KUKA was founded in 1898 to manufacture lighting products for homes and city streets in Germany. In its over 120-year history, the company has repeatedly transformed itself to meet the needs of the modern market. Today, KUKA is a global automation corporation headquartered in Augsburg, Germany. As one of the world’s leading suppliers of intelligent automation solutions, KUKA offers customers everything they need from a single source: from robots and cells to fully automated systems and their networking in markets such as automotive, electronics, metal & plastic, consumer goods, e-commerce/retail, and healthcare.
KUKA was facing an increasing volume of application-layer attacks that impacted the accessibility of its corporate website. As with all major enterprises, website outages and performance problems had the potential to negatively impact brand image and the ability of current and potential customers to contact KUKA.
Prior to implementing Cloudflare, the KUKA team faced the daunting task of manually analyzing and mitigating attacks. As a result, the IT staff was spending significant time and effort remediating these threats.
Relying on manual incident response resulted in greater performance degradation and impact to the company than if the attacks were handled automatically. According to Alexander Bronnhuber, Head of IT Services (Digital Marketing, Application Lifecycle Management and Production IT) at KUKA, “Every hour that our website is down, we would lose a considerable amount of leads that don't go to our CRM system. While this doesn’t impact production, it hurts our marketing and customer experience.”
After deploying Cloudflare WAF, KUKA saw a dramatic improvement in its ability to detect and mitigate attacks on its website. Christian Fürst, Project Architect at KUKA, says, “With Cloudflare, we actually see more attacks because Cloudflare is picking up low-level attacks that we were missing before.”
Remediating these threats has also become much easier for KUKA. In the past, the team manually collected and analyzed raw logs and traffic flow data to identify threats. Now, the data is automatically collected, analyzed, and displayed in the Cloudflare dashboard. According to Bronnhuber, this has dramatically reduced the time spent handling these attacks. He says, “We work in three-week sprints, and we sometimes would spend one man-week of time per sprint mitigating attacks. Now, maybe twice a month we see an attack that requires someone to manually block an IP address in the Cloudflare dashboard.”
The protection provided by the Cloudflare network also makes incident response faster and easier. In the past, an attack could cause KUKA’s servers to become less responsive, making it difficult to collect data and make the necessary changes. Now, attacks are blocked before they reach KUKA’s systems, improving server performance and making manual data collection and attack remediation unnecessary.
KUKA selected Cloudflare after performing a proof-of-concept comparison against other solutions. While Cloudflare was not the only solution to fully meet KUKA's functional requirements, it distinguished itself as the best overall package, including automated threat detection and response and improved web application performance. One major differentiator in the comparison was Argo Smart Routing. With Argo enabled, Cloudflare delivered a 45% improvement in response time consistency thanks to optimized traffic routing. They also saw an average of 11.5% improvement in time-to-first-byte and, for traffic from remote locations, the time-to-first-byte was even faster by 25% - thanks to the global Cloudflare network.
In addition to its rich feature set, the company culture at Cloudflare was a major selling point for KUKA. According to Rainer Stein, Project Manager, “When you evaluate IT solutions and realize a potential supplier isn't really interested in working on equal footing with you, maybe you shouldn't work together in the first place. Cloudflare feels like part of the KUKA team.”
Cloudflare won in terms of usability as well. Bronnhuber says, “You click on the dashboard, and you'll immediately get a feeling about how the software works. I didn't have to do any training to start working with the system.”
KUKA is known for its inventive culture and ability to adapt to market needs. By partnering with Cloudflare, KUKA ensures that its corporate websites are accessible to its customers and are armed with protections against evolving cyber threats. Fürst says, “Cloudflare is in tune with the way we work: agile and outcome-driven. Their solutions and support save valuable time and allow us to put the focus back on really advancing rather than just defending our status quo against attacks.”
Cloudflare WAF saves over a dozen hours per week by eliminating manual incident response.
Automated data collection and threat detection provide insight into previously invisible attacks.
Decreased time-to-first-byte by up to 25% using Argo Smart Routing, improving the customer experience.
“You click on the Cloudflare dashboard, and you'll immediately get a feeling about how the software works. I didn't have to do any training to start working with the system.”
Head of IT Services (Digital Marketing, Application Lifecycle Management and Production IT)
“Cloudflare is in tune with the way we work: agile and outcome-driven. Their solutions and support save valuable time and allow us to put the focus back on really advancing rather than just defending our status quo against attacks.”