How to Protect Websites from Digital Threats? With the Help of Cloudflare, for Example

We regularly write about digital threats on our blog. We’ve most often alerted you to fraudulent practices that are intended to harm end users of the Internet. Such attacks are usually carried out for direct profit, for example by stealing a credit card. However, in the IT world, we encounter attacks on our web applications much more often. They usually try to steal customer data or get a server from which they can spread SPAM. Fortunately, there are ways to protect apps.

Nonstop under attack

Attacks on web applications are in most cases fully automated. Therefore, a simple rule applies: if a website is publicly available, it’s most likely regularly attacked. For a better idea of the frequency of these attacks, I’ll give an example from our statistics: an inconspicuous blog built on WordPress with minimal traffic faces 14 to 120 hack attempts in one day.

Protecting websites from various types of attacks is a complex topic that we should pay attention to and on a regular basis check whether the security of a website is sufficient. These steps are necessary regardless of whether we manage a WordPress blog or a large eshop. For us, Cloudflare service is a very useful tool in protecting a website.

What is Cloudflare?

Simply put, Cloudflare is a DNS server on steroids. It acts as an intermediary that allows us to effectively manage the flow of data to our website and at the same time the exit of information from it. Internet traffic (e.g. web loading) is processed by Cloudflare before it “arrives” at our site. Thanks to this, we can use not only services to improve security, but also a number of other functions, such as data caching, SEO optimization or protection against dangerous bots.

The most useful safety measures


Currently, we use the WAF function the most, which can filter the most common ways of attacking a website. SQL Injection or an attempt to steal files that contain database access data are examples. The basic “protection set” for websites currently has about 500 rules that Cloudflare itself manages. Therefore, they should be up to date and constantly updated.

WAF is excellently configurable. It allows us to set the level of “sensitivity” when evaluating a threat, or how we’ll treat a potential attacker (will we ban them or try to verify that it isn’t a robot?).

Location-based blocking

The second popular feature is blocking of web queries based on the GEO location (by IP address) of the device. Most of the websites we publish don’t have real customers from China, Russia or Oceania. So we can simply improve web security by disabling access from areas where we don’t have customers. At the same time, eshops can restrict access from countries to which they cannot actually deliver goods, for example.

Rate Limiting

The third useful feature is Rate Limiting, i.e. limiting the number of requests that can be made from one IP address over a certain period of time. The website is thus protected against attempts to disable it by overloading. In addition, this setting also marginally helps the server performance.

In addition to these three tweaks, Cloudflare provides a large number of other useful tools. Therefore, it’s definitely worth exploring it and considering its use on your project too.