Cloudflare Boosts Security and Performance with IBM Cloud

By: John Graham-Cumming

Cloudflare and IBM Cloud are teaming up to provide increased security and performance

Ensuring that information flows safely and securely over the Internet is a growing challenge. Cloudflare has teamed with IBM Cloud to bring increased security and performance to individuals and to organizations of all sizes, helping protect critical online services.

Guarding the new perimeter

The Internet has permeated our lives completely, and we all expect both security and high performance, whether we’re using online banking, hailing a cab, or browsing a dating website. However, there’s an inherent unevenness in the Internet: giant companies can easily provide a slick, highly secure experience, but it’s much tougher for, say, a neighborhood florist.

At Cloudflare, our mission is to help build a better Internet. A huge part of that is “democratizing” technologies that were once only available to Internet giants by making them available to every website, every application, and every API, no matter how large or small.

In the past, organizations could keep their vital data and services behind their firewalls, within a simple perimeter which was relatively easy to control. But the rise of public cloud, SaaS, and mobile access has pushed that perimeter out into the Internet itself.

At the same time, companies are operating in an increasingly hostile world in which Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and similar threats are becoming an everyday reality. It is no longer adequate to deal with these strikes when they occur. DDoS attacks involving hundreds of gigabits per second of data are now happening virtually continuously, and almost no business has the scale to defend against attacks like these.

Safety in numbers

Optimizing online security and performance both rely upon aggregating and analyzing large data sets. From a security perspective, you need to understand the network so that you can see where attacks are coming from. And from a performance perspective, you need to understand where the slow-downs are. The Internet is, by design, a reliable system made out of unreliable parts, and that resilience is one of the neatest things about it. But if you’re trying to move traffic across it, you need to know where the unreliability is today.

Cloudflare built an architecture of more than 155 data centers spanning the globe, creating a distributed network to protect anything connected to the Internet, including websites, domains, APIs, and applications. The solution acts as a reverse proxy, providing fast, efficient routes for traffic while intercepting would-be attackers, bots, malware, and crawlers that are trying to gain access. It also provides always-on protection against DDoS attacks.

To keep our network fast and highly secure, we are always looking for more data from more sources and easier ways to bring more clients to our services for the benefit of all. Partnering with IBM to offer Cloudflare services as integrated solutions within the IBM® Cloud® has been a great way to do that.

Our two companies fit together like jigsaw puzzle pieces. While we have the infrastructure to offer protection and high performance to 12 million websites, IBM gives us access to its own broad, established customer base, which includes some of the largest companies in the world. As these are often the first to experience major new DDoS attacks, they bring extremely valuable security intelligence that we can use to protect other IBM clients.

Agile teaming

What surprised me about working with IBM was its dynamic startup mentality. It may be a gigantic company, but its small and specialized teams work in an agile, responsive way. This meant that the integration process was extremely rapid and thorough.

Any IBM Cloud customer now has access to our services at the touch of a button. And with so much data flowing through our systems, we have an opportunity to really push forward in the cybersecurity race.

As our relationship with IBM deepens and develops, we will have the opportunity to apply more of their capabilities to our services, such as using machine learning and predictive analytics to nip new security threats in the bud. With this extended access to new customers of varying sizes around the world, we can continue on our path to fight cybercrime and provide the highest-quality security and performance to websites and customers of all sizes.

View the video for more details.

Watch the video (03:22)

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