Cloud Security, Zero trust, Critical Infrastructure Security

Cloudflare’s zero-trust tools available free to public interest sites, nonprofits

A resident fills out paperwork as she participates in early voting at a polling station
Zero-trust tools from Cloudflare are now available to at-risk public interest groups and local election sites for free. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Cloudflare on Monday said it was making its Cloudflare One suite of zero-trust tools available for free to at-risk public interest groups, as well as state and local election sites.

The organizations in Cloudflare’s Project Galileo and Athenian Project will now have access to zero-trust tools that have typically been only available to large enterprises and are used by more than 10,000 Cloudflare customers.

"Cloudflare is the only security provider ensuring that zero-trust is accessible to those most in need — the vulnerable groups in our society, journalists, and nonprofits, as well as the sites that ensure we have trusted, free, and fair elections in the United States," said Matthew Prince, co-founder and CEO at Cloudflare. "These organizations face constant threats and need to be safe online to achieve their missions — and now they'll have access to the same security architecture that Fortune 500 companies use."

Christopher Prewitt, chief technology officer at Inversion6, was impressed with Cloudflare's philanthropy and, frankly, said he thought more companies in the IT security industry should consider doing the same.

“Many people give freely of their time to nonprofits, many organizations may financially support nonprofits, but providing necessary security services is a great way to protect these institutions from attack, which supports keeping their doors open to better perform their mission,” said Prewitt.

John Yun, vice president, product strategy at ColorTokens, said vendors providing their solutions to non-profit organizations is certainly a worthy cause. Yun said it’s especially true for zero-trust initiatives which the market has widely adopted, but questions remain on how best to implement.

“As organization leverage the growing trend of security solutions available for free or at a discount, they need to pay special attention to what security coverage they gain and what areas remain at risk,” said Yun. “For example, while segmenting users is a piece of the zero-trust puzzle, organizations must also segment servers, applications, services and micro-services to fully realize the benefit of zero-trust and micro-segmentation. As other security vendors offer their solutions in similar fashion, I’m hopeful that many of these organizations can piece together the necessary puzzle pieces to fully realize the benefits of zero trust.”

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