With Cloudflare, Tamr achieves unparalleled protection against the #1 cyber attack vector

Tamr is a highly scalable next-generation data mastering platform that allows customers to use data product templates to consolidate messy source data into clean, curated, analytics-ready datasets. Organizations benefit from Tamr Mastering, the industry’s first suite of data product templates that combine human curation, patented machine learning, mastering rules and enrichment with first- and third-party data to accelerate business outcomes and deliver business-changing insights.

Tamr’s cloud-native and SaaS solutions enable industry leaders such as Toyota, Western Union and GSK to get ahead and stay ahead in a rapidly changing competitor environment. Tamr’s work in the public sector includes the U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, Department of Homeland Security and various other federal and local government agencies.

Challenge: Securing the environment, especially for email services

Ensuring airtight security for IT systems is one of Tamr’s top business priorities. Tamr’s lead cloud architect Nick Laferriere notes that because so many of Tamr customers are Fortune 1000 and government entities, the company must demonstrate compliance with all major security regulations and standards.

“Before these companies will consider our products, we have to fill out their security questionnaire,” Laferriere explains. “If we can’t answer yes to all of their security requirements, we don’t get a seat at the table.”

In the past, Tamr was particularly concerned about email security because phishing is a major cybersecurity threat to organizations of all sizes. The company’s Google G suite email system included some security protections, but the IT team determined that Tamr needed more robust G Suite email protection than was available off the shelf.

In addition, the shift to remote work has increased pressure on the Tamr IT team to maintain strong security. The team is committed to enabling employees to work securely from home and be fully productive.

“The majority of our people work remotely now, and it's a different paradigm from the past,” Laferriere says. “But the way we selected our vendors and put together our cloud infrastructure allowed us to make the shift while continuing to operate securely.”

The solution: Cloudflare Email Security delivers cloud-based protection for Tamr’s #1 business application

When Tamr sought out additional email protection seven years ago, the IT team selected Cloudflare email security for two main reasons:

  • The solution's robust capabilities for stopping threats at the border of the network
  • The ability to protect email without setting up physical hardware

“Cloudflare was the only solution that fit into our tech stack and that also demonstrated a compelling case around security,” says Laferriere. He adds that it took only about an hour to configure the solution and get it running initially. “It has worked seamlessly since the beginning and we spend very little time managing it. About once a year we take a look at the list of new features and then spend an hour or so activating the ones we want to use. So the cost of ownership for us is very low.”

According to Laferriere, phishing attacks tend to increase following heavy marketing and/or broadcasting activities that bring increased attention to Tamr. “Area 1 steps in and blocks the attacks, which means we aren’t even aware of them except when we take a look at the product’s console.”

Cloudflare's email security console keeps IT informed of threats

The Cloudflare email security console offers a variety of views that give Tamr’s security team rich visibility into the volume and nature of ongoing threats. The “malicious threat types” view provides a breakdown of the type of threats involved and the percentage each one represents. Consequently, Tamr security people can identify their greatest areas of risk and make employees aware of the threats they need to recognize and avoid.

TAMR - Dashboard

The “total detections” view provides visibility into the total number of email messages processed, along with insight into the percentage of malicious versus suspicious versus spam verdicts, as well as other characteristics. This information apprises the security team of the overall threat picture at any point in time.

TAMR Dashboard 2

Additional views include “threat origins,” which shows geographic locations where threats are generated. This information enables the security team to track concentrations of attacks from various parts of the world.

The power of consolidating services

Tamr has been using Cloudflare services like the Web Application Firewall (WAF) and DDoS Mitigation since early 2021, and they see the benefit of being able to add email security to their Cloudflare portfolio.

”Working with a smaller number of trusted vendors simplifies the purchasing and management of solutions and strengthens vendor partnerships,” Laferriere says.

“We are confident that the front door is guarded and that even when new threats emerge, Cloudflare will be ahead of the game in terms of security and its software. We have a significant amount of trust in Cloudflare as a partner,” Laferriere concludes.

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Key Results
  • Serverless model keeps infrastructure costs in check

  • Minimal tuning or maintenance, with only about 40 hours of management time invested over seven years

  • A single vendor email security, DNS, WAF, and DDoS application security, supporting Tamr's goal of achieving more economical, efficient acquisition and management

What’s impressive is how little management the Cloudflare email solution requires. We’ve had it for seven years and I’ve spent maybe a total 40 hours configuring it over that time. So the total cost of ownership is extremely low. There's so little maintenance and it works so well that we’ve never considered switching to anything else.

Nick Laferriere
Lead Cloud Architect

Tamr is always on the lookout for solutions that don’t require setting up physical hardware. When we needed to enhance our email security, Cloudflare was the only email protection provider that aligned with our cloud-only philosophy.

Nick Laferriere
Lead Cloud Architect