Founded in the 1930s, natural health supplements company Blackmores is one of Australia’s leading brands. For 12 years running, Australian consumers have voted Blackmores the country’s Most Trusted Vitamin and Supplement Brand. Blackmores’ extensive range of vitamins, minerals, and herbal and nutritional supplements are sold throughout Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.
Blackmores IT operations were siloed. The BioCeuticals brand had its own IT team, which was using Cloudflare solutions, while the rest of the organisation was using a different a mix of technologies. Two years ago, Blackmores’ IT teams were consolidated, and Andrew Grech was brought on as the company’s Head of IT Digital.
Grech immediately wanted to simplify IT operations by implementing uniform technology solutions company-wide.
“I examined how our BioCeuticals brand was using Cloudflare’s solutions, and I realised they could be used throughout our environment,” he recalls. “We wanted to enhance the reliability of our systems, minimize our costs, and have a central portal through which we could manage our IT environment,” Andrew said.
Cloudflare Access enhances remote access security and eliminates the need for IP rulesets.
Blackmores now uses a single sign-on (SSO) solution and Azure AD. Blackmores also uses Access to protect all of its public-facing services. In combination with Cloudflare Page Rules, users can control how Cloudflare works on a URL or subdomain basis, to protect the administrative functions of these services.
“Access and Page Rules enable us to restrict functions to trusted users in trusted locations,” Goddard explains. “This makes it far easier for our employees and vendors to access the services they need, and we now have a completely secure environment. We no longer have to worry about whether a service is too open or too locked down.”
Blackmores is using Workers, Cloudflare’s serverless development solution, for its new B(more) subscription service. People are asked questions about their health and wellbeing and receive recommendations for vitamin combinations that are customized to their specific needs. “This technology enables us to provide a highly personalized online experience, that will ultimately enhance sales,” Grech says.
“The B(more) project required Blackmores to serve and post content from two different environments, which had entirely different features and functionalities. Workers allows us to use different platforms to form the overall solution without having to do Git requests,” Andrew said.
Prior to implementing Cloudflare’s WAF solution, Blackmores used the native security settings in Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure, as well as internal solutions. However, these tools didn’t provide the team with sufficient visibility or control over firewall rules.
“Granular control over firewall rules is important to us,” Goddard says.
“When a problem occurs, the WAF allows us to pinpoint where it’s happening so that we can fix it. We can see the origins of all cyberattacks, not just DDoS. For example, if we’re noticing an unusual increase in subscriptions or processes coming from a single origin, we can write rules to mitigate them.”
Overall, Blackmores’ websites consist of about 60% static content and 40% dynamic content. Prior to implementing Cloudflare CDN, Blackmores delivered all of this directly from their origin servers. Caching static content through the CDN and delivering it as close as possible to each user has improved response times and load times.
Pairing the Cloudflare CDN with Argo Routing has improved overall page responsiveness and simplified developer processes by reducing complexity.
Cloudflare’s WAF provides Blackmores with total visibility and granular control
Cloudflare Access enhances efficiency while enabling Blackmores to provide secure remote access to 200 users worldwide.
Cloudflare Workers simplifies cross-origin requests for Blackmores’ customized subscription service.
“Cloudflare is like a Swiss army knife, with solutions that fit an amazing variety of performance and security use cases.”
Director of IT, Engineering & Operations
“Cloudflare is continually enhancing their current products and building new functionality. We have complete control over our data environment, with nearly unlimited customization ability. We’ve been able to achieve all of our goals with one platform.”
Senior DevOps Engineer