Content Delivery Network Security Best Practices

November 17, 2021 in Cyber Attacks, Firewalls

Today, countless businesses and individuals alike are using content delivery networks (CDNs) to deliver and receive content, respectively. According to a survey by Statista, traffic to CDNs throughout the world is projected to reach 252 exabytes (EB) per month in 2022. By contrast, CDN traffic peaked at just 54 EB per month in 2017.

This staggering amount of traffic makes CDNs the prime target of many cyber criminals keen to intercept, alter, and steal important information. Simply put, security should be at the top of the list when it comes to a website owner’s CDN. When it comes down to it, what is CDN security exactly, and if it is not in place, are your users at risk? Thwarting cyber criminals’ nefarious intentions requires strong, up-to-date security tailored to your CDN.

What Is CDN Security?

CDN security protects against people who want to interfere with your website’s users. By enabling safer, more secure content delivery through your network, you can enhance the overall experience of visiting your website. Security for your CDN can come in a number of forms, depending upon your specific CDN implementation.

What Are Some CDN Security Concerns?

Once you understand the answer to “what is CDN security?,” it’s easy to see how CDN security can be vital to users having a great browsing experience. Unfortunately, security for a CDN can come with risks.

Unlike firewalls, CDNs alone are unable to block bad bots from infecting a website. As such, it’s possible to hijack and exploit CDN servers containing cached information in a variety of ways.

For example, if a hacker gained access to data cached on a CDN used by multiple businesses, customers’ private information would become vulnerable. Cybercriminals could then steal passwords, email addresses, and any other sensitive information which could be used to log into private accounts or leveraged in a ransom situation.

Distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attacks are another method for extortion and blackmailing, making them one of many major CDN security concerns. A simulated test showed that 16 different CDNs were vulnerable to a DDOS exploit that caused servers to repeatedly run the same command. These repeated commands eventually led to the servers becoming overloaded, ultimately taking the content offline.

What Are Some Ways To Ensure I Have The Strongest CDN Security?

Though CDNs bring inherent security risks, they’re still a necessity for any website owner looking to help deliver users a seamless experience. But just because website owners use CDNs, that doesn’t mean websites need to be left vulnerable to cyber criminals. In fact, there are steps you can take to ensure that employing a fast, robust CDN won’t compromise the security of your website and its content.

1. Carefully Evaluate A Potential New CDN Before Using It For Your Content

There are a number of CDN providers available on the market, each of varying quality. Get in contact with someone representing a CDN before committing to it as an option—and don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. For example, you should know how frequently the CDN will cache your data and how often the CDN provider conducts comprehensive penetration testing to ensure a server is secure.

You should also understand what happens in the event that your server fails, and what you—and your CDN provider—are able to do about it. For example, are there existing failover security measures in place to switch to a backup server in the event of an outage? If not and an outage does occur, not only will you be unable to connect to the server, but your data will become exposed since the website’s security technology will be disabled.

All told, carefully choosing the CDN provider that’s right for you helps to eliminate numerous CDN security concerns.

2. Use A Web Application Firewall To Protect Against Outsiders

Alone, CDNs are immensely vulnerable to attackers, which is why you need a web application firewall (WAF). WAFs act as a barrier between your content and the broader internet. They’re able to monitor and block any and all HTTP(s) traffic exhibiting security red flags, all the while seamlessly allowing access to good website traffic. With the market size for WAFs expected to grow to $5.48 billion USD by 2022, many businesses use WAFs in conjunction with their CDN servers to significantly increase their website’s security.

3. Enable Compatibility With SSL Certificates

If you either collect user information on your website or process user credit card payments, your website should have an SSL certificate in addition to a CDN. Your CDN must be compatible with your SSL certificate in order to ensure data being submitted to your servers is encrypted as web traffic travels through the CDN. In doing so, you enable a more secure and complete encryption process for data traveling to and from your users.

Stronger CDN Security With SiteLock

Nobody wants to browse an unsecure website. If you’re looking to sustain and grow your traffic by providing the safest browsing experience possible for users, you need CDN security. By following the steps above, you can provide a user experience that’s not just fast, but secure.

Now that you know about CDN security, check out “What is a CDN?” if you’re eager to learn more about CDNs and why they’re useful for your site.

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