivity cloud — the next evolution of the public cloud, providing a unified, intelligent platform of programmable, composable services that enable connectivity between all networks (enterprise and Internet), clouds, apps, and users. Our connectivity cloud is flexible enough to make “any-to-any connectivity” a more approachable reality for organizations implementing a SASE architecture, accommodating deployment preferences alongside prescriptive guidance. Cloudflare is built to offer the breadth and depth needed to help organizations regain IT control through single-vendor SASE and beyond, while simplifying workflows for every team that contributes along the way.

Other SASE vendors designed their data centers for egress traffic to the Internet. They weren’t designed to handle or secure East-West traffic, providing neither middle mile nor security services for traffic passing from branch to HQ or branch to branch. Cloudflare’s middle mile global backbone supports security and networking for any-to-any connectivity, whether users are on-prem or remote, and whether apps are in the data center or in the cloud.

To learn more, read our reference architecture, “Evolving to a SASE architecture with Cloudflare,” or talk to a Cloudflare One expert.

New whitepaper available: Charting a path to stronger security with Zero Trust

Post Syndicated from Quint Van Deman original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/new-whitepaper-available-charting-a-path-to-stronger-security-with-zero-trust/

Security is a top priority for organizations looking to keep pace with a changing threat landscape and build customer trust. However, the traditional approach of defined security perimeters that separate trusted from untrusted network zones has proven to be inadequate as hybrid work models accelerate digital transformation.

Today’s distributed enterprise requires a new approach to ensuring the right levels of security and accessibility for systems and data. Security experts increasingly recommend Zero Trust as the solution, but security teams can get confused when Zero Trust is presented as a product, rather than as a security model. We’re excited to share a whitepaper we recently authored with SANS Institute called Zero Trust: Charting a Path To Stronger Security, which addresses common misconceptions and explores Zero Trust opportunities.

Gartner predicts that by 2025, over 60% of organizations will embrace Zero Trust as a starting place for security.

The whitepaper includes context and analysis that can help you move past Zero Trust marketing hype and learn about these key considerations for implementing a successful Zero Trust strategy:

  • Zero Trust definition and guiding principles
  • Six foundational capabilities to establish
  • Four fallacies to avoid
  • Six Zero Trust use cases
  • Metrics for measuring Zero Trust ROI

The journey to Zero Trust is an iterative process that is different for every organization. We encourage you to download the whitepaper, and gain insight into how you can chart a path to a multi-layered security strategy that adapts to the modern environment and meaningfully improves your technical and business outcomes. We look forward to your feedback and to continuing the journey together.

If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below.

Want more AWS Security news? Follow us on Twitter.

Author

Quint Van Deman

Quint is a Principal within the Office of the CISO at AWS, based in Virginia. He works to increase the scope and impact of the AWS CISO externally through customer executive engagement and outreach, supporting secure cloud adoption. Internally, he focuses on collaborating with AWS service teams as they address customer security challenges and uphold AWS security standards.

Author

Mark Ryland

Mark is a Director of Security at Amazon, based in Virginia. He has over 30 years of experience in the technology industry and has served in leadership roles in cybersecurity, software engineering, distributed systems, technology standardization, and public policy. An AWS veteran of over 12 years, he started as the Director of Solution Architecture and Professional Services for the AWS World Public Sector team, and more recently founded and led the AWS Office of the CISO.

Announcing General Availability for the Magic WAN Connector: the easiest way to jumpstart SASE transformation for your network

Post Syndicated from Annika Garbers original http://blog.cloudflare.com/magic-wan-connector-general-availability/

Announcing General Availability for the Magic WAN Connector: the easiest way to jumpstart SASE transformation for your network

Announcing General Availability for the Magic WAN Connector: the easiest way to jumpstart SASE transformation for your network

Today, we’re announcing the general availability of the Magic WAN Connector, a key component of our SASE platform, Cloudflare One. Magic WAN Connector is the glue between your existing network hardware and Cloudflare’s network — it provides a super simplified software solution that comes pre-installed on Cloudflare-certified hardware, and is entirely managed from the Cloudflare One dashboard.

It takes only a few minutes from unboxing to seeing your network traffic automatically routed to the closest Cloudflare location, where it flows through a full stack of Zero Trust security controls before taking an accelerated path to its destination, whether that’s another location on your private network, a SaaS app, or any application on the open Internet.

Since we announced our beta earlier this year, organizations around the world have deployed the Magic WAN Connector to connect and secure their network locations. We’re excited for the general availability of the Magic WAN Connector to accelerate SASE transformation at scale.

When customers tell us about their journey to embrace SASE, one of the most common stories we hear is:

We started with our remote workforce, deploying modern solutions to secure access to internal apps and Internet resources. But now, we’re looking at the broader landscape of our enterprise network connectivity and security, and it’s daunting. We want to shift to a cloud and Internet-centric model for all of our infrastructure, but we’re struggling to figure out how to start.

The Magic WAN Connector was created to address this problem.

Zero-touch connectivity to your new corporate WAN

Cloudflare One enables organizations of any size to connect and secure all of their users, devices, applications, networks, and data with a unified platform delivered by our global connectivity cloud. Magic WAN is the network connectivity “glue” of Cloudflare One, allowing our customers to migrate away from legacy private circuits and use our network as an extension of their own.

Previously, customers have connected their locations to Magic WAN with Anycast GRE or IPsec tunnels configured on their edge network equipment (usually existing routers or firewalls), or plugged into us directly with CNI. But for the past few years, we’ve heard requests from hundreds of customers asking for a zero-touch approach to connecting their branches: We just want something we can plug in and turn on, and it handles the rest.

The Magic WAN Connector is exactly this. Customers receive Cloudflare-certified hardware with our software pre-installed on it, and everything is controlled via the Cloudflare dashboard. What was once a time-consuming, complex process now takes a matter of minutes, enabling robust Zero-Trust protection for all of your traffic.  

In addition to automatically configuring tunnels and routing policies to direct your network traffic to Cloudflare, the Magic WAN Connector will also handle traffic steering, shaping and failover to make sure your packets always take the best path available to the closest Cloudflare network location — which is likely only milliseconds away. You’ll also get enhanced visibility into all your traffic flows in analytics and logs, providing a unified observability experience across both your branches and the traffic through Cloudflare’s network.

Zero Trust security for all your traffic

Once the Magic WAN Connector is deployed at your network location, you have automatic access to enforce Zero Trust security policies across both public and private traffic.

Announcing General Availability for the Magic WAN Connector: the easiest way to jumpstart SASE transformation for your network

A secure on-ramp to the Internet

An easy first step to improving your organization’s security posture after connecting network locations to Cloudflare is creating Secure Web Gateway policies to defend against ransomware, phishing, and other threats for faster, safer Internet browsing. By default, all Internet traffic from locations with the Magic WAN Connector will route through Cloudflare Gateway, providing a unified management plane for traffic from physical locations and remote employees.

A more secure private network

The Magic WAN Connector also enables routing private traffic between your network locations, with multiple layers of network and Zero Trust security controls in place. Unlike a traditional network architecture, which requires deploying and managing a stack of security hardware and backhauling branch traffic through a central location for filtering, a SASE architecture provides private traffic filtering and control built-in: enforced across a distributed network, but managed from a single dashboard interface or API.

A simpler approach for hybrid cloud

Cloudflare One enables connectivity for any physical or cloud network with easy on-ramps depending on location type. The Magic WAN Connector provides easy connectivity for branches, but also provides automatic connectivity to other networks including VPCs connected using cloud-native constructs (e.g., VPN Gateways) or direct cloud connectivity (via Cloud CNI). With a unified connectivity and control plane across physical and cloud infrastructure, IT and security teams can reduce overhead and cost of managing multi- and hybrid cloud networks.

Single-vendor SASE dramatically reduces cost and complexity

With the general availability of the Magic WAN Connector, we’ve put the final piece in place to deliver a unified SASE platform, developed and fully integrated from the ground up. Deploying and managing all the components of SASE with a single vendor, versus piecing together different solutions for networking and security, significantly simplifies deployment and management by reducing complexity and potential integration challenges. Many vendors that market a full SASE solution have actually stitched together separate products through acquisition, leading to an un-integrated experience similar to what you would see deploying and managing multiple separate vendors. In contrast, Cloudflare One (now with the Magic WAN Connector for simplified branch functions) enables organizations to achieve the true promise of SASE: a simplified, efficient, and highly secure network and security infrastructure that reduces your total cost of ownership and adapts to the evolving needs of the modern digital landscape.

Evolving beyond SD-WAN

Cloudflare One addresses many of the challenges that were left behind as organizations deployed SD-WAN to help simplify networking operations. SD-WAN provides orchestration capabilities to help manage devices and configuration in one place, as well as last mile traffic management to steer and shape traffic based on more sophisticated logic than is possible in traditional routers. But SD-WAN devices generally don't have embedded security controls, leaving teams to stitch together a patchwork of hardware, virtualized and cloud-based tools to keep their networks secure. They can make decisions about the best way to send traffic out from a customer’s branch, but they have no way to influence traffic hops between the last mile and the traffic's destination. And while some SD-WAN providers have surfaced virtualized versions of their appliances that can be deployed in cloud environments, they don't support native cloud connectivity and can complicate rather than ease the transition to cloud.

Cloudflare One represents the next evolution of enterprise networking, and has a fundamentally different architecture from either legacy networking or SD-WAN. It's based on a "light branch, heavy cloud" principle: deploy the minimum required hardware within physical locations (or virtual hardware within virtual networks, e.g., cloud VPCs) and use low-cost Internet connectivity to reach the nearest "service edge" location. At those locations, traffic can flow through security controls and be optimized on the way to its destination, whether that's another location within the customer's private network or an application on the public Internet. This architecture also enables remote user access to connected networks.

This shift — moving most of the "smarts" from the branch to a distributed global network edge, and leaving only the functions at the branch that absolutely require local presence, delivered by the Magic WAN Connector — solves our customers’ current problems and sets them up for easier management and a stronger security posture as the connectivity and attack landscape continues to evolve.

Aspect

Example

MPLS/VPN Service

SD-WAN

SASE with 

Cloudflare One 

Configuration

New site setup, configuration and management

By MSP through service request

Simplified orchestration and 
management via centralized controller

Automated orchestration via SaaS portal

Single Dashboard

Last mile 

traffic control

Traffic balancing, QoS, and failover

Covered by MPLS SLAs

Best Path selection available
in SD-WAN appliance 

Minimal on-prem deployment to control local decision making

Middle mile 

traffic control

Traffic steering around middle mile congestion

Covered by MPLS SLAs

“Tunnel Spaghetti” and still no control over the middle mile

Integrated traffic management & private backbone controls in a unified dashboard

Cloud integration

Connectivity for cloud migration

Centralized breakout

Decentralized breakout

Native connectivity with Cloud Network Interconnect

Security

Filter in & outbound Internet traffic for malware

Patchwork of hardware controls

Patchwork of hardware
and/or software controls

Native integration with user, data, application & network security tools

Cost

Maximize ROI for network investments

High cost for hardware and connectivity

Optimized connectivity costs at the expense of increased 

hardware and software costs

Decreased hardware and connectivity costs for maximized ROI

Summary of legacy, SD-WAN based, and SASE architecture considerations

Love and want to keep your current SD-WAN vendor? No problem – you can still use any appliance that supports IPsec or GRE as an on-ramp for Cloudflare One.

Ready to simplify your SASE journey?

You can learn more about the Magic WAN Connector, including device specs, specific feature info, onboarding process details, and more at our dev docs, or contact us to get started today.

Cloudflare One for Data Protection

Post Syndicated from James Chang original http://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-one-data-protection-announcement/

Cloudflare One for Data Protection

This post is also available in 日本語, 한국어, Deutsch, Français.

Cloudflare One for Data Protection

Data continues to explode in volume, variety, and velocity, and security teams at organizations of all sizes are challenged to keep up. Businesses face escalating risks posed by varied SaaS environments, the emergence of generative artificial intelligence (AI) tools, and the exposure and theft of valuable source code continues to keep CISOs and Data Officers up at night.

Over the past few years, Cloudflare has launched capabilities to help organizations navigate these risks and gain visibility and controls over their data — including the launches of our data loss prevention (DLP) and cloud access security broker (CASB) services in the fall of 2022.

Announcing Cloudflare One’s data protection suite

Today, we are building on that momentum and announcing Cloudflare One for Data Protection — our unified suite to protect data everywhere across web, SaaS, and private applications. Built on and delivered across our entire global network, Cloudflare One’s data protection suite is architected for the risks of modern coding and increased usage of AI.

Specifically, this suite converges capabilities across Cloudflare’s DLP, CASB, Zero Trust network access (ZTNA), secure web gateway (SWG), remote browser isolation (RBI), and cloud email security services onto a single platform for simpler management. All these services are available and packaged now as part of Cloudflare One, our SASE platform that converges security and network connectivity services.

A separate blog post published today looks back on what technologies and features we delivered over the past year and previews new functionality that customers can look forward to.

In this blog, we focus more on what impact those technologies and features have for customers in addressing modern data risks — with examples of practical use cases. We believe that Cloudflare One is uniquely positioned to deliver better data protection that addresses modern data risks. And by “better,” we mean:

  • Helping security teams be more effective protecting data by simplifying inline and API connectivity together with policy management
  • Helping employees be more productive by ensuring fast, reliable, and consistent user experiences
  • Helping organizations be more agile by innovating rapidly to meet evolving data security and privacy requirements

Harder than ever to secure data

Data spans more environments than most organizations can keep track of. In conversations with customers, three distinctly modern risks stick out:

  1. The growing diversity of cloud and SaaS environments: The apps where knowledge workers spend most of their time — like cloud email inboxes, shared cloud storage folders and documents, SaaS productivity and collaboration suites like Microsoft 365 — are increasingly targeted by threat actors for data exfiltration.
  2. Emerging AI tools: Business leaders are concerned about users oversharing sensitive information with opaque large language model tools like ChatGPT, but at the same time, want to leverage the benefits of AI.
  3. Source code exposure or theft: Developer code fuels digital business, but that same high-value source code can be exposed or targeted for theft across many developer tools like GitHub, including in plain sight locations like public repositories.

These latter two risks, in particular, are already intersecting. Companies like Amazon, Apple, Verizon, Deutsche Bank, and more are blocking employees from using tools like ChatGPT for fear of losing confidential data, and Samsung recently had an engineer accidentally upload sensitive code to the tool. As organizations prioritize new digital services and experiences, developers face mounting pressure to work faster and smarter. AI tools can help unlock that productivity, but the long-term consequences of oversharing sensitive data with these tools is still unknown.

All together, data risks are only primed to escalate, particularly as organizations accelerate digital transformation initiatives with hybrid work and development continuing to expand attack surfaces. At the same time, regulatory compliance will only become more demanding, as more countries and states adopt more stringent data privacy laws.

Traditional DLP services are not equipped to keep up with these modern risks. A combination of high setup and operational complexity plus negative user experiences means that, in practice, DLP controls are often underutilized or bypassed entirely. Whether deployed as a standalone platform or integrated into security products or SaaS applications, DLP products can often become expensive shelfware. And backhauling traffic through on-premise data protection hardware – whether, DLP, firewall and SWG appliances, or otherwise — create costs and slow user experiences that hold businesses back in the long run.

Figure 1: Modern data risks

Cloudflare One for Data Protection

How customers use Cloudflare for data protection

Today, customers are increasingly turning to Cloudflare to address these data risks, including a Fortune 500 natural gas company, a major US job site, a regional US airline, an Australian healthcare company and more. Across these customer engagements, three use cases are standing out as common focus areas when deploying Cloudflare One for data protection.

Use case #1: Securing AI tools and developer code (Applied Systems)

Applied Systems, an insurance technology & software company, recently deployed Cloudflare One to secure data in AI environments.

Specifically, the company runs the public instance of ChatGPT in an isolated browser, so that the security team can apply copy-paste blocks: preventing users from copying sensitive information (including developer code) from other apps into the AI tool. According to Chief Information Security Officer Tanner Randolph, “We wanted to let employees take advantage of AI while keeping it safe.”

This use case was just one of several Applied Systems tackled when migrating from Zscaler and Cisco to Cloudflare, but we see a growing interest in securing AI and developer code among our customers.

Use case #2: Data exposure visibility

Customers are leveraging Cloudflare One to regain visibility and controls over data exposure risks across their sprawling app environments. For many, the first step is analyzing unsanctioned app usage, and then taking steps to allow, block, isolate, or apply other controls to those resources. A second and increasingly popular step is scanning SaaS apps for misconfigurations and sensitive data via a CASB and DLP service, and then taking prescriptive steps to remediate via SWG policies.

A UK ecommerce giant with 7,5000 employees turned to Cloudflare for this latter step. As part of a broader migration strategy from Zscaler to Cloudflare, this company quickly set up API integrations between its SaaS environments and Cloudflare’s CASB and began scanning for misconfigurations. Plus, during this integration process, the company was able to sync DLP policies with Microsoft Pureview Information Protection sensitivity labels, so that it could use its existing framework to prioritize what data to protect. All in all, the company was able to begin identifying data exposure risks within a day.

Use case #3: Compliance with regulations

Comprehensive data regulations like GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and GLBA have been in our lives for some time now. But new laws are quickly emerging: for example, 11 U.S. states now have comprehensive privacy laws, up from just 3 in 2021. And updates to existing laws like PCI DSS now include stricter, more expansive requirements.

Customers are increasingly turning to Cloudflare One for compliance, in particular by ensuring they can monitor and protect regulated data (e.g. financial data, health data, PII, exact data matches, and more). Some common steps include first, detecting and applying controls to sensitive data via DLP, next, maintaining detailed audit trails via logs and further SIEM analysis, and finally, reducing overall risk with a comprehensive Zero Trust security posture.

Let’s look at a concrete example. One Zero Trust best practice that is increasingly required is multi-factor authentication (MFA). In the payment cards industry, PCI DSS v4.0, which takes effect in 2025, requires that requests to MFA be enforced for every access request to the cardholder data environment, for every user and for every location – including cloud environments, on-prem apps, workstations and more. (requirement 8.4.2). Plus, those MFA systems must be configured to prevent misuse – including replay attacks and bypass attempts – and must require at least two different factors that must be successful (requirement 8.5). To help organizations comply with both of these requirements, Cloudflare helps organizations enforce MFA across all apps and users – and in fact, we use our same services to enforce hard key authentication for our own employees.

Figure 2: Data protection use cases

Cloudflare One for Data Protection

The Cloudflare difference

Cloudflare One’s data protection suite is built to stay at the forefront of modern data risks to address these and other evolving use cases.

With Cloudflare, DLP is not just integrated with other typically distinct security services, like CASB, SWG, ZTNA, RBI, and email security, but converged onto a single platform with one control plane and one interface. Beyond the acronym soup, our network architecture is really what enables us to help organizations be more effective, more productive, and more agile with protecting data.

We simplify connectivity, with flexible options for you to send traffic to Cloudflare for enforcement. Those options include API-based scans of SaaS suites for misconfigurations and sensitive data. Unlike solutions that require security teams to get full app permissions from IT or business teams, Cloudflare can find risk exposure with read-only app permissions. Clientless deployments of ZTNA to secure application access and of browser isolation to control data within websites and apps are scalable for all users — employees and third-parties like contractors — for the largest enterprises. And when you do want to forward proxy traffic, Cloudflare offers one device client with self-enrollment permissions or wide area network on-ramps across security services. With so many practical ways to deploy, your data protection approach will be effective and functional — not shelfware.

Just like your data, our global network is everywhere, now spanning over 300 cities in over 100 countries. We have proven that we enforce controls faster than vendors like Zscaler, Netskope, and Palo Alto Networks — all with single-pass inspection. We ensure security is quick, reliable, and unintrusive, so you can layer on data controls without disruptive work productivity.

Our programmable network architecture enables us to build new capabilities quickly. And we rapidly adopt new security standards and protocols (like IPv6-only connections or HTTP/3 encryption) to ensure data protection remains effective. Altogether, this architecture equips us to evolve alongside changing data protection use cases, like protecting code in AI environments, and quickly deploy AI and machine learning models across our network locations to enforce higher precision, context-driven detections.

Figure 3: Unified data protection with Cloudflare

Cloudflare One for Data Protection

How to get started

Modern data risks demand modern security. We feel that Cloudflare One’s unified data protection suite is architected to help organizations navigate their priority risks today and in the future — whether that is securing developer code and AI tools, regaining visibility over SaaS apps, or staying compliant with evolving regulations.

If you’re ready to explore how Cloudflare can protect your data, request a workshop with our experts today.

Or to learn more about how Cloudflare One protects data, read today’s press release, visit our website, or dive deeper with our accompanying technical blog.

***

  1. The State of Secrets Sprawl 2023, GitGuardian
  2. Top Generative AI Statistics for 2023, Salesforce
  3. Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, IBM
  4. 2023 “State of the CISO” report, conducted by Global Survey
  5. United Nations Conference on Trade & Development
  6. International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP)

What’s next for Cloudflare One’s data protection suite

Post Syndicated from Corey Mahan original http://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-one-data-protection-roadmap-preview/

What’s next for Cloudflare One’s data protection suite

What’s next for Cloudflare One’s data protection suite

Today, we announced Cloudflare One for Data Protection — a unified suite to protect data everywhere across web, SaaS, and private applications. This suite converges capabilities including our data loss prevention (DLP), cloud access security broker (CASB), Zero Trust network access (ZTNA), secure web gateway (SWG), remote browser isolation (RBI), and cloud email security services. The suite is available and packaged now as part of Cloudflare One, our SASE platform.

In the announcement post, we focused on how the data protection suite helps customers navigate modern data risks, with recommended use cases and real-world customer examples.

In this companion blog post, we recap the capabilities built into the Cloudflare One suite over the past year and preview new functionality that customers can look forward to. This blog is best for practitioners interested in protecting data and SaaS environments using Cloudflare One.

DLP & CASB capabilities launched in the past year

Cloudflare launched both DLP and CASB services in September 2022, and since then have rapidly built functionality to meet the growing needs of our organizations of all sizes. Before previewing how these services will evolve, it is worth recapping the many enhancements added in the past year.

Cloudflare’s DLP solution helps organizations detect and protect sensitive data across their environment based on its several characteristics. DLP controls can be critical in preventing (and detecting) damaging leaks and ensuring compliance for regulated classes of data like financial, health, and personally identifiable information.

Improvements to DLP detections and policies can be characterized by three major themes:

  • Customization: making it easy for administrators to design DLP policies with the flexibility they want.
  • Deep detections: equipping administrators with increasingly granular controls over what data they protect and how.
  • Detailed detections: providing administrators with more detailed visibility and logs to analyze the efficacy of their DLP policies.

Cloudflare’s CASB helps organizations connect to, scan, and monitor third-party SaaS applications for misconfigurations, improper data sharing, and other security risks — all via lightweight API integrations. In this way, organizations can regain visibility and controls over their growing investments in SaaS apps.

CASB product enhancements can similarly be summarized by three themes:

  • Expanding API integrations: Today, our CASB integrates with 18 of the most popular SaaS apps — Microsoft 365 (including OneDrive), Google Workspace (including Drive), Salesforce, GitHub, and more. Setting up these API integrations takes fewer clicks than first-generation CASB solutions, with comparable coverage to other vendors in the Security Services Edge (SSE) space.
  • Strengthening findings of CASB scans: We have made it easier to remediate the misconfigurations identified by these CASB scans with both prescriptive guides and in-line policy actions built into the dashboard.
  • Converging CASB & DLP functionality: We started enabling organizations to scan SaaS apps for sensitive data, as classified by DLP policies. For example, this helps organizations detect when credit cards or social security numbers are in Google documents or spreadsheets that have been made publicly available to anyone on the Internet.

This last theme, in particular, speaks to the value of unifying data protection capabilities on a single platform for simple, streamlined workflows. The below table highlights some major capabilities launched since our general availability announcements last September.

Table 1: Select DLP and CASB capabilities shipped since 2022 Q4

Theme Capability Description
DLP: Customizability Microsoft Information Protection labels integration After a quick API integration, Cloudflare syncs continuously with the Microsoft Information Protection (MIP) labels you already use to streamline how you build DLP policies.
Custom DLP profiles Administrators can create custom detections using the same regex policy builder used across our entire Zero Trust platform for a consistent configuration experience across services.
Match count controls Administrators can set minimum thresholds for the number of times a detection is made before an action (like block or log) is triggered. This way, customers can create policies that allow individual transactions but block up/downloads with high volumes of sensitive data.
DLP: Deepening detection Context analysis Context analysis helps reduce false positive detections by analyzing proximity keywords (for example: seeing “expiration date” near a credit card number increases the likelihood of triggering a detection).
File type control DLP scans can be scoped to specific file types, such as Microsoft Office documents, PDF files, and ZIP files.
Expanded predefined DLP profiles Since launch, DLP has built out a wider variety of detections for common data types, like financial data, personal identifiers, and credentials.
DLP: Detailed detections Expanded logging details Cloudflare now captures more wide-ranging and granular details of DLP-related activity in logs, including payload analysis, file names, and higher fidelity details of individual files. A large percentage of our customers prefer to push these logs to SIEM tools like DataDog and Sumo Logic.
CASB: Expanding integrations and findings API-based integrations
Managing findings
Today, Cloudflare integrates with 18 of the most widely used SaaS apps, including productivity suites, cloud storage, chat tools, and more.
API-based scans not only reveal misconfigurations, but also offer built-in HTTP policy creation workflows and step-by-step remediation guides.
DLP & CASB convergence Scanning for sensitive data in SaaS apps Today, organizations can set up CASB to scan every publicly accessible file in Google Workspace for text that matches a DLP profile (financial data, personal identifiers, etc.).

New and upcoming DLP & CASB functionality

Today’s launch of Cloudflare One’s data protection suite crystalizes our commitment to keep investing in DLP and CASB functionality across these thematic areas. Below we wanted to preview a few new and upcoming capabilities on the Cloudflare One’s data protection suite roadmap that will become available in the coming weeks for further visibility and controls across data environments.

Exact data matching with custom wordlists

Already shipped: Exact Data Match, moves from out of beta to general availability, allowing customers to tell Cloudflare’s DLP exactly what data to look for by uploading a dataset, which could include names, phone numbers, or anything else.

Next 30 days: Customers will soon be able to upload a list of specific words, create DLP policies to search for those important keywords in files, and block and log that activity.

How customers benefit: Administrators can be more specific about what they need to protect and save time creating policies by bulk uploading the data and terms that they care most about. Over time, many organizations have amassed long lists of terms configured for incumbent DLP services, and these customizable upload capabilities streamline migration from other vendors to Cloudflare. Just as with all other DLP profiles, Cloudflare searches for these custom lists and keywords within in-line traffic and in integrated SaaS apps.

Detecting source code and health data

Next 30 days: Soon, Clouflare’s DLP will include predefined profiles to detect developer source code and protected health information (PHI). Initially, code data will include languages like Python, Javascript, Java, and C++ — four of the most popular languages today — and PHI data will include medication and diagnosis names — two highly sensitive medical topics.

How customers benefit: These predefined profiles expand coverage to some of the most valuable — and in the case of PHI, one of the most regulated — types of data within an organization.

Converging API-driven CASB & DLP for data-at-rest protections

Next 30 days: Soon, organizations will be able to scan for sensitive data at rest in Microsoft 365 (e.g. OneDrive). API-based scans of these environments will flag, for example, whether credit card numbers, source code, or other data configured via DLP policies reside within publicly accessible files. Administrators can then take prescriptive steps to remediate via in-line CASB gateway policies.

Shipping by the end of the year: Within the next few months, this same integration will be available with GitHub.

How customers benefit: Between the existing Google Workspace integration and this upcoming Microsoft 365 integration, customers can scan for sensitive data across two of the most prominent cloud productivity suites — where users spend much of their time and where large percentages of organizational data lives. This new Microsoft integration represents a continued investment in streamlining security workflows across the Microsoft ecosystem — whether for managing identity and application access, enforcing device posture, or isolating risky users.

The GitHub integration also restores visibility over one of the most critical developer environments that is also increasingly a risk for data leaks. In fact, according to GitGuardian, 10 million hard-coded secrets were exposed in public GitHub commits in 2022, a figure that is up 67% from 2021 and only expected to grow. Preventing source code exposure on GitHub is a problem area our product team regularly hears from our customers, and we will continue to prioritize securing developer environments.

Layering on Zero Trust context: User Risk Score

Next 30 days: Cloudflare will introduce a risk score based on user behavior and activities that have been detected across Cloudflare One’s services. Organizations will be able to detect user behaviors that introduce risk from action like an Impossible Travel anomaly or detections from too many DLP violations in a given period of time. Shortly following the detection capabilities will be the option to take preventative or remediative policy actions, within the wider Cloudflare One suite. In this way, organizations can control access to sensitive data and applications based on changing risk factors and real-time context.

How customers benefit: Today, intensive time, labor, and money are spent on analyzing large volumes of log data to identify patterns of risk. Cloudflare's ‘out-of-the-box’ risk score simplifies that process, helping organizations gain visibility into and lock down suspicious activity with speed and efficiency.

How to get started

These are just some of the capabilities on our short-term roadmap, and we can’t wait to share more with you as the data protection suite evolves. If you’re ready to explore how Cloudflare One can protect your data, request a workshop with our experts today.

Or to learn more about how Cloudflare One protects data, read today’s press release, visit our website, or dive deeper with a technical demo.

How to use AWS Verified Access logs to write and troubleshoot access policies

Post Syndicated from Ankush Goyal original https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/security/how-to-use-aws-verified-access-logs-to-write-and-troubleshoot-access-policies/

On June 19, 2023, AWS Verified Access introduced improved logging functionality; Verified Access now logs more extensive user context information received from the trust providers. This improved logging feature simplifies administration and troubleshooting of application access policies while adhering to zero-trust principles.

In this blog post, we will show you how to manage the Verified Access logging configuration and how to use Verified Access logs to write and troubleshoot access policies faster. We provide an example showing the user context information that was logged before and after the improved logging functionality and how you can use that information to transform a high-level policy into a fine-grained policy.

Overview of AWS Verified Access

AWS Verified Access helps enterprises to provide secure access to their corporate applications without using a virtual private network (VPN). Using Verified Access, you can configure fine-grained access policies to help limit application access only to users who meet the specified security requirements (for example, user identity and device security status). These policies are written in Cedar, a new policy language developed and open-sourced by AWS.

Verified Access validates each request based on access policies that you set. You can use user context—such as user, group, and device risk score—from your existing third-party identity and device security services to define access policies. In addition, Verified Access provides you an option to log every access attempt to help you respond quickly to security incidents and audit requests. These logs also contain user context sent from your identity and device security services and can help you to match the expected outcomes with the actual outcomes of your policies. To capture these logs, you need to enable logging from the Verified Access console.

Figure 1: Overview of AWS Verified Access architecture showing Verified Access connected to an application

Figure 1: Overview of AWS Verified Access architecture showing Verified Access connected to an application

After a Verified Access administrator attaches a trust provider to a Verified Access instance, they can write policies using the user context information from the trust provider. This user context information is custom to an organization, and you need to gather it from different sources when writing or troubleshooting policies that require more extensive user context.

Now, with the improved logging functionality, the Verified Access logs record more extensive user context information from the trust providers. This eliminates the need to gather information from different sources. With the detailed context available in the logs, you have more information to help validate and troubleshoot your policies.

Let’s walk through an example of how this detailed context can help you improve your Verified Access policies. For this example, we set up a Verified Access instance using AWS IAM Identity Center (successor to AWS Single Sign-on) and CrowdStrike as trust providers. To learn more about how to set up a Verified Access instance, see Getting started with Verified Access. To learn how to integrate Verified Access with CrowdStrike, see Integrating AWS Verified Access with device trust providers.

Then we wrote the following simple policy, where users are allowed only if their email matches the corporate domain.

permit(principal,action,resource)
when {
    context.sso.user.email.address like "*@example.com"
};

Before improved logging, Verified Access logged basic information only, as shown in the following example log.

    "identity": {
        "authorizations": [
            {
                "decision": "Allow",
                "policy": {
                    "name": "inline"
                }
            }
        ],
        "idp": {
            "name": "user",
            "uid": "vatp-09bc4cbce2EXAMPLE"
        },
        "user": {
            "email_addr": "[email protected]",
            "name": "Test User Display",
            "uid": "[email protected]",
            "uuid": "00u6wj48lbxTAEXAMPLE"
        }
    }

Modify an existing Verified Access instance

To improve the preceding policy and make it more granular, you can include checks for various user and device details. For example, you can check if the user belongs to a particular group, has a verified email, should be logging in from a device with an OS that has an assessment score greater than 50, and has an overall device score greater than 15.

Modify the Verified Access instance logging configuration

You can modify the instance logging configuration of an existing Verified Access instance by using either the AWS Management Console or AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI).

  1. Open the Verified Access console and select Verified Access instances.
  2. Select the instance that you want to modify, and then, on the Verified Access instance logging configuration tab, select Modify Verified Access instance logging configuration.
    Figure 2: Modify Verified Access logging configuration

    Figure 2: Modify Verified Access logging configuration

  3. Under Update log version, select ocsf-1.0.0-rc.2, turn on Include trust context, and select where the logs should be delivered.
    Figure 3: Verified Access log version and trust context

    Figure 3: Verified Access log version and trust context

After you’ve completed the preceding steps, Verified Access will start logging more extensive user context information from the trust providers for every request that Verified Access receives. This context information can have sensitive information. To learn more about how to protect this sensitive information, see Protect Sensitive Data with Amazon CloudWatch Logs.

The following example log shows information received from the IAM Identity Center identity provider (IdP) and the device provider CrowdStrike.

"data": {
    "context": {
        "crowdstrike": {
            "assessment": {
                "overall": 21,
                "os": 53,
                "sensor_config": 4,
                "version": "3.6.1"
            },
            "cid": "7545bXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX93cf01a19b",
            "exp": 1692046783,
            "iat": 1690837183,
            "jwk_url": "https://assets-public.falcon.crowdstrike.com/zta/jwk.json",
            "platform": "Windows 11",
            "serial_number": "ec2dXXXXb-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXX059f05",
            "sub": "99c185e69XXXXXXXXXX4c34XXXXXX65a",
            "typ": "crowdstrike-zta+jwt"
        },
        "sso": {
            "user": {
                "user_id": "24a80468-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-6db32c9f68fc",
                "user_name": "XXXX",
                "email": {
                    "address": "[email protected]",
                    "verified": false
                }
            },
            "groups": {
                "04c8d4d8-e0a1-XXXX-383543e07f11": {
                    "group_name": "XXXX"
                }
            }
        },
        "http_request": {
            "hostname": "sales.example.com",
            "http_method": "GET",
            "x_forwarded_for": "52.XX.XX.XXXX",
            "port": 80,
            "user_agent": "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:109.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/115.0",
            "client_ip": "52.XX.XX.XXXX"
        }
    }
}

The following example log shows the user context information received from the OpenID Connect (OIDC) trust provider Okta. You can see the difference in the information provided by the two different trust providers: IAM Identity Center and Okta.

"data": {
    "context": {
        "http_request": {
            "hostname": "sales.example.com",
            "http_method": "GET",
            "x_forwarded_for": "99.X.XX.XXX",
            "port": 80,
            "user_agent": "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_15_7) AppleWebKit/605.1.15 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/16.5 Safari/605.1.15",
            "client_ip": "99.X.XX.XXX"
        },
        "okta": {
            "sub": "00uXXXXXXXJNbWyRI5d7",
            "name": "XXXXXX",
            "locale": "en_US",
            "preferred_username": "[email protected]",
            "given_name": "XXXX",
            "family_name": "XXXX",
            "zoneinfo": "America/Los_Angeles",
            "groups": [
                "Everyone",
                "Sales",
                "Finance",
                "HR"
            ],
            "exp": 1690835175,
            "iss": "https://example.okta.com"
        }
    }
}

The following is a sample policy written using the information received from the trust providers.

permit(principal,action,resource)
when {
  context.idcpolicy.groups has "<hr-group-id>" &&
  context.idcpolicy.user.email.address like "*@example.com" &&
  context.idcpolicy.user.email.verified == true &&
  context has "crdstrikepolicy" &&
  context.crdstrikepolicy.assessment.os > 50 &&
  context.crdstrikepolicy.assessment.overall > 15
};

This policy only grants access to users who belong to a particular group, have a verified email address, and have a corporate email domain. Also, users can only access the application from a device with an OS that has an assessment score greater than 50, and has an overall device score greater than 15.

Conclusion

In this post, you learned how to manage Verified Access logging configuration from the Verified Access console and how to use improved logging information to write AWS Verified Access policies. To get started with Verified Access, see the Amazon VPC console.

 
If you have feedback about this post, submit comments in the Comments section below. If you have questions about this post, contact AWS Support.

Want more AWS Security news? Follow us on Twitter.

Ankush Goyal

Ankush Goyal

Ankush is an Enterprise Support Lead in AWS Enterprise Support who helps Enterprise Support customers streamline their cloud operations on AWS. He enjoys working with customers to help them design, implement, and support cloud infrastructure. He is a results-driven IT professional with over 18 years of experience.

Anbu Kumar Krishnamurthy

Anbu Kumar Krishnamurthy

Anbu is a Technical Account Manager who specializes in helping clients integrate their business processes with the AWS Cloud to achieve operational excellence and efficient resource utilization. Anbu helps customers design and implement solutions, troubleshoot issues, and optimize their AWS environments. He works with customers to architect solutions aimed at achieving their desired business outcomes.

Integrate Cloudflare Zero Trust with Datadog Cloud SIEM

Post Syndicated from Mythili Prabhu original http://blog.cloudflare.com/integrate-cloudflare-zero-trust-with-datadog-cloud-siem/

Integrate Cloudflare Zero Trust with Datadog Cloud SIEM

Integrate Cloudflare Zero Trust with Datadog Cloud SIEM

Cloudflare's Zero Trust platform helps organizations map and adopt a strong security posture. This ranges from Zero Trust Network Access, a Secure Web Gateway to help filter traffic, to Cloud Access Security Broker and Data Loss Prevention to protect data in transit and in the cloud. Customers use Cloudflare to verify, isolate, and inspect all devices managed by IT. Our composable, in-line solutions offer a simplified approach to security and a comprehensive set of logs.

We’ve heard from many of our customers that they aggregate these logs into Datadog’s Cloud SIEM product. Datadog Cloud SIEM provides threat detection, investigation, and automated response for dynamic, cloud-scale environments. Cloud SIEM analyzes operational and security logs in real time – regardless of volume – while utilizing out-of-the-box integrations and rules to detect threats and investigate them. It also automates response and remediation through out-of-the-box workflow blueprints. Developers, security, and operations teams can also leverage detailed observability data and efficiently collaborate to accelerate security investigations in a single, unified platform. We previously had an out-of-the-box dashboard for Cloudflare CDN available on Datadog. These help our customers gain valuable insights into product usage and performance metrics for response times, HTTP status codes, cache hit rate. Customers can collect, visualize, and alert on key Cloudflare metrics.

Today, we are very excited to announce the general availability of Cloudflare Zero Trust Integration with Datadog. This deeper integration offers the Cloudflare Content Pack within Cloud SIEM which includes out-of-the-box dashboard and detection rules that will help our customers ingesting Zero Trust logs into Datadog, gaining greatly improved security insights over their Zero Trust landscape.

Integrate Cloudflare Zero Trust with Datadog Cloud SIEM

Our Datadog SIEM integration with Cloudflare delivers a holistic view of activity across Cloudflare Zero Trust integrations–helping security and dev teams quickly identify and respond to anomalous activity across app, device, and users within the Cloudflare Zero Trust ecosystem. The integration offers detection rules that automatically generate signals based on CASB (cloud access security broker) findings, and impossible travel scenarios, a revamped dashboard for easy spotting of anomalies, and accelerates response and remediation to quickly contain an attacker’s activity through an out-of-the-box workflow automation blueprints.
Yash Kumar, Senior Director of Product, Datadog

How to get started

Set up Logpush jobs to your Datadog destination

Use the Cloudflare dashboard or API to create a Logpush job with all fields enabled for each dataset you’d like to ingest on Datadog. We have eight account-scoped datasets available to use today (Access Requests, Audit logs, CASB findings, Gateway logs including DNS, Network, HTTP; Zero Trust Session Logs) that can be ingested into Datadog.

Install the Cloudflare Tile in Datadog

In your Datadog dashboard, locate and install the Cloudflare Tile within the Datadog Integration catalog. At this stage, Datadog’s out-of-the-box log processing pipeline will automatically parse and normalize your Cloudflare Zero Trust logs.

Analyze and correlate your Zero Trust logs with Datadog Cloud SIEM's out-of-the-box content

Our new and improved integration with Datadog enables security teams to quickly and easily monitor their Zero Trust components with the Cloudflare Content Pack. This includes the out-of-the-box dashboard that now features a Zero Trust section highlighting various widgets about activity across the applications, devices, and users in your Cloudflare Zero Trust ecosystem. This section gives you a holistic view, helping you spot and respond to anomalies quickly.

Integrate Cloudflare Zero Trust with Datadog Cloud SIEM

Security detections built for CASB

As Enterprises use more SaaS applications, it becomes more critical to have insights and control for data at-rest. Cloudflare CASB findings do just that by providing security risk insights for all integrated SaaS applications.

With this new integration, Datadog now offers an out-of-the-box detection rule that detects any CASB findings. The alert is triggered at different severity levels for any CASB security finding that could indicate suspicious activity within an integrated SaaS app, like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. In the example below, the CASB finding points to an asset whose Google Workspace Domain Record is missing.

This detection is helpful in identifying and remedying misconfigurations or any security issues saving time and reducing the possibility of security breaches.

Integrate Cloudflare Zero Trust with Datadog Cloud SIEM

Security detections for Impossible Travel

One of the most common security issues can show up in surprisingly simple ways. For example, could be a user that seemingly logs in from one location only to login shortly after from a location physically too far away. Datadog’s new detection rule addresses exactly this scenario with their Impossible Travel detection rule. If Datadog Cloud SIEM determines that two consecutive loglines for a user indicate impossible travel of more than 500 km at over 1,000 km/h, the security alert is triggered. An admin can then determine if it is a security breach and take actions accordingly.

Integrate Cloudflare Zero Trust with Datadog Cloud SIEM

What’s next

Customers of Cloudflare and Datadog can now gain a more comprehensive view of their products and security posture with the enhanced dashboards and the new detection rules. We are excited to work on adding more value for our customers and develop unique detection rules.

If you are a Cloudflare customer using Datadog, explore the new integration starting today.

DLP Exact Data Match beta now available

Post Syndicated from Noelle Kagan original http://blog.cloudflare.com/edm-beta/

DLP Exact Data Match beta now available

DLP Exact Data Match beta now available

The most famous data breaches–the ones that keep security practitioners up at night–involved the leak of millions of user records. Companies have lost names, addresses, email addresses, Social Security numbers, passwords, and a wealth of other sensitive information. Protecting this data is the highest priority of most security teams, yet many teams still struggle to actually detect these leaks.

Cloudflare’s Data Loss Prevention suite already includes the ability to identify sensitive data like credit card numbers, but with the volume of data being transferred every day, it can be challenging to understand which of the transactions that include sensitive data are actually problematic. We hear customers tell us, “I don’t care when one of my employees uses a personal credit card to buy something online. Tell me when one of my customers’ credit cards are leaked.”

In response, we looked for a method to distinguish between any credit card and one belonging to a specific customer. We are excited to announce the launch of our newest Data Loss Prevention feature, Exact Data Match. With Exact Data Match (EDM), customers securely tell us what data they want to protect, and then we identify, log, and block the presence or movement of that data. For example, if you provide us with a set of credit card numbers, we will DLP scan your traffic or repositories for only those cards. This allows you to create targeted DLP detections for your organization.

What is Exact Data Match?

Many Data Loss Prevention (DLP) detections begin with a generic identification of a pattern, often using a regular expression, and then are validated by additional criteria. Validation can leverage a wide range of techniques from checksums to machine learning models. However, this validates that the pattern is a credit card, not that it is your credit card.

With Exact Data Match, you tell us exactly the data you want to protect, but we never see it in cleartext. You provide a list of data of your choosing, such as a list of names, addresses, or credit card numbers, and that data is hashed before ever reaching Cloudflare. We store the hashes and scan your traffic or content for matches of the hashes. When we find a match, we log or block it according to your policy.

By using a finite list of data, we drastically reduce false positives compared to generic pattern matching. Meanwhile, hashing the data maintains your data privacy. Our goal is to meet your data protection and privacy needs.

How do I use it?

We now offer you the ability to upload DLP datasets. These allow you to provide batches of data to be used for your DLP detections.

DLP Exact Data Match beta now available

When creating a dataset, provide a name, description, and a file containing the data to match.

DLP Exact Data Match beta now available

When you upload the file, Cloudflare one-way hashes the data right in your browser. The hashed data is then transferred via API to Cloudflare, while the cleartext data never leaves the browser.

You can see the status of the upload in the datasets table.

DLP Exact Data Match beta now available

The dataset can now be added to a DLP profile for detection. You can also add other predefined and custom entries to the same DLP profile.

DLP Exact Data Match beta now available

DLP Profiles can be used for inline scanning and protection with Cloudflare Gateway or scanning your data at rest with Cloudflare CASB.

Can I join the beta?

Exact data match is now available for every DLP customer. If you are not a DLP customer but would like to learn more about Cloudflare One and DLP, reach out for a consultation.

What’s next?

Customers have many different formats to store data, and many different ways in which they want to monitor it. Our goal is to offer as much flexibility as your organization needs to meet your data protection goals.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Performance is a threat vector

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

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

Cloudflare Gateway: security at the Internet

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Instant (Zero Trust) access

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Remote Browser Isolation: a secure browser hosted in the cloud

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

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

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

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

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

Gotta go fast(er)

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

A complete suite of Zero Trust security tools to get the most from AI

Post Syndicated from Sam Rhea original http://blog.cloudflare.com/zero-trust-ai-security/

A complete suite of Zero Trust security tools to get the most from AI

This post is also available in French, Spanish, German.

A collection of tools from Cloudflare One to help your teams use AI services safely

A complete suite of Zero Trust security tools to get the most from AI

Cloudflare One gives teams of any size the ability to safely use the best tools on the Internet without management headaches or performance challenges. We’re excited to announce Cloudflare One for AI, a new collection of features that help your team build with the latest AI services while still maintaining a Zero Trust security posture.

Large Language Models, Larger Security Challenges

A Large Language Model (LLM), like OpenAI’s GPT or Google’s Bard, consists of a neural network trained against a set of data to predict and generate text based on a prompt. Users can ask questions, solicit feedback, and lean on the service to create output from poetry to Cloudflare Workers applications.

The tools also bear an uncanny resemblance to a real human. As in some real-life personal conversations, oversharing can become a serious problem with these AI services. This risk multiplies due to the types of use cases where LLM models thrive. These tools can help developers solve difficult coding challenges or information workers create succinct reports from a mess of notes. While helpful, every input fed into a prompt becomes a piece of data leaving your organization’s control.

Some responses to tools like ChatGPT have been to try and ban the service outright; either at a corporate level or across an entire nation. We don’t think you should have to do that. Cloudflare One’s goal is to allow you to safely use the tools you need, wherever they live, without compromising performance. These features will feel familiar to any existing use of the Zero Trust products in Cloudflare One, but we’re excited to walk through cases where you can use the tools available right now to allow your team to take advantage of the latest LLM features.

Measure usage

SaaS applications make it easy for any user to sign up and start testing. That convenience also makes these tools a liability for IT budgets and security policies. Teams refer to this problem as “Shadow IT” – the adoption of applications and services outside the approved channels in an organization.

In terms of budget, we have heard from early adopter customers who know that their team members are beginning to experiment with LLMs, but they are not sure how to approach making a commercial licensing decision. What services and features do their users need and how many seats should they purchase?

On the security side, the AIs can be revolutionary for getting work done but terrifying for data control policies. Team members treat these AIs like sounding boards for painful problems. The services invite users to come with their questions or challenges. Sometimes the context inside those prompts can contain sensitive information that should never leave an organization. Even if teams select and approve a single vendor, members of your organization might prefer another AI and continue to use it in their workflow.

Cloudflare One customers on any plan can now review the usage of AIs. Your IT department can deploy Cloudflare Gateway and passively observe how many users are selecting which services as a way to start scoping out enterprise licensing plans.

A complete suite of Zero Trust security tools to get the most from AI

Administrators can also block the use of these services with a single click, but that is not our goal today. You might want to use this feature if you select ChatGPT as your approved model, and you want to make sure team members don’t continue to use alternatives, but we hope you don’t block all of these services outright. Cloudflare’s priority is to give you the ability to use these tools safely.

Control API access

When our teams began experimenting with OpenAI’s ChatGPT service, we were astonished by what it already knew about Cloudflare. We asked ChatGPT to create applications with Cloudflare Workers or guide us through how to configure a Cloudflare Access policy and, in most cases, the results were accurate and helpful.

In some cases the results missed the mark. The AIs were using outdated information, or we were asking questions about features that had only launched recently. Thankfully, these AIs can learn and we can help. We can train these models with scoped inputs and connect plug-ins to provide our customers with better AI-guided experiences when using Cloudflare services.

We heard from customers who want to do the same thing and, like us, they need to securely share training data and grant plug-in access for an AI service. Cloudflare One’s security suite extends beyond human users and can give teams the ability to securely share Zero Trust access to sensitive data over APIs.

First, teams can create service tokens that external services must present to reach data made available through Cloudflare One. Administrators can provide these tokens to systems making API requests and log every single request. As needed, teams can revoke these tokens with a single click.

A complete suite of Zero Trust security tools to get the most from AI

After creating and issuing service tokens, administrators can create policies to allow specific services access to their training data. These policies will verify the service token and can be extended to verify country, IP address or an mTLS certificate. Policies can also be created to require human users to authenticate with an identity provider and complete an MFA prompt before accessing sensitive training data or services.

A complete suite of Zero Trust security tools to get the most from AI

When teams are ready to allow an AI service to connect to their infrastructure, they can do so without poking holes in their firewalls by using Cloudflare Tunnel. Cloudflare Tunnel will create an encrypted, outbound-only connection to Cloudflare’s network where every request will be checked against the access rules configured for one or more services protected by Cloudflare One.

A complete suite of Zero Trust security tools to get the most from AI

Cloudflare’s Zero Trust access control gives you the ability to enforce authentication on each and every request made to the data your organization decides to provide to these tools. That still leaves a gap in the data your team members might overshare on their own.

Restrict data uploads

Administrators can select an AI service, block Shadow IT alternatives, and carefully gate access to their training material, but humans are still involved in these AI experiments. Any one of us can accidentally cause a security incident by oversharing information in the process of using an AI service – even an approved service.

We expect AI playgrounds to continue to evolve to feature more data management capabilities, but we don’t think you should have to wait for that to begin adopting these services as part of your workflow. Cloudflare’s Data Loss Prevention (DLP) service can provide a safeguard to stop oversharing before it becomes an incident for your security team.

First, tell us what data you care about. We provide simple, preconfigured options that give you the ability to check for things that look like social security numbers or credit card numbers. Cloudflare DLP can also scan for patterns based on regular expressions configured by your team.

A complete suite of Zero Trust security tools to get the most from AI

Once you have defined the data that should never leave your organization, you can build granular rules about how it can and cannot be shared with AI services. Maybe some users are approved to experiment with projects that contain sensitive data, in which case you can build a rule that only allows an Active Directory or Okta group to upload that kind of information while everyone else is blocked.

A complete suite of Zero Trust security tools to get the most from AI

Control use without a proxy

The tools in today’s blog post focus on features that apply to data-in-motion. We also want to make sure that misconfigurations in the applications don’t lead to security violations. For example, the new plug-in feature in ChatGPT brings the knowledge and workflows of external services into the AI interaction flow. However, that can also lead to the services behind plug-ins having more access than you want to.

Cloudflare’s Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) scans your SaaS applications for potential issues that can occur when users make changes. Whether alerting you to files that someone accidentally just made public on the Internet to checking that your GitHub repositories have the right membership controls, Cloudflare’s CASB removes the manual effort required to check each and every setting for potential issues in your SaaS applications.

Available soon, we are working on new integrations with popular AI services to check for misconfigurations. Like most users of these services, we’re still learning more about where potential accidents can occur, and we are excited to provide administrators who use our CASB with our first wave of controls for AI services.

What’s next?

The usefulness of these tools will only accelerate. The ability of AI services to coach and generate output will continue to make it easier for builders from any background to create the next big thing.

We share a similar goal. The Cloudflare products focused on helping users build applications and services, our Workers platform, remove hassles like worrying about where to deploy your application or how to scale your services. Cloudflare solves those headaches so that users can focus on creating. Combined with the AI services, we expect to see thousands of new builders launch the next wave of products built on Cloudflare and inspired by AI coaching and generation.

We have already seen dozens of projects flourish that were built on Cloudflare Workers using guidance from tools like ChatGPT. We plan to launch new integrations with these models to make this even more seamless, bringing better Cloudflare-specific guidance to the chat experience.

We also know that the security risk of these tools will grow. We will continue to bring functionality into Cloudflare One that aims to stay one step ahead of the risks as they evolve with these services. Ready to get started? Sign up here to begin using Cloudflare One at no cost for teams of up to 50 users.

Cloudflare One named in Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge

Post Syndicated from Sam Rhea original https://blog.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-sse-gartner-magic-quadrant/

Cloudflare One named in Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge

Cloudflare One named in Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge

Gartner has recognized Cloudflare in the 2023 “Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge (SSE)” report for its ability to execute and completeness of vision. We are excited to share that the Cloudflare Zero Trust solution, part of our Cloudflare One platform, is one of only ten vendors recognized in the report.

Of the 10 companies named to this year’s Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ report, Cloudflare is the only new vendor addition. You can read more about our position in the report and what customers say about using Cloudflare One here.

Cloudflare is also the newest vendor when measured by the date since our first products in the SSE space launched. We launched Cloudflare Access, our best-in-class Zero Trust access control product, a little less than five years ago. Since then, we have released hundreds of features and shipped nearly a dozen more products to create a comprehensive SSE solution that over 10,000 organizations trust to keep their organizations data, devices and teams both safe and fast. We moved that quickly because we built Cloudflare One on top of the same network that already secures and accelerates large segments of the Internet today.

We deliver our SSE services on the same servers and in the same locations that serve some of the world’s largest Internet properties. We combined existing advantages like the world’s fastest DNS resolver, Cloudflare’s serverless compute platform, and our ability to route and accelerate traffic around the globe. We might be new to the report, but customers who select Cloudflare One are not betting on an upstart provider; they are choosing an industry-leading solution made possible by a network that already secures millions of destinations and billions of users every day.

We are flattered by the recognition from Gartner this week and even more thrilled by the customer outcomes we make possible today. That said, we are not done and we are only going faster.

What is a Security Service Edge?

A Security Service Edge (SSE) “secures access to the web, cloud services and private applications. Capabilities include access control, threat protection, data security, security monitoring, and acceptable-use control enforced by network-based and API-based integration. SSE is primarily delivered as a cloud-based service, and may include on-premises or agent-based components.”1

The SSE space developed to meet organizations as they encountered a new class of security problems. Years ago, teams could keep their devices, services, and data safe by hiding from the rest of the world behind a figurative castle-and-moat. The defense perimeter for an enterprise corresponded to the literal walls of their office. Applications ran in server closets or self-managed data centers. Businesses could deploy firewalls, proxies, and filtering appliances in the form of on-premise hardware. Remote users suffered through the setup by backhauling their traffic through the physical office with a legacy virtual private network (VPN) client.

That model began to break down when applications started to leave the building. Teams began migrating to SaaS tools and public cloud providers. They could no longer control security by placing physical appliances in the flow of their one path to the Internet.

Meanwhile, users also left the office, placing stress on the ability of a self-managed private network to scale with the traffic. Performance and availability suffered while costs increased as organizations carried more traffic and deployed more bandaids to try and buy time.

Bad actors also evolved. Attacks became more sophisticated and exploited the migration away from a classic security perimeter. The legacy appliances deployed could not keep up with the changes in attack patterns and scale of attacks.

SSE vendors provide organizations with a cloud-based solution to those challenges. SSE providers deploy and maintain security services in their own points of presence or in a public cloud provider, giving enterprises a secure first hop before they connect to the rest of the Internet or to their internal tools. IT teams can deprecate the physical or virtual appliances that they spent days maintaining. Security teams benefit from filtering and policies that update constantly to defend against new threats.

Some SSE features target remote access replacement by offering customers the ability to connect users to internal tools with Zero Trust access control rules. Other parts of an SSE platform focus on applying Zero Trust scrutiny to the rest of the Internet, replacing the on-premise filtering appliances of an enterprise with cloud-based firewalls, resolvers, and proxies that filter and log traffic leaving a device closer to the user instead of forcing a backhaul to a centralized location.

What about SASE?

You might also be familiar with the term Secure Access Service Edge (SASE). We hear customers talk about their “SASE” goals more often than “SSE” alone. SASE extends the definition of SSE to include managing the connectivity of the traffic being secured. Network-as-a-Service vendors help enterprises connect their users, devices, sites, and services. SSE providers secure that traffic.

Cloudflare One named in Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge

Most vendors focus on one side of the equation. Network-as-a-service companies sell software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN), interconnection, and traffic optimization solutions to help enterprises manage and accelerate connectivity, but those enterprises wind up losing those benefits by sending all that traffic to an SSE provider for filtering. SSE providers deliver security tools for traffic of nearly any type, but they still need customers to buy additional networking services to get that traffic to their locations.

Cloudflare One is a single vendor SASE platform. Cloudflare offers enterprises a comprehensive network-as-a-service where teams can send all traffic to Cloudflare’s network, where we can help teams manage connectivity and improve performance. Enterprises can choose from flexible on-ramps, like their existing hardware routers, agents running on laptops and mobile devices, physical and virtual interconnects, or Cloudflare’s own last mile connector.

When that traffic reaches Cloudflare’s network, our SSE services apply security filtering in the same locations where we manage and route connectivity. Cloudflare’s SSE solution does not add additional hops; we deliver filtering and logging in-line with the traffic we accelerate for our customers. The value of our single vendor SASE solution is just another outcome of an obsession we’ve had since we first launched our reverse proxy over ten years ago: customers should not have to compromise performance for security and vice versa.

So where does Cloudflare One fit?

Cloudflare One connects enterprises to the tools they need while securing their devices, applications and data without compromising on performance. The platform consists of two primary components: our Cloudflare Zero Trust products, which represent our SSE offering, and our network-as-a-service solution. As much as today’s announcement separates out those features, we prefer to talk about how they work together.

Cloudflare’s network-as-a-service offering, our Magic WAN solution, extends our network for customers to use as their own. Enterprises can take advantage of the investments we have made over more than a decade to build out one of the world’s most peered, most performant, and most available networks. Teams can connect individual roaming devices, offices and physical sites, or entire networks and data centers through Cloudflare to the rest of the Internet or internal destinations.

We want to make it as easy as possible for customers to send us their traffic, so we provide many flexible “on-ramps” to easily fit into their existing infrastructure. Enterprises can use our roaming agent to connect user devices, our Cloudflare Tunnel service for application-level connectivity, network-level tunnels from our Magic WAN Connector or their existing router or SD-WAN hardware, and/or direct physical or virtual interconnections for dedicated connectivity to on-prem or cloud infrastructure at 1,600+ locations around the world. When packets arrive at the closest Cloudflare location, we provide optimization, acceleration and logging to give customers visibility into their traffic flows.

Instead of sending that accelerated traffic to an additional intermediary for security filtering, our Cloudflare Zero Trust platform can take over to provide SSE security filtering in the same location – generally on the exact same server – as our network-as-a-service functions. Enterprises can pick and choose what SSE features they want to enable to strengthen their security posture over time.

Cloudflare One and the SSE feature set

The security features inside of Cloudflare One provide comprehensive SSE coverage to enterprises operating at any scale. Customers just need to send traffic to a Cloudflare location within a few milliseconds of their users and Cloudflare Zero Trust handles everything else.

Cloudflare One named in Gartner® Magic Quadrant™ for Security Service Edge

Cloudflare One SSE Capabilities

Zero Trust Access Control
Cloudflare provides a Zero Trust VPN replacement for teams that host and control their own resources. Customers can deploy a private network inside of Cloudflare’s network for more traditional connectivity or extend access to contractors without any agent required. Regardless of how users connect, and for any type of destination they need, Cloudflare’s network gives administrators the ability to build granular rules on a per-resource or global basis. Teams can combine one or more identity providers, device posture inputs, and other sources of signal to determine when and how a user should be able to connect.

Organizations can also extend these types of Zero Trust access control rules to the SaaS applications where they do not control the hosting by introducing Cloudflare’s identity proxy into the login flow. They can continue to use their existing identity provider but layer on additional checks like device posture, country, and multifactor method.

DNS filtering
Cloudflare’s DNS filtering solution runs on the world’s fastest DNS resolver, filtering and logging the DNS queries leaving individual devices or some of the world’s largest networks.

Network firewall
Organizations that maintain on-premise hardware firewalls or cloud-based equivalents can deprecate their boxes by sending traffic through Cloudflare where our firewall-as-a-service can filter and log traffic. Our Network Firewall includes L3-L7 filtering, Intrusion Detection, and direct integrations with our Threat Intelligence feeds and the rest of our SSE suite. It enables security teams to build sophisticated policies without any of the headaches of traditional hardware: no capacity or redundancy planning, no throughput restrictions, no manual patches or upgrades.

Secure Web Gateway
Cloudflare’s Secure Web Gateway (SWG) service inspects, filters, and logs traffic in a Cloudflare PoP close to a user regardless of where they work. The SWG can block HTTP requests bound for dangerous destinations, scan traffic for viruses and malware, and control how traffic routes to the rest of the Internet without the need for additional hardware or virtualized services.

In-line Cloud Access Security Broker and Shadow IT
The proliferation of SaaS applications can help teams cut costs but poses a real risk; sometimes users prefer tools other than the ones selected by their IT or Security teams. Cloudflare’s in-line Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) gives administrators the tools to make sure employees use SaaS applications as intended. Teams can build tenant control rules that restrict employees from logging into personal accounts, policies that only allow file uploads of certain types to approved SaaS applications, and filters that restrict employees from using unapproved services.

Cloudflare’s “Shadow IT” service scans and catalogs user traffic to the Internet to help IT and Security teams detect and monitor the unauthorized use of SaaS applications. For example, teams can ensure that their approved cloud storage is the only place where users can upload materials.

API-driven Cloud Access Security Broker
Cloudflare’s superpower is our network, but sometimes the worst attacks start with data sitting still. Teams that adopt SaaS applications can share work products and collaborate together from any location; that same convenience makes it simple for mistakes or bad actors to cause a serious data breach.

In some cases, employees might overshare a document with sensitive information by selecting the wrong button in the “Share” menu. With just one click, a spreadsheet with customer contact data could become public on the Internet. In other situations, users might share a report with their personal account without realizing they just violated internal compliance rules.

Regardless of how the potential data breach started, Cloudflare’s API-driven CASB constantly scans the SaaS applications that your team uses for potential misconfiguration and data loss. Once detected, Cloudflare’s CASB will alert administrators and provide a comprehensive guide to remediating the incident.

Data Loss Prevention
Cloudflare’s Data Loss Prevention service scans traffic to detect and block potential data loss. Administrators can select from common precreated profiles, like social security numbers or credit card numbers, or create their own criteria using regular expressions or integrate with existing Microsoft Information Protection labels.

Remote Browser Isolation
Cloudflare’s browser isolation service runs a browser inside of our network, in a data center just milliseconds from the user, and sends the vector rendering of the web page to the local device. Team members can use any modern browser and, unlike other approaches, the Internet just feels like the Internet. Administrators can isolate sites on the fly, choosing to only isolate unknown destinations or providing contractors with an agentless workstation. Security teams can add additional protection like blocking copy-paste or printing.

Security beyond the SSE

Many of the customers who talk to us about their SSE goals are not ready to begin adopting every security service in the category from Day 1. Instead, they tend to have strategic SSE goals and tactical immediate problems. That’s fine. We can meet customers wherever they begin on their journey and sometimes that journey starts with pain points that sit just a bit outside of the current SSE definition. We can help in those areas, too.

Many of the types of attacks that an SSE model aims to prevent begin with email, but that falls outside of the traditional SSE definition. Attackers will target specific employees or entire workforces with phishing links or malware that the default filtering available from email providers today miss.

We want to help customers stop these attacks at the inbox before SSE features like DNS or SWG filtering need to apply. Cloudflare One includes industry-leading email security through our Area 1 product to protect teams regardless of their email provider. Area 1 is not just a standalone solution bundled into our SSE; Cloudflare Zero Trust features work better together alongside Area 1. Suspicious emails can open links in an isolated browser, for example, to give customers a defense-in-depth security model without the risk of more IT help desk tickets.

Cloudflare One customers can also take advantage of another Gartner-recognized platform in Cloudflare, our application security suite. Cloudflare’s industry-leading application security features, like our Web Application Firewall and DDoS mitigation service, can be deployed in-line with our Zero Trust security features. Teams can add bot management alerts, API protection, and faster caching to their internal tools with a single click.

Why Cloudflare?

Over 10,000 organizations trust Cloudflare One to connect and secure their enterprise. Cloudflare One helps protect and accelerate teams from the world’s largest IT organization, the US Federal Government, to thousands of small groups who rely on our free plan. A couple of months ago we spoke with customers as part of our CIO Week to listen to the reasons they select Cloudflare One. Their feedback followed a few consistent themes.

1) Cloudflare One delivers more complete security
Nearly every SSE vendor offers improved security compared to a traditional castle-and-moat model, but that is a low bar. We built the security features in Cloudflare One to be best in class. Our industry-leading access control solution provides more built-in options to control who can connect to the tools that power your business.

We partner leading identity providers and endpoint protection platforms, like Microsoft and CrowdStrike, to provide a Zero Trust VPN replacement that is better than anything else on the market. On the outbound filtering side, every filtering option relies on threat intelligence gathered and curated by Cloudforce One, our dedicated threat research team.

2) Cloudflare One makes your team faster
Cloudflare One accelerates your end users from the first moment they connect to the Internet by starting with the world’s fastest DNS resolver. End users send those DNS queries and establish connectivity over a secure tunnel optimized based on feedback from the millions of users who rely on our popular consumer forward proxy. Entire sites connect through a variety of tunnel options to Cloudflare’s network where we are the fastest connectivity provider for the most number of the world’s 3,000 largest networks.

We compete and measure ourselves against pure connectivity providers. When we measure ourselves against pure SSE providers, like Zscaler, we significantly outperform by 38% to 59% depending on use case.

3) Cloudflare One is easier to manage
The Cloudflare Zero Trust products are unique in the SSE market in that we offer a free plan that covers nearly every feature. We make these services available at no cost to groups of up to 50 users because we believe that security on the Internet should be accessible to anyone on any budget.

A consequence of that commitment is that we built products that have to be easy to use. Unlike other SSE providers who only sell to the enterprise and can rely on large systems integrators for deployment, we had to create a solution that any team could deploy. From human rights organizations without full-time IT departments to start ups who want to spend more time building and less time worrying about vulnerabilities.

We also know that administrators want more options than just an intuitive dashboard. We provide API support for managing every Cloudflare One feature, and we maintain a Terraform provider for teams that need the option for peer reviewed configuration-as-code management.

4) Cloudflare One is the most cost-efficient comprehensive SASE offering
Cloudflare is responsible for delivering and securing millions of websites on the Internet every day. To support that volume of traffic, we had to build our network for scale and cost-efficiency.

The largest enterprises’ internal network traffic does not (yet) match the volume of even moderately popular Internet properties. When those teams send traffic to Cloudflare One, we rely on the same hardware and the same data centers that power our application services business to apply security and networking features. As a result, we can help deliver comprehensive security to any team at a price point that is made possible by our existing investment in our network.

5) Cloudflare can be your single, consolidated security vendor
Cloudflare One is only the most recent part of the Cloudflare platform to be recognized in industry analyst reports. In 2022 Gartner named Cloudflare a Leaderin Web Application and API Protection (WAAP). When customers select Cloudflare to solve their SSE challenges, they have the opportunity to add best-in-class solutions all from the same vendor.

Dozens of independent analyst firms continue to recognize Cloudflare for our ability to deliver results to our customers on services ranging from DDoS protection, CDN and edge computing to bot management.

What’s next?

When customers choose Cloudflare One, they trust our network to secure the most sensitive aspects of their enterprise without slowing down their business. We are grateful to the more than 10,000 organizations who have selected us as their vendor in the last five years, from small teams on our free plan to Fortune 500 companies and government agencies.

Today’s announcement only accelerates the momentum in Cloudflare One. We are focused on building the next wave of security and connectivity features our customers need to focus on their own mission. We’re going to keep going faster to help more and more organizations. Want to get started on that journey with us? Let us know here and we’ll reach out.

Gartner, “Magic Quadrant for Security Service Edge”, Analyst(s): Charlie Winckless, Aaron McQuaid, John Watts, Craig Lawson, Thomas Lintemuth, Dale Koeppen, April 10, 2023.

……
1https://www.gartner.com/en/information-technology/glossary/security-service-edge-sse

GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner and Magic Quadrant is a registered trademark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and are used herein with permission. All rights reserved.
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Everything you might have missed during Security Week 2023

Post Syndicated from Reid Tatoris original https://blog.cloudflare.com/security-week-2023-wrap-up/

Everything you might have missed during Security Week 2023

Everything you might have missed during Security Week 2023

Security Week 2023 is officially in the books. In our welcome post last Saturday, I talked about Cloudflare’s years-long evolution from protecting websites, to protecting applications, to protecting people. Our goal this week was to help our customers solve a broader range of problems, reduce external points of vulnerability, and make their jobs easier.

We announced 34 new tools and integrations that will do just that. Combined, these announcement will help you do five key things faster and easier:

  1. Making it easier to deploy and manage Zero Trust everywhere
  2. Reducing the number of third parties customers must use
  3. Leverage machine learning to let humans focus on critical thinking
  4. Opening up more proprietary Cloudflare threat intelligence to our customers
  5. Making it harder for humans to make mistakes

And to help you respond to the most current attacks in real time, we reported on how we’re seeing scammers use the Silicon Valley Bank news to phish new victims, and what you can do to protect yourself.

In case you missed any of the announcements, take a look at the summary and navigation guide below.

Monday

Blog Summary
Top phished brands and new phishing and brand protections Today we have released insights from our global network on the top 50 brands used in phishing attacks coupled with the tools customers need to stay safer. Our new phishing and brand protection capabilities, part of Security Center, let customers better preserve brand trust by detecting and even blocking “confusable” and lookalike domains involved in phishing campaigns.
How to stay safe from phishing Phishing attacks come in all sorts of ways to fool people. Email is definitely the most common, but there are others. Following up on our Top 50 brands in phishing attacks post, here are some tips to help you catch these scams before you fall for them.
Locking down your JavaScript: positive blocking with Page Shield policies Page Shield now ensures only vetted and secure JavaScript is being executed by browsers to stop unwanted or malicious JavaScript from loading to keep end user data safer.
Cloudflare Aegis: dedicated IPs for Zero Trust migration With Aegis, customers can now get dedicated IPs from Cloudflare we use to send them traffic. This allows customers to lock down services and applications at an IP level and build a protected environment that is application, protocol, and even IP-aware.
Mutual TLS now available for Workers mTLS support for Workers allows for communication with resources that enforce an mTLS connection. mTLS provides greater security for those building on Workers so they can identify and authenticate both the client and the server helps protect sensitive data.
Using Cloudflare Access with CNI We have introduced an innovative new approach to secure hosted applications via Cloudflare Access without the need for any installed software or custom code on application servers.

Tuesday

Blog Summary
No hassle migration from Zscaler to Cloudflare One with The Descaler Program Cloudflare is excited to launch the Descaler Program, a frictionless path to migrate existing Zscaler customers to Cloudflare One. With this announcement, Cloudflare is making it even easier for enterprise customers to make the switch to a faster, simpler, and more agile foundation for security and network transformation.
The state of application security in 2023 For Security Week 2023, we are providing updated insights and trends related to mitigated traffic, bot and API traffic, and account takeover attacks.
Adding Zero Trust signals to Sumo Logic for better security insights Today we’re excited to announce the expansion of support for automated normalization and correlation of Zero Trust logs for Logpush in Sumo Logic’s Cloud SIEM. Joint customers will reduce alert fatigue and accelerate the triage process by converging security and network data into high-fidelity insights.
Cloudflare One DLP integrates with Microsoft Information Protection labels Cloudflare One now offers Data Loss Prevention (DLP) detections for Microsoft Purview Information Protection labels. This extends the power of Microsoft’s labels to any of your corporate traffic in just a few clicks.
Scan and secure Atlassian with Cloudflare CASB We are unveiling two new integrations for Cloudflare CASB: one for Atlassian Confluence and the other for Atlassian Jira. Security teams can begin scanning for Atlassian- and Confluence-specific security issues that may be leaving sensitive corporate data at risk.
Zero Trust security with Ping Identity and Cloudflare Access Cloudflare Access and Ping Identity offer a powerful solution for organizations looking to implement Zero Trust security controls to protect their applications and data. Cloudflare is now offering full integration support, so Ping Identity customers can easily integrate their identity management solutions with Cloudflare Access to provide a comprehensive security solution for their applications

Wednesday

Blog Summary
Announcing Cloudflare Fraud Detection We are excited to announce Cloudflare Fraud Detection that will provide precise, easy to use tools that can be deployed in seconds to detect and categorize fraud such as fake account creation or card testing and fraudulent transactions. Fraud Detection will be in early access later this year, those interested can sign up here.
Automatically discovering API endpoints and generating schemas using machine learning Customers can use these new features to enforce a positive security model on their API endpoints even if they have little-to-no information about their existing APIs today.
Detecting API abuse automatically using sequence analysis With our new Cloudflare Sequence Analytics for APIs, organizations can view the most important sequences of API requests to their endpoints to better understand potential abuse and where to apply protections first.
Using the power of Cloudflare’s global network to detect malicious domains using machine learning Read our post on how we keep users and organizations safer with machine learning models that detect attackers attempting to evade detection with DNS tunneling and domain generation algorithms.
Announcing WAF Attack Score Lite and Security Analytics for business customers We are making the machine learning empowered WAF and Security analytics view available to our Business plan customers, to help detect and stop attacks before they are known.
Analyze any URL safely using the Cloudflare Radar URL Scanner We have made Cloudflare Radar’s newest free tool available, URL Scanner, providing an under-the-hood look at any webpage to make the Internet more transparent and secure for all.

Thursday

Blog Summary
Post-quantum crypto should be free, so we’re including it for free, forever One of our core beliefs is that privacy is a human right. To achieve that right, we are announcing that our implementations of post-quantum cryptography will be available to everyone, free of charge, forever.
No, AI did not break post-quantum cryptography The recent news reports of AI cracking post-quantum cryptography are greatly exaggerated. In this blog, we take a deep dive into the world of side-channel attacks and how AI has been used for more than a decade already to aid it.
Super Bot Fight Mode is now configurable We are making Super Bot Fight Mode even more configurable with new flexibility to allow legitimate, automated traffic to access their site.
How Cloudflare and IBM partner to help build a better Internet IBM and Cloudflare continue to partner together to help customers meet the unique security, performance, resiliency and compliance needs of their customers through the addition of exciting new product and service offerings.
Protect your key server with Keyless SSL and Cloudflare Tunnel integration Customers will now be able to use our Cloudflare Tunnels product to send traffic to the key server through a secure channel, without publicly exposing it to the rest of the Internet.

Friday

Blog Summary
Stop Brand Impersonation with Cloudflare DMARC Management Brand impersonation continues to be a big problem globally. Setting SPF, DKIM and DMARC policies is a great way to reduce that risk, and protect your domains from being used in spoofing emails. But maintaining a correct SPF configuration can be very costly and time consuming, and that’s why we’re launching Cloudflare DMARC Management.
How we built DMARC Management using Cloudflare Workers At Cloudflare, we use the Workers platform and our product stack to build new services. Read how we made the new DMARC Management solution entirely on top of our APIs.
Cloudflare partners with KnowBe4 to equip organizations with real-time security coaching to avoid phishing attacks Cloudflare’s cloud email security solution now integrates with KnowBe4, allowing mutual customers to offer real-time coaching to employees when a phishing campaign is detected by Cloudflare.
Introducing custom pages for Cloudflare Access We are excited to announce new options to customize user experience in Access, including customizable pages including login, blocks and the application launcher.
Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy Cloudflare Access is 75% faster than Netskope and 50% faster than Zscaler, and our network is faster than other providers in 48% of last mile networks.

Saturday

Blog Summary
One-click ISO 27001 certified deployment of Regional Services in the EU Cloudflare announces one-click ISO certified region, a super easy way for customers to limit where traffic is serviced to ISO 27001 certified data centers inside the European Union.
Account level Security Analytics and Security Events: better visibility and control over all account zones at once All WAF customers will benefit fromAccount Security Analytics and Events. This allows organizations to new eyes on your account in Cloudflare dashboard to give holistic visibility. No matter how many zones you manage, they are all there!
Wildcard and multi-hostname support in Cloudflare Access We are thrilled to announce the full support of wildcard and multi-hostname application definitions in Cloudflare Access. Until now, Access had limitations that restricted it to a single hostname or a limited set of wildcards

Watch our Security Week sessions on Cloudflare TV

Watch all of the Cloudflare TV segments here.

What’s next?

While that’s it for Security Week 2023, you all know by now that Innovation weeks never end for Cloudflare. Stay tuned for a week full of new developer tools coming soon, and a week dedicated to making the Internet faster later in the year.

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

Post Syndicated from David Tuber original https://blog.cloudflare.com/network-performance-update-security-week-2023/

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

During every Innovation Week, Cloudflare looks at our network’s performance versus our competitors. In past weeks, we’ve focused on how much faster we are compared to reverse proxies like Akamai, or platforms that sell serverless compute that compares to our Supercloud, like Fastly and AWS. This week, we’d like to provide an update on how we compare to other reverse proxies as well as an update to our application services security product comparison against Zscaler and Netskope. This product is part of our Zero Trust platform, which helps secure applications and Internet experiences out to the public Internet, as opposed to our reverse proxy which protects your websites from outside users.

In addition to our previous post showing how our Zero Trust platform compared against Zscaler, we also have previously shared extensive network benchmarking results for reverse proxies from 3,000 last mile networks around the world. It’s been a while since we’ve shown you our progress towards being #1 in every last mile network. We want to show that data as well as revisiting our series of tests comparing Cloudflare Access to Zscaler Private Access and Netskope Private Access. For our overall network tests, Cloudflare is #1 in 47% of the top 3,000 most reported networks. For our application security tests, Cloudflare is 50% faster than Zscaler and 75% faster than Netskope.

In this blog we’re going to talk about why performance matters for our products, do a deep dive on what we’re measuring to show that we’re faster, and we’ll talk about how we measured performance for each product.

Why does performance matter?

We talked about it in our last blog, but performance matters because it impacts your employees’ experience and their ability to get their job done. Whether it’s accessing services through access control products, connecting out to the public Internet through a Secure Web Gateway, or securing risky external sites through Remote Browser Isolation, all of these experiences need to be frictionless.

A quick summary: say Bob at Acme Corporation is connecting from Johannesburg out to Slack or Zoom to get some work done. If Acme’s Secure Web Gateway is located far away from Bob in London, then Bob’s traffic may go out of Johannesburg to London, and then back into Johannesburg to reach his email. If Bob tries to do something like a voice call on Slack or Zoom, his performance may be painfully slow as he waits for his emails to send and receive. Zoom and Slack both recommend low latency for optimal performance. That extra hop Bob has to take through his gateway could decrease throughput and increase his latency, giving Bob a bad experience.

As we’ve discussed before, if these products or experiences are slow, then something worse might happen than your users complaining: they may find ways to turn off the products or bypass them, which puts your company at risk. A Zero Trust product suite is completely ineffective if no one is using it because it’s slow. Ensuring Zero Trust is fast is critical to the effectiveness of a Zero Trust solution: employees won’t want to turn it off and put themselves at risk if they barely know it’s there at all.

Much like Zscaler, Netskope may outperform many older, antiquated solutions, but their network still fails to measure up to a highly performant, optimized network like Cloudflare’s. We’ve tested all of our Zero Trust products against Netskope equivalents, and we’re even bringing back Zscaler to show you how Zscaler compares against them as well. So let’s dig into the data and show you how and why we’re faster in a critical Zero Trust scenario, comparing Cloudflare Access to Zscaler Private Access and Netskope Private Access.

Cloudflare Access: the fastest Zero Trust proxy

Access control needs to be seamless and transparent to the user: the best compliment for a Zero Trust solution is employees barely notice it’s there. These services allow users to cache authentication information on the provider network, ensuring applications can be accessed securely and quickly to give users that seamless experience they want. So having a network that minimizes the number of logins required while also reducing the latency of your application requests will help keep your Internet experience snappy and reactive.

Cloudflare Access does all that 75% faster than Netskope and 50% faster than Zscaler, ensuring that no matter where you are in the world, you’ll get a fast, secure application experience:

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

Cloudflare measured application access across ourselves, Zscaler and Netskope from 300 different locations around the world connecting to 6 distinct application servers in Hong Kong, Toronto, Johannesburg, São Paulo, Phoenix, and Switzerland. In each of these locations, Cloudflare’s P95 response time was faster than Zscaler and Netskope. Let’s take a look at the data when the application is hosted in Toronto, an area where Zscaler and Netskope should do well as it’s in a heavily interconnected region: North America.

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

ZT Access – Response time (95th Percentile) – Toronto
95th Percentile Response (ms)
Cloudflare 2,182
Zscaler 4,071
Netskope 6,072

Cloudflare really stands out in regions with more diverse connectivity options like South America or Asia Pacific, where Zscaler compares better to Netskope than it does Cloudflare:

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

When we look at application servers hosted locally in South America, Cloudflare stands out:

ZT Access – Response time (95th Percentile) – South America
95th Percentile Response (ms)
Cloudflare 2,961
Zscaler 9,271
Netskope 8,223

Cloudflare’s network shines here, allowing us to ingress connections close to the users. You can see this by looking at the Connect times in South America:

ZT Access – Connect time (95th Percentile) – South America
95th Percentile Connect (ms)
Cloudflare 369
Zscaler 1,753
Netskope 1,160

Cloudflare’s network sets us apart here because we’re able to get users onto our network faster and find the optimal routes around the world back to the application host. We’re twice as fast as Zscaler and three times faster than Netskope because of this superpower. Across all the different tests, Cloudflare’s Connect times is consistently faster across all 300 testing nodes.

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

In our last blog, we looked at two distinct scenarios that need to be measured individually when we compared Cloudflare and Zscaler. The first scenario is when a user logs into their application and has to authenticate. In this case, the Zero Trust Access service will direct the user to a login page, the user will authenticate, and then be redirected to their application.

This is called a new session, because no authentication information is cached or exists on the Access network. The second scenario is called an existing session, when a user has already been authenticated and that authentication information can be cached. This scenario is usually much faster, because it doesn’t require an extra call to an identity provider to complete.

We like to measure these scenarios separately, because when we look at 95th percentile values, we would almost always be looking at new sessions if we combined new and existing sessions together. But across both scenarios, Cloudflare is consistently faster in every region. Let’s go back and look at an application hosted in Toronto, where users connecting to us connect faster than Zscaler and Netskope for both new and existing sessions.

ZT Access – Response Time (95th Percentile) – Toronto
New Sessions (ms) Existing Sessions (ms)
Cloudflare 1,276 1,022
Zscaler 2,415 1,797
Netskope 5,741 1,822

You can see that new sessions are generally slower as expected, but Cloudflare’s network and optimized software stack provides a consistently fast user experience. In scenarios where end-to-end connectivity can be more challenging, Cloudflare stands out even more. Let’s take a look at users in Asia connecting through to an application in Hong Kong.

ZT Access – Response Time (95th Percentile) – Hong Kong
New Sessions (ms) Existing Sessions (ms)
Cloudflare 2,582 2,075
Zscaler 4,956 3,617
Netskope 5,139 3,902

One interesting thing that stands out here is that while Cloudflare’s network is hyper-optimized for performance, Zscaler more closely compares to Netskope on performance than they do to Cloudflare. Netskope also performs poorly on new sessions, which indicates that their service does not react well when users are establishing new sessions.

We like to separate these new and existing sessions because it’s important to look at similar request paths to do a proper comparison. For example, if we’re comparing a request via Zscaler on an existing session and a request via Cloudflare on a new session, we could see that Cloudflare was much slower than Zscaler because of the need to authenticate. So when we contracted a third party to design these tests, we made sure that they took that into account.

For these tests, Cloudflare configured five application instances hosted in Toronto, Los Angeles, Sao Paulo, and Hong Kong. Cloudflare then used 300 different Catchpoint nodes from around the world to mimic a browser login as follows:

  • User connects to the application from a browser mimicked by a Catchpoint instance – new session
  • User authenticates against their identity provider
  • User accesses resource
  • User refreshes the browser page and tries to access the same resource but with credentials already present – existing session

This allows us to look at Cloudflare versus all the other products for application performance for both new and existing sessions, and we’ve shown that we’re faster. As we’ve mentioned, a lot of that is due to our network and how we get close to our users. So now we’re going to talk about how we compare to other large networks and how we get close to you.

Network effects make the user experience better

Getting closer to users improves the last mile Round Trip Time (RTT). As we discussed in the Access comparison, having a low RTT improves customer performance because new and existing sessions don’t have to travel very far to get to Cloudflare’s Zero Trust network. Embedding ourselves in these last mile networks helps us get closer to our users, which doesn’t just help Zero Trust performance, it helps web performance and developer performance, as we’ve discussed in prior blogs.

To quantify network performance, we have to get enough data from around the world, across all manner of different networks, comparing ourselves with other providers. We used Real User Measurements (RUM) to fetch a 100kb file from several different providers. Users around the world report the performance of different providers. The more users who report the data, the higher fidelity the signal is. The goal is to provide an accurate picture of where different providers are faster, and more importantly, where Cloudflare can improve. You can read more about the methodology in the original Speed Week 2021 blog post here.

We are constantly going through the process of figuring out why we were slow — and then improving. The challenges we faced were unique to each network and highlighted a variety of different issues that are prevalent on the Internet. We’re going to provide an overview of some of the efforts we use to improve our performance for our users.

But before we do, here are the results of our efforts since Developer Week 2022, the last time we showed off these numbers. Out of the top 3,000 networks in the world (by number of IPv4 addresses advertised), here’s a breakdown of the number of networks where each provider is number one in p95 TCP Connection Time, which represents the time it takes for a user on a given network to connect to the provider:

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

Here’s what those numbers look like as of this week, Security Week 2023:

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

As you can see, Cloudflare has extended its lead in being faster in more networks, while other networks that previously were faster like Akamai and Fastly lost their lead. This translates to the effects we see on the World Map. Here’s what that world map looked like in Developer Week 2022:

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

Here’s how that world map looks today during Security Week 2023:

Cloudflare Access is the fastest Zero Trust proxy

As you can see, Cloudflare has gotten faster in Brazil, many countries in Africa including South Africa, Ethiopia, and Nigeria, as well as Indonesia in Asia, and Norway, Sweden, and the UK in Europe.

A lot of these countries benefited from the Edge Partner Program that we discussed in the Impact Week blog. A quick refresher: the Edge Partner Program encourages last mile ISPs to partner with Cloudflare to deploy Cloudflare locations that are embedded in the last mile ISP. This improves the last mile RTT and improves performance for things like Access. Since we last showed you this map, Cloudflare has deployed more partner locations in places like Nigeria, and Saudi Arabia, which have improved performance for users in all scenarios. Efforts like the Edge Partner Program help improve not just the Zero Trust scenarios like we described above, but also the general web browsing experience for end users who use websites protected by Cloudflare.

Next-generation performance in a Zero Trust world

In a non-Zero Trust world, you and your IT teams were the network operator — which gave you the ability to control performance. While this control was comforting, it was also a huge burden on your IT teams who had to manage middle mile connections between offices and resources. But in a Zero Trust world, your network is now… well, it’s the public Internet. This means less work for your teams — but a lot more responsibility on your Zero Trust provider, which has to manage performance for every single one of your users. The better your Zero Trust provider is at improving end-to-end performance, the better an experience your users will have and the less risk you expose yourself to. For real-time applications like authentication and secure web gateways, having a snappy user experience is critical.

A Zero Trust provider needs to not only secure your users on the public Internet, but it also needs to optimize the public Internet to make sure that your users continuously stay protected. Moving to Zero Trust doesn’t just reduce the need for corporate networks, it also allows user traffic to flow to resources more naturally. However, given your Zero Trust provider is going to be the gatekeeper for all your users and all your applications, performance is a critical aspect to evaluate to reduce friction for your users and reduce the likelihood that users will complain, be less productive, or turn the solutions off. Cloudflare is constantly improving our network to ensure that users always have the best experience, through programs like the Edge Partner Program and constantly improving our peering and interconnectivity. It’s this tireless effort that makes us the fastest Zero Trust provider.