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Cloudflare acquires start-up Zaraz to secure and accelerate websites

Cloudflare bought start-up Zaraz to increase website speed and security without sacrificing privacy by reducing the impact of third-party marketing and analytics tools.

The San Francisco-based security and performance service provider said that Zaraz, based in Tel Aviv, Israel, uses Cloudflare Workers to replace multiple network requests from each third-party tool with a single request. This improves the browsing experience and protects user privacy by giving customers the ability to control the data they send to a third party, according to Cloudflare.

“We have been impressed with how the Zaraz team has used Cloudflare Workers in a unique way to help businesses get the information they need, while delivering the blazing performance consumers expect,” said Cloudflare co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince in a statement. “We really believe the next billion dollar company can and will be built on Cloudflare Workers. “

[Related: Cloudflare Buys Browser Isolation Startup S2 Systems For $39.2 Million]

Terms of the deal were not disclosed and Cloudflare did not immediately respond to a request for further comment from CRN. Cloudflare stock is down $ 2.10 (1.34%) to $ 154.07 per share shortly after the market opens on Wednesday morning. Zaraz is the first company acquired by Cloudflare which is based on its own Cloudflare Workers technology.

Zaraz was founded in 2019, employs six people, and raised $ 2 million in seed funding in a February 2021 round led by PICO Venture Partners, according to LinkedIn and Crunchbase. The company’s technology turns a messy network of extensions into a single, lightweight application and prevents malicious code from entering websites by not running third-party tools on the browser.

“We couldn’t have built Zaraz without the global scale, speed and flexibility provided by Cloudflare Workers,” Zaraz co-founder and CEO Yair Dovrat said in a statement. “Using Workers has allowed us to optimize Zaraz for performance and safety. ”

Zaraz’s technology strictly controls what scripts inserted on a company’s webpage can do, ensuring that third parties will not have access to anything they are not allowed to see even if the scripts are compromised. , according to a blog post by Prince and Cloudflare CTO John Graham Cumming. Zaraz also guarantees that the scripts would not prevent a web page from rendering, even if it was unsuccessful or slow.

Specifically, they stated that Zaraz completely removes the attack surface in case of compromised script by eliminating the ability for attackers to create username and password fields or access cookies stored in the user’s browser. Zaraz is immediately available to Cloudflare business customers, while other Cloudflare customers can access a free beta of Zaraz on their dashboard, they said.

“We spent the last semester testing Zaraz, and it’s magic,” Prince and Graham-Cumming wrote on the blog. “This gives you the best of the flexible and extensible web while ensuring that CIOs and CISOs can sleep well at night knowing that even if a third-party script provider is compromised, it won’t result in a security incident. ”

According to Prince and Graham-Cumming, Cloudflare now occupies nearly 20% of all websites, and Zaraz’s technology will help protect them all before long. Third-party script developers who do not properly secure their scripts will find that their scripts stop working as Zaraz deploys to more of the web, they wrote.

This will ensure that scripts running on Cloudflare customer sites meet modern standards for security, performance and reliability, Prince and Graham-Cumming said. Zaraz will leverage Cloudflare’s expertise to extend its feature set and help customers deal with more security threats and privacy risks presented by third-party code, Zaraz CEO Dovrat wrote in a blog post.

The geolocation triggers will load different tools for end users who visit a company’s website from different parts of the world, ensuring that businesses comply with local regulations, Dovrat wrote. Additionally, a data loss prevention feature will analyze each third-party endpoint request to ensure that it does not include information such as names, email addresses, or social security numbers.

“With Cloudflare, we will play a leading role in the transition to uploading third-party code to the cloud,” Dovrat written in blog post. “In no time at all, we’ll all be enjoying a 40% faster browsing experience, just by optimizing the way websites load third-party tools.

The Zaraz acquisition comes nearly a year after Cloudflare acquired the Linc automation platform for an undisclosed amount to help front-end developers collaborate and build powerful applications. And in January 2020, Cloudflare purchased browser isolation vendor S2 Systems for $ 17.7 million to keep device security threats away and make everyday web browsing safer and faster.