Oricon News is a Japanese news outlet providing information about entertainment, music, and movies. It distributes news to over 100 media outlets, including major portals, news applications, and local newspapers. Oricon boasts extremely high page views for the news outlets that it distributes content to.
Oricon News has high visibility, making security a priority for the organization. To bolster its protections against web-based attacks, the company began searching for a web application firewall (WAF) in late 2020 and contacted Domo, a key Cloudflare partner in Japan. For Oricon, usability was a major criterion in the WAF selection process. A WAF must be carefully configured and tuned to achieve maximum effectiveness. This often requires specialized expertise that the company lacked in-house and would be expensive to outsource. Oricon was looking for a solution that could be mostly operated by its in-house security team.
An Oricon News IT Platform Strategy Department team member shares, “In the past, I had heard of Cloudflare’s global network and web performance. When I learned that Cloudflare ‘started out as a security vendor,’ I was intrigued and decided to reach out to Domo, a Cloudflare partner.” Oricon underwent a one-month Proof of Concept (PoC) comparing four existing solutions and three vendors, including Cloudflare. The team member explains, “At the end of the trial, four factors were decisive in our decision to adopt Cloudflare. The WAF was user-friendly, website performance was superior, the management dashboard was intuitive, and pricing was transparent.”
Deploying Cloudflare’s WAF during the PoC left Oricon in a strong position to protect against future attacks. The system was tuned to the company’s environment, and WAF rules are automatically updated by Cloudflare. This automation and the intuitive management dashboard made the solution easy to operate in-house.
Within the first few months of its Cloudflare deployment, Oricon saw significant gains in both security and web performance. In one month, Cloudflare WAF blocked 840,000 attacks against Oricon’s websites. The company was also able to more easily block non-legitimate bots from accessing its Internet-facing services.
By moving its websites to the Cloudflare network, Oricon also dramatically improved webpage performance. The display speed of the company’s pages improved by 21% according to SpeedIndex with a 9.3 improvement in Lighthouse performance score.
Additionally, Cloudflare offers native support for WebP, the latest image format, which improved page load speeds without the need to modify existing content. Oricon is also using Cloudflare’s image resizing technology to improve user experience by optimizing content for different devices.
According to an IT Platform Strategy Department team member, “Moving to the Cloudflare network was the first step. We were able to improve the display speed of the website as well as the security measures, which is Cloudflare's greatest asset.” At the same time, Oricon was able to achieve its goal of managing its WAF in-house without the need for external consultants.
Oricon is also looking to the future for options to further improve its web performance with Cloudflare Workers, a next-generation serverless edge computing solution, that can enable websites to be loaded even more quickly by moving content closer to the user.
“We chose Cloudflare for four main reasons - the WAF was user-friendly, website performance was superior, the management dashboard was intuitive, and pricing was transparent.”
IT Platform Strategy Department