Loud Canvas

Cloudflare!

So what is Cloudflare?

Cloudflare is on a mission to help build a better Internet.

Cloudflare is one of the world’s largest networks. Today, businesses, non-profits, bloggers, and anyone with an Internet presence boast faster, more secure websites and apps thanks to Cloudflare.

More than 20 million Internet properties are on Cloudflare, and our network is growing by tens of thousands each day. Cloudflare powers Internet requests for ~10% of the Fortune 1,000 for more than 1 billion unique IP addresses per day.

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Cloudflare

Security

Cloudflare DDOS Protection

Advanced DDOS Protection

Fast, globally distributed and intelligent protection against sophisticated DDoS attacks

Protect your Internet properties with a cloud-based, always-on DDoS protection, powered by the intelligence harnessed from Cloudflare’s always learning global network

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Customer Data Breach

Protect applications from attacks resulting in sensitive customer data compromise

A data compromise can result in the leak of sensitive customer information, such as credit cards, passwords, and other personally identifiable information (PII), from an application's data store. Attackers often use several attack vectors when attempting to compromise customer data, such as DNS spoofing, snooping of data in transit, brute force login attempts, or malicious payload exploits.

The global cost of a data breach on average, per lost or stolen record, is $141 in 2017, and the average total cost of a data breach in the US is $3.62 million. With heightened scrutiny by governments and media, companies are facing severe repercussions from even the smallest data compromise. Business impacts include lost customers and revenues, degraded trust, damaged brand, or regulatory penalties.

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Performance

Cloudflare CDN

CDN

Fast, Agile, Secure

Ultra-fast static and dynamic content delivery

Increased agility and control over how content is cached

Built-in unmetered DDoS protection

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Website Optimization

Delivering fast web experiences is not just about moving files closer to your visitors.

It’s about ensuring the first pixels load on your visitors’ screens as quickly as possible. It’s about optimizing the order of page resource delivery to make the page visible and usable faster.

And it’s about knowing when and why your webpages are rendering slowly, and what you can do about it.

Gauge how fast your website is. And how you can make it even faster.

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Cloudflare

Ensure Application Availability

Improve the availability of applications affected by overloaded or unavailable infrastructure.

Users expect their mission-critical applications to always be online and available. Internet applications deployed on a global scale are highly susceptible to outages or downtime due to spikes in traffic, high network latency or server outages at the origin. Cloudflare improves application availability by monitoring network latency and server health at the origin, identifying the best resource from which to serve user requests for dynamic content.

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Accelerate Internet Application

Deliver fast, rich user experiences for Internet applications that increase engagement and conversions, while reducing costs.

Consumers expect web pages to load quickly. Slow page load times can lead to high bounce rates, page abandonment, and lower conversion rates. Web pages are becoming increasingly complex and users are more globally dispersed; which degrades the user experience. Cloudflare brings content closer to your users by caching static web content on its network. Image files can be optimized to significantly improve load times, and dynamic content can be compressed and routed on the fastest, least congested path to the end-user.

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Cloudflare

Pros & Cons

Like any service there are pros and cons. We at Loud Canvas think the pros heavily outweigh the cons. We are sharing our research with you!

Pros

It’s free! (can’t beat free). No cost to you whatsoever!

Cloudflare can add a security layer to your site at the DNS level which will help ensure DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks and other malicious site activity is blocked before it even reaches the server! This is a HUGE win for security nuts like myself who pride ourselves on never having one of the sites we manage hacked. Cloudflare helps us ensure that success and guarantee that promise.

Performance! Access to Cloudflare’s CDN allows sites on Cloudflare to perform up to 22% faster. Which is a HUGE win, especially given your industry where large images can slow the speed of website page delivery.

Cloudflare is taken the world wide web by storm in a way only companies like Google have. At the risk of you countering with “well, my momma said just because everyone was jumping over a bridge doesn't mean you should too.” But I don’t think that argument necessarily holds here. The big players in tech and large Fortune 500 companies are using Cloudflare because of its benefits (touted above). More info here - https://www.cloudflare.com/case-studies/ -- we’re talking BIG companies like Zendesk, Hubspot, DigitalOcean, Discord and SO many others.
Cons

Potential for Chosen-Vendor Service Hiccups - Cloudflare (as with any other software) is a third-party solution. So in this case DNS will be in their control and you’ll be at their “mercy” as a company. So for example if Cloudflare has a latency hiccup or experiences any downtime, it’ll mean your site may have a hiccup or experience downtime. Thus, some element of risk and “trust” comes into play here. Note: this is also true of Network Solutions or whomever handles your DNS – the risk is just which company you choose to trust!

Risk of Being a Victim to their own Size and Growth (Scalability issues) – Given Cloudflare’s incredible popularity, they are taking on new customers at a surprising rate. The same growth rate was experienced by Amazon cloud services back in 2012 and Google’s search engine back in 1990s+. As Cloudflare grows, they MAY be a victim of their own success and not be able to scale to account for their growth. This could feasibly cause latency or performance degradation. However, they are aware of this risk as a company and have publicly exclaimed their efforts to ensure it never becomes an issue.

It is certainly in the realm of possibility that they could decide to “go rouge” and sell or mis-use customer data. Again, the moment they do they’d lose all consumer confidence and customers would leave them in droves. So as a business I can’t see them adopting this stance, but yes – it is technically feasible. But again, this same risk exists with companies like Google, Amazon, Network Solutions, etc – so no matter whom you use this same risk will exist. So there is always some element of trust when choosing your technology vendors!

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