Google and Cloudflare: Encrypting the WWW

A couple of months ago, Google announced that it had started using SSL as a factor in SEO ranking. Since the search giant is the referrer for most website traffic, this is the type of announcement that gets the attention of website owners.

Cloudflare, a popular and easy to implement Content Delivery Network, seems to be stepping up to this challenge. Even their free offering has an option to provide forward facing SSL services. As discussed on Packet Pushsers Priority Queue show 34, they are also modifying SSL in ways that allow them to provide services to organizations without the need to obtain the site owner’s private keys. The likely result of the offering is that many existing and many new Cloudflare customers will take advantage of their SSL services.

Paul’s Take–I think Google’s announcement, combined with Cloudflare’s SSL offerings, will result in a significant increase of SSL encrypted traffic. This will have an interesting effect on how organizations do security. Traditionally, there has been a lower (but increasing) ratio of https to http traffic. Scanning SSL traffic, for troubleshooting or security, is significantly more challenging than its clear text counterpart.

Disclaimer: This article includes the independent thoughts, opinions, commentary or technical detail of Paul Stewart. This may or may not reflect the position of past, present or future employers.

About Paul Stewart, CCIE 26009 (Security)

Paul is a Network and Security Engineer, Trainer and Blogger who enjoys understanding how things really work. With over 15 years of experience in the technology industry, Paul has helped many organizations build, maintain and secure their networks and systems.
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