IBM, Cloudflare team up to battle complex security concerns

  • 95% of organizations reported having more than one data breach in 2023

  • Bot attacks are becoming more sophisticated to derail modern initiatives such as moving to the cloud

  • Hybrid cloud environments are the most vulnerable to bot breaches

IBM and Cloudflare will reignite their collaborative history with the release of Cloudflare Bot Management on IBM Cloud Internet Services (CIS) — this time teaming to battle bots with several detection methods for enterprise premiere plan users. 

The IBM x Cloudflare bot management roll-out “is designed to help enterprises across the globe and sectors — including those operating in heavily regulated industries — support critical security, performance and resiliency needs,” Nataraj Nagaratnam, IBM Fellow and CTO of Cloud Security, told Silverlinings via email. 

82% of breaches that involved data are stored in the cloud
* (Source: IBM)

The release couldn’t come at a better time. A recent IBM Data Breach report revealed 95% of organizations reported having more than one data breach in 2023. The vast majority of breaches involved data stored in various cloud environments. 

“Bot attacks have the potential to damage brands, steal sensitive information, take over accounts and negatively impact the bottom line,” according

to Nagaratnam. “IBM Cloud prescribes a data-centric approach to security, and provides unique capabilities to protect data. Those capabilities combined with network protection with CIS’ Bot Management enables a risk-based approach centered on sensitivity of data and criticality of workload.”



According to IBM’s report, hybrid cloud environments are the most vulnerable to bot breaches, and the most common breaches included data that spanned over multiple environments (39% of breaches), including cloud and on-premises. Public cloud data breaches accounted for over a quarter (27%) of attacks this year. 

Cloudflare and IBM’s detection methods seek to squash bots and protect against future attacks by using enhanced behavioral analysis, which Nagaratnam described as helping “organizations monitor and respond to abnormal traffic patterns on Internet applications to mitigate potential bot threats in near real-time.”

Plus, Cloudflare Bot Management on IBM CIS uses machine learning-driven bot identification, which “is trained on hundreds of billions of requests per day, with Cloudflare’s machine learning creating a bot score for every request running through its network,” explained Nagaratnam. “The solution automatically filters out content scraping and site crawling as well as inventory hoarding and credit card stuffing. It also detects anomalies by conducting site-specific learning to flag anomalies and attack spikes.”

Bills, bills, bills 

The costs of attacks are getting out of control, and a majority (51%) of organizations plan to armor up by increasing spending on security, according to the IBM report. 



breach cost index
* (Source: IBM)

The cost of data breaches spanning multiple environments hit $4.75 million, which was “the highest cost of the environments analyzed” and 17.6% higher than the cost of data breaches in a private cloud environment, the report stated.

Enterprises today “will come to realize that bot management is a key component to overall security,” wrote Nagaratnam. 

IBM and Cloudflare have been working together for several years, most recently in 2018.

“Together, we’ve been able to configure mission-critical web and application performance and security solutions to help enterprises combat critical security challenges,” wrote Nagaratnam. But the fight seems far from over against malicious bots.