Performance, Security, and Encryption Essentials for
SaaS Providers

The SaaS market is expected to grow by 196% from 2016 to 2020.¹ As the SaaS market continues to swell and become an integral component of business infrastructure, security and performance remains top-of-mind for both SaaS providers and their customers. As this growth continues, SaaS providers will face increased competition in delivering the most secure and performant applications to customers. Underperforming applications and those vulnerable to attack will inevitably experience a negative impact on revenue, end-user engagement, brand reputation, and customer churn. Beyond availability, SaaS customers expect that the applications they purchase are protected by SSL encryption and served from their own custom domain—rather than that of their provider. But doing so requires either significant investment (and ongoing maintenance) in automating the certificate lifecycle, or implementation of costly manual procedures that place a burden on customers to acquire, renew, and securely upload private keys and certificates.

Cloudflare’s performance and security solution for SaaS providers protects and accelerates end customer experiences. Cloudflare’s globally load balanced content delivery network (CDN), combined with Argo smart routing, load balancing, and performance optimizations, reduces visitor latency by 2x or more. Cloudflare’s 10 Tbps DDoS protection, combined with rate limiting and a web application firewall (WAF), mitigates both large volumetric attacks and complex attacks targeting layers 3, 4 and 7 of the OSI model. In addition, Cloudflare removes the burden of SSL lifecycle management for SaaS providers, facilitates serving their applications from the end-customers custom or vanity domain, and significantly improves performance over in-house solutions due to terminating SSL as physically close to web visitors as possible.

Ready to optimize the performance and security of your SaaS offering?

Benefits of Cloudflare for SaaS Providers

Two gears

Secure Customer Data

Secure customer data across all domains with one-click, fully managed HTTPS

Shield

Improved Application Performance

Increase loading times by 2x with Cloudflare’s web optimizations and content delivery network (CDN).

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High Availability at Global Scale

Cloudflare’s network of 118 data centers across 58+ countries ensures enterprise-grade availability.

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API Compatible

Extend the performance and security benefits of Cloudflare to SaaS application APIs.

"Cloudflare’s solution just works. Their team accomplished all our requirements and customizations propagated near instantly. And, as an added bonus, their pricing is predictable and flat, regardless of how much our bandwidth usage grows."

Amanda Kleha

GM, Zendesk Online Business Unit

Key Results

10x

improvement in global response time.

6x

improvement in targeted content delivery time by utilizing Cloudflare's cookie-based key caching.

Easy SSL for Customer Domains

Cloudflare’s SSL for SaaS offering allows SaaS providers to easily extend the security and performance benefits of Cloudflare’s network to customers’ custom or “vanity” hostnames. Enabling SSL brings additional trust to website and application visitors, improves customer SEO, and unlocks the modern HTTP/2 protocol, resulting in even greater speed improvements.

With a single API call, Cloudflare will provision individual SSL certificates for custom hostnames and be ready to serve traffic over HTTPS within just a few minutes. No action is required on the SaaS provider’s customers’ behalf, other than initially pointing their domain or subdomain in via CNAME. In addition, Cloudflare automatically handles certificate management and renewals—without any need to contact or involve the SaaS provider’s customers.

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Comprehensive SaaS Application Security

Cloudflare’s comprehensive security solution protects SaaS provider websites, applications, and APIs, while extending the benefits to end-customer Internet assets and their visitors. Cloudflare’s 10 Tbps global Anycast network is 10x bigger than the largest DDoS attack ever recorded, offering protection against attacks targeting layers 3, 4, and 7 of the OSI model. Cloudflare absorbs traffic spikes and volumetric attacks, ensuring that unique customer assets, as well as neighboring customer assets served from a shared infrastructure, remain performant and available at all times. When combined with Rate Limiting and Web Application Firewall (WAF), Cloudflare’s security solution mitigates complex attacks targeting the application layer, protecting against distributed denial-of-service, brute-force login, and API endpoint abuse.

Faster SaaS Application Experiences

Cloudflare improves the end-user experience of SaaS provider websites, applications, and APIs by reducing latency and optimizing the performance of content delivery, while extending these benefits to end customer Internet assets. At the core of Cloudflare’s solution is a global content delivery network (CDN) of 118 data centers across 58 countries, bringing content closer to visitors of every region; additional CDN optimizations include auto-minification of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and Gzip compression, which save over 20% on the size of files and resources. Real-time network intelligence found in Argo’s smart routing finds the fastest paths available, routing around congestion and maintaining open, secure connections to eliminate latency imposed by connection-setup. For additional availability with reductions in latency, Cloudflare Load Balancing distributes traffic across multiple servers, routing it to the closest geographic region, while rapidly avoiding failures.

Ready to optimize the performance and security of your SaaS offering?

Cloudflare Features

Cloudflare protects all Internet assets on its network, while eliminating security-related performance trade-offs through its suite of performance improving functionalities.

Performance

Cloudflare Performance Services help to speed up Internet assets, resulting in better SEO, reduced customer churn, increased conversions, and improved visitor experiences.

  • Content Delivery Network (CDN)

    With 118 data centers across 58 countries, Cloudflare’s Anycast CDN caches static content at the edge, reducing latency by delivering assets as close as geographically possible to visitors.
  • Website Optimizations

    Cloudflare includes a suite of web optimizations to improve the performance of Internet assets. Optimizations include the latest web standards, such as HTTP/2 and TLS 1.3, as well as proprietary enhancements for images and mobile device visitors.
  • DNS

    Cloudflare is the fastest managed DNS provider in the world, routing over 38% of all global DNS traffic. Cloudflare has multiple ways to achieve maximum performance for online assets.
  • Load Balancing

    Cloudflare Load Balancing provides load balancing, geo-steering, monitoring and failover for single, hybrid-cloud, and multi-cloud environments, enhancing performance and availability.
  • Argo Smart Routing

    Argo Smart Routing improves Internet asset performance on average of 35% by routing visitors through the least congested and most reliable paths on Cloudflare's private network.
  • Railgun

    Railgun compresses previously uncacheable web objects up to 99.6% by leveraging techniques similar to those used in the compression of high-quality video. This results in an average 200% additional performance increase.
  • Stream

    Cloudflare Stream makes streaming video easy by handling data storage, media encoding, content embedding and playing, regional delivery, and analytics.

Security

Cloudflare Security Services help to reduce the risk of losing customers, revenues, and trustworthiness of brand by protecting against DDoS attacks, abusive bots, and data compromise.

  • Anycast Network

    With 118 data centers across 58 countries and 10 Tbps of capacity, Cloudflare’s Anycast network absorbs distributed attack traffic by dispersing it geographically, while keeping Internet properties available and performant.
  • DNSSEC

    DNSSEC is the Internet’s non-spoofable caller ID. It guarantees a web application’s traffic is safely routed to the correct servers so that a site’s visitors are not intercepted by a hidden “man-in-the-middle” attacker.
  • Web Application Firewall (WAF)

    Cloudflare’s enterprise-grade web application firewall (WAF) detects and block common application layer vulnerabilities at the network edge, utilising the OWASP Top 10, application-specific and custom rulesets.
  • Rate Limiting

    Rate Limiting protects critical resources by providing fine-grained control to block or qualify visitors with suspicious request rates.
  • SSL / TLS

    Transport Security Layer (TLS) encryption enables HTTPS connections between visitors and origin server(s), preventing man-in-the-middle attacks, packet sniffing, the display of web browser trust warnings, and more.
  • Secure Registrar

    Cloudflare is an ICANN accredited registrar, protecting organizations from domain hijacking with high-touch, online and offline verification for any changes to a registrar account.
  • Orbit

    Cloudflare Orbit solves security-related issues for Internet of Things devices at the network level.
  • Warp

    Automatically secure, accelerate, route, and load balance applications and services without directly exposing them to the internet.
  • Workers

    Cloudflare Workers let developers run JavaScript Service Workers in Cloudflare's 118 data centers around the world.