Why Instart over Cloudflare for delivery, performance, and security

Why Instart over Cloudflare for delivery, performance, and security

Instart is the only solution in the market that provides a complete content delivery network (CDN), advanced web performance, and end-to-end protection of your web application and APIs. 

Delivering modern web applications that deliver high performance requires advanced caching and offload capabilities, the ability to leverage edge services to shift business logic close to your visitors, and intelligent web performance capabilities to optimize images and code automatically as the website or application evolves.

Additionally, with the threat landscape on the web continuing to change with new attacks emerging on a daily basis, your business needs a vendor that can also provide complete protection for today's online attacks with an architecture that can continue to adapt to new threats. Instart provides a single web application and API protection platform that customers can use to prevent a wide variety of threats on the Internet – including traditional infrastructure attacks like DDoS or SQL/LDAP injection, automation attacks such as bots, and the latest web skimming attacks occurring in the browser. 

Cloudflare only provides basic CDN and performance capabilities, and their security solutions only cover a portion of modern web attack vectors. As a result, the only way to gain complete delivery, performance, and security requires combining multiple point products together with Cloudflare. This results in capability gaps and differing administrative experiences. 

Instart provides not only a wealth of CDN functionality, but also a smooth path to leverage advanced edge services over time. This removes the need to transition to another provider as requirements evolve.

And unlike Cloudflare web security solutions, which struggle to protect information in the browser or detect bots effectively, Instart is able to secure the entire application using our unique architecture and approach, consisting of intelligence and controls over both the client (browser or native apps) and the global cloud and edge network.

A enterprise-grade CDN with built-in expansion and advanced web performance 

With nearly a decade of experience delivering enterprise-grade CDN services, Instart's platform provides built-in expansion capabilities to allow businesses to scale beyond basic CDN capabilities.

Instart CDN provides: 

  • Advanced edge service functionality, such as layer 7 routing to microservices or multiple cloud providers 
  • User priority services to ensure a high quality of service for important customers during origin overload situations 
  • High-scale, edge-based redirection, and URL rewriting

All of these capabilities are included for easy growth into advanced capabilities without the need to switch to another provider down the line. This is coupled with a complete suite of web performance capabilities that cover all areas of performance, such as automatic image compression and transcoding dynamic HTML and JavaScript optimization, and advanced caching, ensures amazing web experiences for your visitors.

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Fact-based bot detection vs. behavioural guessing

Cloudflare has evolved their cloud security offerings to add some basic bot management capabilities, but given their server-side approach to analysis, they rely on simplistic pattern matching systems to guess what’s occurring on an endpoint based on the requests flowing through their cloud service. As a result, they can’t properly protect against the new wave of highly-sophisticated bots that look and act like human visitors. These new bots leverage full browser automation running on hacked end-user systems to accurately mimic human behaviour, including pacing of requests and browsing patterns, easily evading the cloud-based detection approaches used by Cloudflare.

Instart employs a unique client/cloud detection system that collects rich low-level signals at runtime in the browser for fact-based detection. Instead of guessing whether a visitor is a human or a bot, we can accurately distinguish that browser automation is in use.. This leads to better blocking and removes the need to burden customers with the poor experience of completing CAPTCHA puzzles that can be easily subverted by attackers.

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Robust runtime web skimming protection cover gaps in protection

Cyber criminals are evolving their attack approaches at an alarming pace. The latest attacks now occur at runtime in the browser from compromised third-party JavaScript, which is invisible to cloud-based security solutions from traditional cloud security providers like Cloudflare. These new web skimming attacks, such as the attacks carried out by Magecart, have moved the security perimeter well beyond the cloud into the browser itself. Instart, leveraging its client-side JavaScript capabilities, provides full visibility and control in the browser. This allows for runtime monitoring and protection against third-party JavaScript that is attempting to access sensitive user data entered into web forms and stored in cookies. 

Instart provides complete end-to-end web application security for your entire delivery path from a single platform, reducing operational costs and complexity. The result is the most intelligent, secure, and easy-to-operate CDN supported by a comprehensive web app and API protection platform. 

Your WAF can’t stop web skimming attacks from stealing your customers’ sensitive dataRelated Blog

Enterprise-grade web application firewall with detailed security event investigation tools

Instart has also developed an enterprise-grade web application firewall (WAF) designed to provide robust protection for sophisticated backend infrastructure. Cloudflare has developed a low-cost WAF solution that uses simple rules to provide basic coverage, but leaves gaps in protection. 

Additionally, Instart provides security solutions backed by an internal team of security experts that tune WAF rules to individual customers’ environments, ensuring robust protection. And while Cloudflare only provides high-level security dashboards with activity aggregates, Instart provides built-in security event investigation tools that allow for filtering of security events with drill-down details on any event. These tools combined with a built-in protection workflow allows security operations teams to detect attacks and mitigate them without the need to integrate to external systems.

The Instart Web Application and API Protection (WAAP) platform provides a CDN that boosts web performance while also delivering complete end-to-end web application security for your entire delivery path from a single platform, reducing operational costs and complexity. The result is the most intelligent, secure, and easy-to-operate CDN supported by a comprehensive web app and API protection platform.

Learn how Instart delivers performance with built-in securityRequest a demo