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Cloudflare Zero Trust for Project Galileo and the Athenian Project


6 min read

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The organizations served by Projects Galileo and Athenian face the same security challenges as some of the world’s largest companies, but lack the budget to protect themselves. Sophisticated phishing campaigns attempt to compromise user credentials. Bad actors find ways to disrupt connectivity to critical resources. However, the tools to defend against these threats have historically only been available to the largest enterprises.

We’re excited to help fix that. Starting today, we are making the Cloudflare One Zero Trust suite available to teams that qualify for Project Galileo or Athenian at no cost. Cloudflare One includes the same Zero Trust security and connectivity solutions used by over 10,000 customers today to connect their users and safeguard their data.

Same problem, different missions

Athenian Project candidates work to safeguard elections in the United States. Project Galileo applicants launched their causes to support journalists, encourage artistic expression, or protect persecuted groups. They each set out to fix difficult and painful problems. None of the applications to our programs wrote their mission statement to deal with phishing attacks or internal data loss.

However, security problems plague these teams. Instead of being able to focus on their unique mission, these groups spend money, time, and energy attempting to defend from attacks. The headaches range from expensive distractions to outright breaches. Even the mundane work to connect employees to important tools continues to be a headache. Every chore or incident takes away from the ability of these organizations to advance their cause.

We built Cloudflare One to solve the common security problems that can derail any team. Our mission is to help build a better Internet and, in doing so, we create tools that allow the groups served by the Athenian Project and Project Galileo spend as much of their day solving their own unique challenges.

The products we are making available today provide security against a broad, and growing, range of attacks that target how a team works together on the Internet. Project Galileo and Athenian candidates can choose to start in any place depending on their existing security challenges. If you need a guide on where to get started, we’ve broken down three common first steps that we recommend.

1) Stop phishing attacks

Many phishing attacks start with a malicious link buried in a single email from a sender that seems trustworthy. A user in your organization clicks on that link, believing it to be from a teammate or manager, and lands on a website that looks almost identical to your identity provider or one of the web applications they use every day. They input their username and password, sending their credentials directly to the attacker.

Cloudflare One’s email security, our Area 1 product, is our first line of phishing defense. Area 1 scans the emails headed to your organization for the presence of potential phishing campaigns and other types of security attacks. Malicious messages never arrive without interrupting the emails that your team should receive. You can deploy Area 1 in minutes with a few changes to your DNS records to safeguard your Microsoft 365, Gmail, or nearly any other email deployment.

As part of today’s announcement, we are making Area 1 available to Project Galileo and Athenian organizations at no cost. The same level of protection trusted by large corporations from Werner Enterprises to Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods firms is now available to your team.

In some cases, an email evades detection or the phishing link reaches your users through other channels. Cloudflare One can still help. When your team members navigate the Internet, they rely on DNS queries made by their device in order to translate the hostname of a website to the IP address of the server. Their device sends those queries to a DNS resolver.

Cloudflare runs the world’s fastest DNS resolver,, and we offer a security version that also filters DNS queries made to destinations that are known to be malicious. If a user accidentally clicks on a link from a text message or in a website, their device first sends that DNS query to Cloudflare. If dangerous, we stop the query before the malicious destination can load. If benign, we’ll respond with the destination faster than other resolvers.

Cloudflare’s DNS filtering keeps the US Federal Government safe, but can be deployed by teams of any size. You can secure entire office networks with the change of one router setting or deploy our roaming agent to keep your users safe wherever they work. Together with email protection, your team can filter out phishing attacks in a defense-in-depth approach.

2) Connect employees and partners

Many teams that qualify for Project Galileo had to find ways to work across geographies long before the pandemic sent employees home from other companies. These teams typically deployed a legacy virtual private network (VPN) to allow team members from across the world to reach the tools they needed to collect data, file stories, or submit research. At best, those VPN deployments slowed down user connectivity and introduced maintenance headaches. At worst, they gave anyone on the network overly broad access to nearly any resource.

With Cloudflare One, your team can operate in any location and still reach your internal tools while controlling exactly who can access which application or service. Organizations that need to operate a traditional private network can run one on Cloudflare by deploying our device client (WARP) on user endpoints and establishing outbound connections to our global network via Cloudflare Tunnel. Users enjoy the performance and availability of Cloudflare’s network while administrators can build granular permissions without the need for additional application development.

We also know that many Galileo and Athenian organizations work alongside hundreds or thousands of partners and volunteers. Those users need to also reach internal resources but are not willing or able to install software on their personal devices.

To solve that challenge, Cloudflare One can be deployed in a fully clientless mode that can use multiple identity providers including consumer options like Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Users authenticate with the single-sign on option they already use from any mobile or desktop device. Administrators control which users can reach specific applications while logging every attempt.

3) Secure your team’s path to the Internet

Beyond phishing attacks, bad actors target organizations with other types of threats like malware hidden in downloads. Researchers and journalists exploring a topic with untrusted sources can bring ransomware back into the entire organization. Team members connecting to the Internet from a hotel Wi-Fi network can have unencrypted DNS queries monitored and reported.

Cloudflare One provides every member of your team with an encrypted, secured on-ramp to the entire Internet. Powered by the same Cloudflare WARP agent that helps millions of users enjoy a more private Internet connection, Cloudflare’s Secure Web Gateway filters all Internet-bound for hidden threats.

When users inadvertently connect to a malicious destination, Cloudflare One will block the attempt and present them with a page explaining what just happened. In the other direction, Cloudflare’s network scans downloads for malware and blocks the download before the user can open it.

The same filtering can be extended to keep sensitive data from leaving your organization. You can build rules that flag file uploads that contain personal information or patterns that are unique to your team or focus area. With just a few clicks, you can create policies that prevent the accidental or malicious loss of data while also restricting uploads to approved destinations.

All without the need for an enterprise IT department

Today’s announcement makes the security technology deployed by the world’s largest enterprises available to organizations of any size. And, despite the broad impact of Athenian and Galileo organizations, that size tends to be smaller.

The teams supported by Project Galileo focus limited resources on advancing journalism, artistic expression, human rights, and other causes. The state and local governments who qualify for the Athenian Project spend their days protecting democracy in the United States. Both groups tend to lack the resources of a Fortune 500 to staff and operate a large IT department.

We built Cloudflare One as a service that a team could configure and deploy in a matter of hours and still benefit from comprehensive Zero Trust security. We’ve published a Zero Trust Roadmap that your team can use to determine how to get started with guidelines for the time required at each step.

How to get started

We’re excited to extend Projects Galileo and Athenian to include Cloudflare One. Are you an existing qualified organization or interested in applying? Follow the link here and here to get started.

If you are not part of Project Galileo or Athenian, but still want to begin deploying Cloudflare One, we make the service available at no cost to teams of up to 50 users. Click here to sign up.

We protect entire corporate networks, help customers build Internet-scale applications efficiently, accelerate any website or Internet application, ward off DDoS attacks, keep hackers at bay, and can help you on your journey to Zero Trust.

Visit from any device to get started with our free app that makes your Internet faster and safer.

To learn more about our mission to help build a better Internet, start here. If you're looking for a new career direction, check out our open positions.
Impact WeekProject GalileoAthenian Project

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