Authentication 3.0: Udaan Taps Cloudflare Access to Secure India’s Largest B2B Platform

Udaan is one of India's marquee entrepreneurial success stories. Founded by three former top executives of Flipkart (which was acquired by Walmart for $16 billion), Udaan has already established itself as India's largest business-to-business e-commerce platform — bringing together manufacturers, brands, white labels, traders, wholesalers and retailers who buy and sell everything from smartphones to fashion to fruits and vegetables. The platform facilitates efficient, transparent, and convenient transactions for its network of 3 million retailers in 900 cities, connecting them with 20,000 sellers across the country who offer a broad selection of high quality products at the best prices.

Facilitating commerce for a population as large and diverse as India's is a gargantuan technological undertaking. Udaan has been responsively proactive about ensuring it has the foundation in place to meet its rapidly-rising demand — and Cloudflare plays a crucial role.

According to Amod Malviya, co-founder of Udaan, “We wanted to be oriented towards the future, so it was important to get these fundamentals right. We adopted Cloudflare early in our journey to ensure we have best-in-class security and performance, while minimizing our operational overhead — and Cloudflare has definitely delivered.”

“We’re huge fans of Cloudflare,” Malviya adds. “You won’t find a bigger evangelist in India.”

The Cloudflare Solution

Udaan first came to Cloudflare for its comprehensive security protection, including DDoS mitigation and Cloudflare's Web Application Firewall.

Cloudflare security products are powered by collective intelligence derived from millions of Internet properties on its network: insights gained from an attack against any one of these properties are used to better protect them all. That means Cloudflare's firewall is automatically updated to protect against the latest threats.

“We’re growing extremely quickly, and from the beginning we’ve been prepared for potential attention from hostile actors. Cloudflare's network automatically absorbs attacks, so we don’t even notice them — it definitely helps us rest easier at night.”

— Amod Malviya
Co-founder, Udaan

Protection from hostile attacks was just the beginning: as it explored Cloudflare's dashboard, Udaan discovered a range of additional enhancements to take advantage of. Cloudflare makes it easy to deploy features like Argo Smart Routing and next-generation protocols like HTTP2 with the flick of a switch — allowing Udaan to deliver these benefits to its millions of users with minimal effort.

Access: Enabled

One of the biggest wins for Udaan's team has been Cloudflare Access, the zero trust solution for access management.

Cloudflare Access is a modern alternative to conventional VPNs. Instead of simply securing the perimeter of the network and trusting anything that makes it inside, as a VPN does — Cloudflare Access digitally interrogates every request from each user. And unlike VPNs, which are notorious for configuration headaches and unreliability, Cloudflare Access is frictionless and nearly invisible to the end-user (provided they have the appropriate credentials).

Because of their experiences with traditional VPNs, Udaan's founders knew they wanted a more robust, intuitive solution for access management. The team initially began developing its own authentication solution before adopting Cloudflare Access — but after a brief trial with Access, they quickly decided to go all-in with Cloudflare's solution.

Today, Udaan has thousands of users secured with Cloudflare Access, spanning employees, interns, and third-party vendors — Udaan can configure and enforce access policies with granular control for each of them. Cloudflare Access also streamlines the process of onboarding contractors, obviating the need to enroll them in complex HR systems while maintaining a strong security posture that grants them limited permissions.

“VPNs are frustrating and lead to countless wasted cycles for employees and the IT staff supporting them. Furthermore, conventional VPNs can lull people into a false sense of security. With Cloudflare Access, we have a far more reliable, intuitive, secure solution that operates on a per user, per access basis. I think of it as Authentication 2.0 — even 3.0"

— Amod Malviya
Co-founder, Udaan

Solutions Without Tradeoffs

One of the best things about Cloudflare is the fact that its security and performance products are designed to work in tandem, without the increase in latency that can be associated with layering multiple cloud services. And that's exactly what a platform experiencing explosive growth is looking for:

“Done right, technology is about eliminating tradeoffs — and Cloudflare is a classic example of how you can get both security and performance without compromising either.

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Key Results

• With Cloudflare Access, Udaan enforces granular access policies across thousands of employees and contractors.

• Udaan leverages Cloudflare's WAF, DDoS Mitigation, HTTP/2, and more — all from the same unified dashboard.

VPNs are frustrating and lead to countless wasted cycles for employees and the IT staff supporting them. With Cloudflare Access, we have a far more reliable, intuitive, secure solution that operates on a per user, per access basis. I think of it as Authentication 2.0 — even 3.0

Amod Malviya
Co-founder, Udaan