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Introducing Cloudforce One: Cloudflare’s New Threat Operations and Research Team

June 2022 by Blake Darché, Head of Threat Intelligence at Cloudflare

Meet Cloudflare’s new threat operations and research team: Cloudforce One. While this team will publish research, that’s not its reason for being. Its primary objective: track and disrupt threat actors.

The security teams we speak with tell us the same thing: they’re inundated with reports from threat intelligence and security product vendors that do little to improve their actual security. The stories are indeed interesting, but they want deeper insights into the techniques and actors targeting their industry—but even more than that, they want to be protected against these threats with minimal to no involvement. That is the mission on which Cloudforce One will deliver.

This team is led by me, Blake Darché, Area 1’s co-founder and former head of Threat Intelligence. Before starting Area 1, which was acquired by Cloudflare earlier this year, I was a founding member of CrowdStrike’s services organization, and before that a Computer Network Exploitation Analyst at the National Security Agency (NSA). My career has focused on identifying and disrupting sophisticated nation-state sponsored cyber threats before they compromise enterprises and governments, and I’m excited to accelerate that work at Cloudflare.

The Cloudforce One team comprises analysts assigned to Threat Research, Malware and Vulnerability Research, and Threat Operations (i.e., disrupting actors once identified). Collectively, members of the team have tracked many of the most sophisticated cyber criminals on the Internet while at the National Security Agency and Area 1 Security, and have worked closely with similar organizations and governments to disrupt these threat actors. They’ve also been prolific in publishing “finished intel” reports on security topics of significant geopolitical importance, such as targeted attacks against governments, technology companies, the energy sector, and law firms, and have regularly briefed top organizations around the world on their efforts. Oh, and we’re growing the team, so please reach out if you’re interested.

How will Cloudforce One work?

First and foremost, the team will help protect all Cloudflare customers by working closely with our existing product, engineering, and security teams to improve our products based on tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) observed in the wild. Customers will get better protection without having to take any action, and will be able to read a subset of research published on our blog and within the Cloudflare Security Center.

Additionally, enterprise customers who wish to receive one-on-one live briefings from the team, submit periodic inquiries for follow-up, and obtain early access to threat research, will soon be able to sign up for our new Threat Intelligence subscription. All other enterprise customers will be invited to join periodic group briefings.

Lastly, new capabilities within Security Center, such as access to historical threat data via API and threat pivoting features, will also be introduced by the dedicated threat intel engineering team paired with Cloudforce One.

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