SMBs moving to the Cloud? Explore CloudFlare – An Intelligent & Powerful Security Control on the Web!

A recent study published by SandHill indicates  46% of the SMBs are implementing pilots on the Cloud , 34% implementing non-critical apps and 25% implementing mission critical applications speculating a growing interest or movement of SMBs to the cloud. Public Clouds  with its shared multi-tenant  combined with pay as you go models combined with elastic nature offers interesting possibilities for SMBs to move their IT apps/products & business to the public clouds.

With such initiatives,Information security being one of the foremost concerns and risks of  the cloud computing model today, a number of things may have to be evaluated and assessed from the security standpoint when a company decides to move its software products/applications to the cloud environment , especially the Public cloud as I had posted in an earlier blog

The explosion in malware and cyber attacks underline a stark reality and such adverse forces are becoming increasingly sophisticated and their target is also moving across sites hosted on Clouds or directly on the cloud itself. So,with such risks looming around, What SMBs (Small and Medium businesses),especially small companies, cannot afford to do unlike the enterprises is a) To invest a lot in Security strategy,systems and implementation b) To invest and engage IT resources manage it in a on-going manner. Doing such would be  cost prohibitive to them as well as would demand more more bandwith of efforts that they cannot simply afford…

However,with such constaints,they are still under the pressures of preventing and protecting themselves against any threats and targeted attacks . Today ,they are in need of  low-cost less complex and low resource intensive security solutions. Preferably,self-service set ups.

A very interesting security solution that  I had come across and tried recently is an Internet security(plus performance) service called CloudFlare which is available on a SaaS model . I strongly felt for SMBs deploying their Web Apps publicly on the cloud or Software as a service,  CloudFlare in some ways can be more than a ‘Firewall’ for their public facing Website(s) that can help them prevent/ward off from security threats. 

CloudFlare acting as a security gateway or a front end security control can help block threats and limits abusive bots , crawlers and attackers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources.

Given below is a simple diagram to depict this.,

cloudflare for the cloud

CloudFlare team,combined with their expertise and history of developing and managing one of the most popular honeypots which typically performs surveillance and identify threats and combining an intelligent architecture through DNS and other propreitary techniques has given an awesome service in the form of CloudFlare that provides a significant value (in my own opinion) for the cost to be incurred. ($20 pro)

when you sign up for CloudFlare, you are issued two Ninja Nameservers™ (one male, one female). For every website,one signs up,he is likely to get a unique combination. Once deployed at your registrar, your assigned ninjas stand watch over your website keeping it safe and ensuring it performs as fast as possible.

While I have not discussed the site performance improvements offered by CloudFlare, Essentially , I believe , CloudFlare is a really worthwhile “security control” that SMBs (and even large companies for that matter) can seriously explore trying to screen the web traffic and prevent unwanted spam,threats and attacks to their public facing websites /business deployed on the Clouds . A $ 20 price with 10 or 15 minutes set up time combined with the insights offered by CloudFlare in an ongoing manner definitely looks very interesting!

I can only imagine a happy & safe “CloudShoring” for SMBs using the CloudFlare!!

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2 Responses to SMBs moving to the Cloud? Explore CloudFlare – An Intelligent & Powerful Security Control on the Web!

  1. Cloud-based firewalls offer a low-cost, scalable solution to IT security for small- and medium-sized businesses. CloudFlare is one option, but there are a number of other cloud firewall solutions out there.

    At ccskguide.org, we take a look at the security issues around cloud computing and help prepare candidates for the CCSK Cloud Security Certification. Check out our blog post on CloudFlare and other firewalls in the cloud:
    http://ccskguide.org/2011/02/firewalls-in-the-cloud/

  2. Jan Husdal says:

    I just thought I should mention that there is an alternative to CloudFlare that is equally good as far as performance goes: Incapsula. In terms of security it is perhaps even better, since thye in their FREE plan offer what CloudFlare only has in their paid PRO plan. Putting both to the test on my blog I couldn’t see much difference, although my conclusion is CloudFlare = Performance first and Incapsula = Security first: http://www.husdal.com/2011/07/01/incapsula-versus-cloudflare/

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