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FastMail ensures that they never lose a message with Cloudflare protecting their DNS infrastructure.
FastMail is a premium email hosting service based in Melbourne, Australia. Its clients range from small individual users to large enterprise customers. Their goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to access email on any device.
FastMail’s Challenge: Protecting DNS Infrastructure to Ensure That Email Always Gets Delivered
In November of 2015 FastMail received a DDoS attack threat from hackers demanding a ransom in exchange for refraining from the attack. A DDoS attack on a mail provider, as FastMail explained in their blog post about the event, "is like being unable to get to your post box because a huge crowd has formed around the front door of the post office." Maintaining their stance to refuse negotiations with any hacker group FastMail refused to deliver the ransom and took internal precautions to ensure their customers would still be able to access their mail in the event of an attack. Though FastMail's mitigation strategies largely worked for this attack, they were in search of a security partner that would give them peace of mind in the case of any future threats or attacks.
FastMail's Solution: A Reverse Proxy for DNS Infrastructure
FastMail decided that the best solution to their challenge was Cloudflare's DNS Firewall service. DNS Firewall is a service where FastMail uses Cloudflare's network as a reverse proxy for their DNS infrastructure. That is, traffic aimed at FastMail's DNS servers is first routed through one of Cloudflare's global Data Centers, where malicious requests are blocked and 100% clean traffic is then directed to FastMail's masked origin servers. This solution is perfect for FastMail because, as Rob Norris, Operations Manager at FastMail, "As long as you have DNS you don’t bounce mail, but when DNS goes down so does mail." DNS Firewall is thus especially helpful to FastMail because it means that their DNS is always on, and thus their mail will always get delivered. "We work really hard on reliability" said David Gurvich, marketing manager at FastMail, "But with Cloudflare we get peace of mind. Even if we disappear off the network, Cloudflare is going to continue to serve edge DNS for us and thereby ensuring messages don't get lost."