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The Importance of Global Edge Security (GES)

When building your website, you want it to be just as secure as it is well designed. If you are running a WordPress site, Global Edge Security (GES) is a great network security add-on option. GES is an enterprise-grade product offered by WP Engine that provides several key technologies in this era of security, privacy, and performance.

If your website runs on WordPress, it may be time to add on GES for improved security. Read on to learn more about Global Edge Security.

What is Global Edge Security (GES)?

Powering more than 80,000 customers, GES is a cloud-first solution that combines WP Engine’s platform with Cloudflare’s managed web application firewall (WAF), distributed denial of service (DDoS), CDN, and automatic SSL installation. Together GES powers sites across the global edge network. 

From two-factor authentication to daily backups, WP Engine’s GES adds on to the platform’s security benefits. The integration of Cloudflare protects websites and allows them to function better.

According to the WP Engine blog, four major benefits of GES include:

  • Protects businesses with DDoS mitigation 
  • Secures customer data with SSL/TLS encryption
  • Ensures app and server availability with managed WAF
  • Accelerates internet applications with Cloudflare CDN

Technical Components of GES

The following are the key components of the Global Edge Security solution.

Managed Web Application Firewall (WAF)

A managed web application firewall filters and monitors web traffic. One of the things that makes WAF different from other firewalls is that it is managed by someone else other than yourself—in this case, WP Engine and Cloudflare. The GES WAF blocks the most common courses of website attacks.

Cloudflare’s servers use the OWASP ModSecurity rule set as the edge, protecting your website from numerous vulnerabilities. The WAF also uses a set of security rules outlined by Cloudflare.

Advanced DDoS Mitigation

Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, refers to attacks on the Network, Transport, and Application layers of the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model.

The Network Layer (Layer 3) defines the physical path requests should take through the internet. The Transport Layer (Layer 4) is responsible for transmitting and assembling data between two endpoints. Attacks on these layers were popular in the past. Their purpose is to make your website inaccessible. 

Attacks on the Application Layer (Layer 7) are more common in the past few years. The attacks on this layer are typically botnets, or private computers with malicious software, designed to send spam messages to get past security measures. Cloudflare’s Edge servers can detect whether a request is legitimate and blocks those that are not. This ensures only genuine traffic makes it to your site.

Cloudflare CDN

Cloudflare Content Delivery Network (CDN) adds performance and caching benefits along with their GES security measures. A CDN is a network of servers that are spread out geographically but linked together to provide fast delivery of internet content.

According to Cloudflare, the benefits of a CDN include:

  • Improving Website Loading Times
  • Reducing Bandwidth Costs
  • Increasing Content Availability and Redundancy
  • Improving Website Security

Cloudflare CDN is very customizable. Cloudflare allows you to control how content is cached on its network. You can see exactly what resources are cached and what are not. 

Cloudflare Polish

Images are major elements to a website. Downloading these images affects the loading speed of a webpage, which affects SEO. Cloudflare Polish optimizes images in just one click and improves performance.

There are two modes: lossless or lossy. The lossless removes all the unnecessary information from an image file, such as the meta data. With lossless, images appear the same as they would before being optimized. Lossy also removes necessary information from an image file; however, it also compresses images using an algorithm. 

Cloudflare Polish also adds the WebP file format. It is a next generation image format that provides lossless compression for graphics. Cloudflare Polish creates one of these WebP files of each image and caches it. If the user’s browser supports it, Cloudflare Polish delivers that image to the user. 

Automatic SSL Installation

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) is the cryptographic protocol for authenticating and encrypting data over a network. It authenticates the server, negotiates, and creates the shared key. SSL also isolates each connection using the shared key to secure communications.

WP Engine’s GES automatically installs the SSL certificates in the WP Engine User Portal on the Cloudflare Edge servers. The connection between the end user’s browser and Cloudflare will be encrypted as well as the connection between Cloudflare and the WP Engine. 

Argo Smart Routing

Argo Smart Routing allows you to accelerate your traffic with just a click. Cloudflare states that on average, web assets perform 30% faster with Argo Smart Routing. Some benefits include:

  • Faster Loading Times – Web traffic is delivered via the fastest links resulting in faster web assets and better user experience
  • Increased Reliability – The live view of network conditions allows Argo to route around bottlenecks, delivering increased uptime
  • Integrated Security – Traffic is encrypted across the Cloudflare network and protects web traffic from threats
  • Reduced Costs – Minimizes content requests reducing bandwidth use and latency

Get Started with GES

We at Enilon have seen significant performance improvements firsthand when implementing WP Engine’s Global Edge Security. On average, our clients’ have seen a 20% to 30% increase in traffic, while being kept secure from malicious attacks.

Give yourself peace of mind from security breaches and bot attacks, and increase your site speed with GES. We invite you to contact us today to learn more about our digital marketing solutions.

Enilon

Enilon

We are a team of digital stewards who work closely with our clients to build connected digital programs that fuel growth & innovation.

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