Dream Girl Foundation

“Cloudflare helps us get the most out of our data online by feeling secure and confident about our web presence.”

Dream Girl Foundation was founded in 2003 with the mission of providing a better future to underprivileged girls in India. It provides healthcare and education to girls up to 14 years old to enhance the range of opportunities available to them as adults.

Providing educational support and life-changing medical care

Through the foundation’s many Non-Formal Education Centers (NFEs), girls who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn are taught arithmetic and reading in Hindi and English, preparing them for education in formal schooling systems. For children with life-threatening diseases, Dream Girl Foundation provides quality treatment.

Having expanded substantially in the last few years, the foundation now operates in multiple cities throughout India and supports over 600 girls annually.

Overcoming barriers to both fundraising and volunteering efforts

Funding these endeavors is a challenge within itself. With a small team based out of New Delhi, resources to fundraise are limited. Donations from individuals via Dream Girl Foundation’s website are key to the survival of the nonprofit. Ankit Madaan, manager and lead of web security at Dream Girl Foundation, estimates that over half of public interaction with Dream Girl Foundation occurs online. As he describes, “The website is our lifeline.”

Using the web to connect with potential donors and volunteers significantly increases the reach of a nonprofit, but it also comes with new risks. Starting in 2015, Dream Girl Foundation suffered from several cyber security attacks, compromising their data and putting the privacy of volunteers and donors at risk. As Madaan described, a public leak of private volunteer information eroded public trust in the organization, resulting in a sharp drop in the number of volunteers, and impacting the service that ultimately benefits underprivileged girls.

Deploying tools to secure key assets

Madaan was searching for a permanent solution when he read about Project Galileo from Cloudflare. He applied to join, “impressed that the company was easy for a person with limited technical knowledge to understand.”

After joining Project Galileo, Madaan used Cloudflare documentation to configure the site, and the Dream Girl Foundation immediately saw the attacks stop. “If we were not using Cloudflare, then the attacks would still be happening multiple times and data would be compromised. We would have to change the approach to our platform and keep data offline, which would impact operations.”

Through deployment of the Web Application Firewall, Bot Management, and Brotli compression, the site remains up and running securely. Madaan describes analytics, though, as “the most important feature.” He adds, “You can see that the site is getting attacked, how many attempted attacks are happening per month, and how safe your data is online.”

Evidence of protection from Cloudflare helps volunteers and donors alike feel more confident about working with the foundation.

With their website safely secure, Dream Girl Foundation can focus on helping underprivileged girls receive vital healthcare and education assistance. As Madaan puts it, “Cloudflare helps us get the most out of our data online by feeling secure and confident about our web presence.”

If we were not using Cloudflare, then the attacks would still be happening multiple times and data would be compromised. We would have to change the approach to our platform and keep data offline, which would impact operations.

Ankit Madaan
Manager and Lead of Web Security