Cloudflare has been hooked on securing customers globally since its inception. Our services protect customer traffic and data as well as our own, and we are continuously improving and expanding those services to respond to the changing threat landscape of the Internet. Proving that commitment is a multi-faceted venture, the Security Team focuses on people, proof, and transparency to ensure every touchpoint with our products and company feels dependable.
The breadth of knowledge of the Security Team is wide and bleeding edge. Working as a security team at a security company means being highly technical, diverse, willing to test any and all products on ourselves, and sharing our knowledge with our local and global communities through industry groups and presenting at conferences worldwide. Connecting with our customers and counterparts through meetups and conferences lets us share problems, learn about upcoming industry trends, and share feedback to make improvements to the customer experience. In addition to running a formally documented, risk-based security program for Cloudflare, team members drive continuous improvement efforts across our Product and Infrastructure teams by reviewing and advising on changes, identifying and treating vulnerabilities, controlling authorization and access to systems and data, encrypting data in transit and at rest, and by detecting and responding to threats and incidents.
Security claims are all well and good, but how can a customer be sure we are doing what we say we do? We do it by undergoing several audits a year, proving that our security practices meet industry standards. To date, Cloudflare has regularly assessed and maintained compliance with PCI DSS (as a merchant and a service provider), SOC 2 Type II, ISO 27001 and ISO 27701 standards. No matter where our customers are in the world, they will likely need to rely on at least one of these standards to protect their customers’ information. We honor the responsibility of being the backbone of that trust.
As Cloudflare’s customer base continues to grow into more regulated industries with complex and rigorous requirements, we’ve decided to assess our global network against three additional standards this year:
- FedRAMP, the US Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, which evaluates our systems and practices against the standard for protection of US agency data in cloud computing environments. Cloudflare is listed on the FedRAMP Marketplace as “In Process” for an agency authorization at a Moderate impact level. We’re in the final steps of concluding our security assessment report from our auditors and on target to receive an authorization to operate in 2022.
- ISO 27018, which examines our practices to protect personally identifiable information (PII) as a cloud provider. This extension to the ISO 27001 standard ensures that our information security management system (ISMS) manages the risks associated with processing PII. We’ve completed the third-party assessment, and we’re waiting for our certification in the upcoming month.
- C5, Cloud Computing Compliance Criteria Catalog, introduced by the Federal Office for Information Security (The BSI) in Germany, is a validation against a defined baseline security level for cloud computing. Cloudflare is currently in the process of being assessed against the catalog by third-party auditors. Learn about our journey here.
Our commitment to security for our customers and business means we have to be super transparent. When a security incident is being contained, we have in our response plan to not only bring in our legal, compliance and communications teams to determine notification strategy, but we also start outlining a detailed overview of how we are responding, even if we are still in the process of remediating.
We know firsthand how frustrating it can be when your critical vendors stay silent during a security incident and provide nothing more than a one sentence legal response which fails to reveal how they were impacted by the security vulnerability or incident. Here at Cloudflare, it is in our DNA to be transparent. You can see it with the blogs (Verkada Incident, Log4j) we write and how quickly we show our customers how we’ve responded and what we’re doing to fix the issue.
One of the most frequent questions we get from our customers regarding incidents is if our third-parties were impacted. Supply chain vulnerabilities, like Solarwinds and Log4j, have driven us to create efficiencies, such as automated inquiries, to all of our critical vendors at once. During the Containment phase of our security incident response process, our third-party risk team is quickly able to identify the impacted vendors and prioritize our production and security vendors. Our tooling allows us to trigger inquiries to third parties immediately, and our team is integrated into the incident response process to ensure effective communication. Any information that we receive from our vendors, we share with our Security Compliance forums to ensure that other companies who are also inquiring with their vendors don’t have to duplicate their work.
These recurring audits and assessments are not simple website badges. Our Security team doesn’t produce evidence only to pass audits; our process includes identifying risks, forming controls and processes to address those risks, continuous operation of those processes, evaluation of the effectiveness of (in the form of internal and external audits and tests) those processes, and making improvements to the ISMS based on those evaluations. Some things on our process that set us apart include the following:
- Many companies do not contact vendors or have this process baked into their incident response procedures. For log4j, our Vendor Security Team was on calls with the response team and providing regular updates on vendor responses as soon as the incident was identified.
- Many companies do not proactively communicate to customers like we do. We communicate even when we are not legally required to do so because we feel it’s the right thing to do regardless of the requirement.
- The tools in this space also are not usually flexible enough to send custom questionnaires quickly out to vendors. We have automation in place to get these out in bulk right away and tailor questions to the vulnerabilities at hand.
The final step is communicating the resulting picture of our security posture to our customers. Our security certifications and assessment results are available to our customers via download from their Cloudflare Dashboards, or by request to their account team. For the latest information about our certifications and reports, please visit our Trust Hub.