We always talk about how CloudFlare gets smarter, and we do that in a variety of ways. One of the ways is that we look at changes in traffic to a site. If there is a big change, then our system automatically starts to investigate whether it is legitimate traffic or an attack. If it is not legitimate traffic, then the system automatically starts to learn and starts to stop the new threats at our edge nodes, before they hit the site's server. Not only is that information helpful to the site in question, but it gets shared across the entire CloudFlare community so everyone benefits.
Here is a fantastic visualization of CloudFlare getting smarter in action. One of our user's site was under a denial of service (ddos) attack earlier this week. You can see the surge in traffic (the green line). Then, soon after, you can see the CloudFlare system start to learn from the change in data and start identifying that the new traffic is indeed an attack (red line), rather than a surge in legitimate traffic. As CloudFlare starts to identify the new traffic as an attack, the system starts to block it at our edge nodes around the world. This means that the site is safe from the attack, there is less load to their server and legitimate traffic to their site is totally unaffected.
When we shared the situation with the website owner, he summed it up best when he said: "That's freaking awesome!" We couldn't agree more.
Since CloudFlare continually gets smarter, any site, regardless of its size, benefits the entire community. You can sign up for a Free account here. With CloudFlare, you'll get web security protection for your site regardless of plan type.