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“After decades of building legacy corporate networks, organizations are left with clunky systems designed to protect their now-empty offices. The only way to secure today’s work-from-anywhere economy is to secure each individual employee, protecting their individual networks, devices and access to business-critical applications,” said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare.
The company described how Cloudflare addresses the changing nature of VPNs and increasing use of third party enterprise tools in a blog post. “Enterprises used to build networks that resembled a castle-and-moat. The walls and moat kept attackers out and data in.” However, as work has evolved from occurring on one on-premise platform to spanning across SaaS tools, like Salesforce, Asana, and Jira, employers have multiple “castles” to protect. Workflow tools will continue to proliferate, meaning enterprises must build modern security tools designed specifically for these decentralized systems. That’s where Cloudflare One comes in.
As Prince stated in a press release announcing Cloudflare One’s release, “With Cloudflare One, we’re giving organizations of any size the power to solve their security and networking needs seamlessly, no matter how their business needs shift,” said Prince.
Taking a step back, it is important to understand the existing network landscape to understand the need for Cloudflare One. As more workers work remotely and access information through third parties that supply information on different clouds, enterprises need new ways to manage these workflows.
Problem: As data silos grow with the use of third-party applications, employees can no longer simply connect to nearby data centers to access the information required for their job. Employers have created complicated webs of VPN licenses, SD-WAN deployments, and MPLS links to ensure only the proper employees have access to the right software.
Solution: Cloudflare One’s vision is to build scalable network solutions that address the changing nature of work. By integrating with Cloudflare’s existing network solutions, Cloudflare is able to offer its customers visibility into network activity and enhanced security around their data, two critical features for any company.
Problem: Securing a network is easy when applications all exist on a local data center. As the enterprise has been digitized by numerous third parties, companies must secure each point of access. But securing the “castle” with a moat no longer works when the castle is decentralized.
Solution: Cloudflare One solves the modern network security problem by implementing security controls for all traffic that occurs on the employee network. These security controls give employers control over employee credentials and visibility into their activity without having to integrate point solutions with each enterprise software provider.
Problem: Capturing logs of employee access is difficult across more third-party applications. Low visibility into their networks makes breaches that occur under the old security system next to impossible to identify in a timely manner. Enterprises have responded with an “assume breach” model, trying to stop all possible breaches rather than targeting specific attacks.
Solution: Cloudflare One also gives customers previously-untapped data insights from their network. Cloudflare One integrates with Cloudflare Access and Cloudflare Gateway to compile detailed logs that include every request initiated on customer servers. Additionally, Cloudflare has built additional workflow on top of these logs, providing detailed analytics and insights into how employees are using the network.
Despite an impressive array of security and visibility features that have already been released, Cloudflare One is just getting started. Last week, Cloudflare One rolled out, as part of “Zero Trust Week,” a host of firewall and transit APIs to help employers monitor network activity. Scheduled for future releases are features similar focused on visibility and security: a Magic Firewall preventing viruses from penetrating your network, intrusion detection that will continuously review your network for suspicious activity, and an improved network analytics platform to produce new insights.
Satin Mirchandani, President and CEO of FireMon, which uses Cloudflare’s network-as-a-service platform, describes Cloudflare’s necessary role in easing companies’ transition to the cloud: “As enterprises make the move to cloud infrastructure and adopt zero trust security models, they need to visualize, manage and enforce security policy across heterogenous hybrid networks. Through our partnership with Cloudflare, enterprises can embrace the performance and security benefits of Cloudflare One while ensuring consistent visibility and control across their entire network security estate.”
Enterprise software tools have increased dramatically in the last 20 years, and now compose a $450 billion market that is growing at 10% per year. As these disparate tools become increasingly integrated into enterprise workflows, enterprises will continue to face challenges regarding securing employee data and receiving unified insights across different platforms. The announcement of Cloudflare One signals a commitment to these important trends of visibility and security, giving Cloudflare the opportunity to power the next generation of cloud-based companies.
ABOUT THE WRITER:
Quinn Barry is a Tech Innovation Fellow from Stanford University covering the next generation of financial identity protection.
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