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What are the main security risks to a CDN

Like all networks exposed to the internet, a CDN often becomes a subject of security attacks. There are several types of potential threats:

  • Data breach: CDNs store and distribute large amounts of data, making them a potential target for hackers.
  • DDoS attacks: CDNs are often targeted by DDoS attacks, which can overwhelm the network and cause it to become unavailable.
  • Malware distribution: CDNs may be used to distribute malware, either intentionally or unintentionally, to users who access the content hosted on the CDN.
  • Domain hijacking: Hackers may attempt to gain control of a CDN's domain, redirecting traffic and potentially compromising user data.
  • Insider threat: Employees or contractors with access to a CDN's infrastructure may pose a threat if they are not properly trained and monitored.

What is SSL/TLS encryption?

SSL/TLS encryption is a security protocol that is used to encrypt data transmitted between a client and a server. It is commonly used to secure any online communication that takes place in the Internet space. SSL/TLS uses a combination of public and private keys to establish a secure connection and ensures that the data transmitted between the client and server remains private and cannot be intercepted by third parties.

The TLS protocol is designed to provide 3 components:

  • Confidentiality: TLS encrypts the data transmitted between a client and server to prevent it from being read in case it was intercepted by unauthorized parties.
  • Integrity: TLS uses digital signatures and other cryptographic techniques to ensure that the data transmitted is not altered or corrupted in transit.
  • Authentication: TLS verifies the identity of the server using an SSL Certificate, ensuring that the user is connecting to the correct website and not a malicious imposter.

What is a TLS Certificate?

A TLS Certificate is a digital certificate that is used to verify the identity of a website and establish a secure connection between the website and the user's web browser. The TLS Certificate contains information about the website, including the domain name, the name of the certificate authority (CA) that issued the certificate, and the certificate's expiration date. When a user accesses a website with an TLS Certificate, the browser will establish a secure connection with the website and display a padlock icon in the address bar to indicate that the connection is secure. SSL Certificates are used to secure online transactions and protect sensitive information, such as credit card numbers and login credentials.

How can TLS latency be improved?

SSL latency refers to the time it takes for a secure connection to be established between a client and a server using SSL/TLS encryption. This can be affected by a number of factors, including the distance between the client and server, the speed of the network connection, and the type of SSL cipher suite in use. Poorly optimized SSL implementations can lead to increased latency and slower page load times, which can impact user experience and website performance.

There are several ways to improve SSL latency:

  • Use a CDN: CDNs distribute content across a network of servers, which can help reduce the distance between the client and server and improve SSL latency.
  • Use a faster SSL cipher suite: Modern SSL cipher suites are faster and more efficient than older ones, so switching to a newer cipher suite can improve SSL latency.
  • Use SSL offloading: SSL offloading moves the SSL decryption and encryption process from the server to a dedicated hardware device, freeing up the server to handle other tasks and improving SSL latency.
  • Use SSL session caching: SSL session caching stores SSL session information on the server, so that subsequent requests can be processed more quickly without having to establish a new SSL session.
  • Optimize server configuration: Properly configuring the server to handle SSL traffic can improve SSL latency, such as by disabling unnecessary services and setting appropriate timeouts.