Founder Focus: Star Simpson, CEO of Therecraft
Founder Focus is a “Humans of New York” style spotlight on the human stories behind diverse startup founders, their life experiences and perspectives, the origin stories of their startups, and the path they took to where they are today.
Music Music All right, cool.
So, hi everyone. I'm Jade, I run this, I run the startup program here at Cloudflare, and this is our first episode of Founder Focus, where we shine the spotlight on founders their backup stories and the origin stories of founders.
of their startups.
For our first episode, we have as our guest, Star Simpson, the founder and CEO of Theircraft.
Thank you for coming on the show, Star. Thanks, Jade.
Thanks for having me. Cool. Before we get started, I want to let everyone know that down below there's a link live stream at Cloudflare.tv where as someone in the audience, you can email in your questions.
So before we jump into what your startup does, I'm going to roll a little video clip here, and hopefully this all works correctly.
Here we go.
Share screen. And Go.
So, All right, cool.
I'm going to stop the share and All right. So, Star, what are we looking at here?
Good question. So what you just saw is our drone airplane swooping down and releasing cargo during one of our flight tests.
And, you know, I want to stop and say it's kind of a really special thing that we built there.
What's special about it is that we use a plane and not a hovering aircraft as our drone, which lets us fly a lot farther and a lot faster and carrying more stuff than you could have used something that looks like a, you know, conventional drone with four rotors.
The trick is, that means that everything happens quickly and we have to, you know, get our payload on the ground while flying.
So that's what you just saw. Cool. So you were recently featured in the IEEE spectrum.
Could you tell us more about what's special about this aircraft and the maneuver?
Yeah. So like I said, I mean, you won't find another aircraft that can as efficiently carry as much bulk and release it with that spatial precision like we do.
I think that the main tool used by folks like our customers who tend to be healthcare workers or first responders is a helicopter.
And we can go, you know, quickly through the air. A helicopter tends to be a little slower than an airplane.
We can carry a lot of stuff and we put it down right on a point, which is very hard to do with something that is made of wings.
So those are three goals that are really difficult to bring together in one vehicle.
So a lot of our audience skews computer science rather than aviation or EE.
Could you educate us a bit about your industry? Of course. I mean, at the fundamental, you know, the core of what we're doing, it comes down to using computational smarts to bend reality.
So I think that's a lot of computer science, basically.
I think that said, a lot of computing is done without necessarily imagining the computer operating in an environment.
And that's where the electrical and aerodynamic engineering come into play for us.
But at the end of the day, it's the same goal.
You know, given an input, how do we get the outcome we're after?
So what's it like going through YC with an aviation company? I imagine many of your batch mates were sort of, you know, B2B SAS plays that are glued to laptops.
And Ed, I sort of envision you, you know, with Amelia Earhart goggles on and soldering something out in the field.
What's your day to day actually like?
Good question. It varies a lot. And yeah, I think that the skills or topics that one is required to have mastery of is pretty broad.
It encompasses, you know, as you cited, you know, the aerodynamic engineering, the electrical engineering, the business side.
There's a lot of different sort of skills you have to play.
I think the best opportunities are the ones where we get to do something that makes our customers happy.
And when we, you know, we get our successes, like, you know, showing that our product works.
I'd love to know if you have a story there that you'd like to share, if you're able to talk about them.
Yeah, I think that the one that you just showed in the video is actually probably one of the best days of the company so far.
Where, you know, we had done a lot of sort of calculation and design work in advance to say, you know, we know that you can make this work.
But when you get the actual numbers and the data to see how well it actually works, those are the good ones.
So, you know, it's hard to kind of eyeball it, but the aircraft at its slowest flies only as fast as about a person riding a bicycle.
It's really hard to keep something in the air at that low speed, actually.
And so, you know, when we said, OK, we think we can make something that works that way and converted it to, wow, look, it actually does.
And it's actually much better than we even we had hoped.
You know, that's a great feeling. But a person riding a bicycle, that's a that's a really good way of visualizing that speed.
Yeah. You know, if you picture like a bird flying alongside you, right. Birds move pretty quickly.
And if you actually were, you know, had like a bird friend somehow riding along with you, right.
You know, you'd imagine it like having to go in circles to keep pace with somebody on a bicycle.
So being able to slow down that much and stay airborne is a small feat.
Is it piloted by a remote human?
No, I believe in autonomy. I think when you want when you're building a system that is not operated by a person, it works in a different way.
It's a different type of animal in many ways.
And so we're really focused on the, you know, actually building in the smarts into the aircraft so that it doesn't need to be.
I don't want to say this in a way that makes it sound like remote piloting would be bad.
But, you know, we just we don't want to have to build in a babysitter in a way. It scales better without humans, I assume.
There are a lot of good reasons. One of them actually is subtle is the speed of decision making.
So, you know, you imagine a pilot on board an aircraft.
They're making decisions at any given point. They're taking stock of where they are, where they want to go, you know, what's happening.
And if something needs to be changed, that person is right there and can make that decision.
OK, you know, we need to turn the plane to the left. Right. That's a simple decision.
If you imagine now flying an airplane, but instead the person in the plane just does what you tell them to do and you're actually somewhere else and you're on the phone with them and you're sort of a game of telephone, you can't make decisions quickly enough.
Right. And so, you know, my view is the remote pilot is unable to necessarily, even with really good telemetry, make decisions at the speed of a computer that's in this situation.
Oh, so the computer is on board the aircraft and is making decisions without making any round trip calls to.
Yeah, just for latency reasons. That's something that a lot of our viewers have a lot of firsthand.
Of course. Cloudflare. Of course.
So out of curiosity, how has 2020 been for you and the company and what adjustments have you personally had to make or had to make as a company?
Oh, so many changes.
And I think everybody can relate to that. I don't think anybody really could have predicted June 2020 starting in January.
Even the people who had the most heads up in advance awareness of, you know, changes, perhaps coming down the line.
Changes like that are very hard to predict. So you have to roll with the punches.
And actually, one change I've seen has been a really positive, you know, in the sense of being good for what we do, which is a preference for no contact logistics and delivery.
It is important now in a way that I think might have been more subtle before 2020.
And of course, that's not to say that I like the state of the world right now.
I would not wish for it. But big habit changes are infrequent and that's been a really surprising one.
So I live in a downtown Austin high rise with a balcony that's not super spacious, but like, you know, it's a balcony.
Can I get hand sanitizer and masks delivered to my balcony?
There's no reason you can't, except for the current state of regulation in the United States.
So technically, yeah, it's completely possible.
I think that the thing that I want people to think about is not, can that work?
Absolutely, it can. It's what do we need as a society for that to be viable?
And what we need is for people to express that they want it, you know, believe in it, demand it, and I'm sure that we could make it work.
So tell me a little bit about the origin story.
So like a long while back, I remember reading and hearing about Takocopter.
Is this part of the origin story of how their craft came about?
Well, first of all, I'm impressed that you remember the Takocopter.
I probably should explain what that is. Going way back in time, I think this was 2011 or 12.
I saw a drone that a friend of mine had built. This was a standard four rotor quad rotor drone.
And I like immediately loved it, you know, like I was obsessed with it.
It was very primitive. I think it had a microcontroller on board that probably cost like $300, which is bananas, because now it's like less than $1 for a microcontroller to do what this thing was doing.
The person who built the drone was an aerodynamic student who also had to have the skill of being able to write the control system for the microcontroller to operate it.
So it's truly a heavy lift getting this thing to work at all. And all I saw was this thing kind of like wobbling and staying in position in the middle of a room.
It didn't do anything. But what I saw when I looked at it was a lot of potential for autonomous aircraft to do things for us.
Now, here's the thing. I think like I was in undergrad, when I saw this drone.
And so I had a limited imagination of what was really good, important and useful in the world.
I was very focused on like food.
That was a big topic for me. And so when I wanted to convey to other people that I thought autonomous aircraft could really have a useful function.
I focused on what matters like food. Right. And so that's what led me to kind of make a website that I would say, to me, was really just kind of a placeholder, like a way of not forgetting the potential.
That was called the Takocopter.
So Takocopter.com So thank you for reminding me of that. Yes, that is sort of my first love in autonomous aircraft was that idea.
I want to explain a little more about that if I can, though, which is Yeah, of course.
First of all, that website became very popular in a way that was really deeply surprising.
So I made the website and it was online for about two years, something like that.
And it was nothing, nothing much was happening with it.
It was just sort of like the domain would expire every year and I had to make what was for me a pretty substantial commitment to pay like another, I don't know, five or $10 to like refresh this placeholder idea.
And then like through no effort on my part, it ended up getting picked up by media one day.
And I like I literally went to bed and woke up and had 10,000 emails about it.
It was hugely surprising. And that was just the start of it.
That week was bonkers. The website ended up on the Colbert report like twice in that week.
It sort of went from people thinking that drones were my like weird obsession that I wouldn't stop talking about to like people really being bought in and that was huge.
I think that It was one of the bigger shifts that I've seen that convinced the world of what drones could do for people and I've been really glad for that.
After that, it's just been sort of slow growth and Increasing ability for drones to do things for people.
So that's, yeah, definitely how a lot of this all began.
How, when did you start working on Their craft like in a in this current form.
I started working on their craft actually Just after we built and shipped a few other drones.
Maybe I could talk about some of that. Yeah. So, you know, you asked about the talk of copter that was, you know, really came on the scene.
And I think it was 2011 2012 and after that I didn't do a lot with drones, because I was very skeptical about the Legal viability the regulatory viability and I can take a long time to change.
And what I saw a few years later, maybe Was that was starting to change.
And this is really exciting. And so that's when I started doing work on other autonomous aircraft.
I'd sort of maintained an interest in it worked on things, but not professionally moved into the space until 2015 2016 And we got I got asked.
I joined a company called other lab and we got asked to build a like a massive autonomous helicopter.
That was supposed to be powered on like a really long power cable like like imagine like a 2000 foot long extension cable going up to a helicopter.
That must be happy. Right. Well, let's Guess not as Yeah, I mean, well, the cable being heavy.
Yeah, the cable is heavy, but if you had a battery, you still couldn't keep it in the air for 24 hours.
So what that's what that lets you do is it lets you keep the thing airborne forever.
As long as you can. Exactly. It's a powered kite. That's a great way of thinking about it.
And the goal there was to say, okay, if you can get something high in the air higher than you could build a tower to really reasonably reach Then you could broadcast communicate with many more people for much like less infrastructure install cost that was actually built for Facebook.
The project was called tether tenant.
I didn't work at Facebook, but the company I was at built it for Facebook and the Aircraft flew, we got it in the air powered on that power cable we flew it proved that it would fly for 24 hours autonomously and that was really, really cool, really fun.
And after that, I was looking at what other opportunities existed.
That's what led me to start their craft after that. Tell me about the early days and building out the team and and the on the ground adventures.
Oh my goodness. It's still the early days. Frankly, I mean, we're really just at the very beginning.
It's an incredible thing to see even now. You know, thanks to some of the changes like seeing the demand increase for no contact delivery.
We're really getting a Even yet some industry growth as a result of that that I think is just starting to open the doors.
In terms of the team.
I've been really lucky to be able to partner with somebody that I have, you know, hold in the utmost regard.
Very skilled very talented aircraft designer.
So this company is me and him. His name is Barnaby Wayne fan. He's a like very experienced aircraft designer.
And so with those two things kind of my understanding of the customer needs my ability to, you know, build and test stuff his engineering chops.
That's really, you know, kind of the core of the company.
So how far along, would you say you are currently on your startup venture your two employees talk having customers like if you well if you could go back in time and have a have a zoom call with The, the version of you who was working on the the taco contra website.
Anything you would tell her Thanks. Uh, yeah. I mean, I would say it's definitely still the early days, even now, the team sizes kind of varied.
But as far as the founding team goes, I just wanted to give a sense of who we are.
What would I tell myself just getting started. I mean, Oh, there's a lot of startup lore.
And I think it's very easy to kind of end up giving advice that feels like it could be printed in a newspaper, you know, sort of perennial advice evergreen advice.
So I try not to do that, per se, but I do think that there's some truth to saying, you know, in the early days, you really Want to know how it's going to go.
You want to feel very confident that you know you're basically writing a script and then executing it like I think that that's a natural impulse and I think I would really encourage someone just beginning to Accept that their instincts and decision making ability or their strength and that whatever happens will be figured out on the way.
You can't predict it any more than any of us can predict 2020 right like I said, you have to.
Yeah. And you're going to So you are also a pilot.
Right. How did, how did you pick up your twin passions of aviation and electronics.
Dude, I'm so glad you asked. You know, there's a joke about pilots.
How do you know if somebody is a pilot. Oh, and they'll tell you. Glad that made its way Although I'm not actually sure how you found that out.
I am also a licensed pilot.
It's been very important to me. I want to say this one thing I really want to convey Especially around fields that I'm involved in electrical engineering, which I studied or flying.
There's so many stories about founders who like, oh yeah, I was You know, born with a copy of the fundamental textbook in the field and like I knew it was when I what I wanted to do from the You know, moment I whatever, you know, and I think that I really think it's important to emphasize that that's just not how I saw it.
Sorry, I think there's a Carl I'm going off in the background.
I apologize for that. Can't control the world. Um, but yeah, for me, it was an interest that really came up later in life and It's one that I've been very glad to get involved in.
It's been really rewarding. But I, I really do want to say, you know, One can discover one's interests, even for things that are, you know, difficult to get involved in later.
I also want to acknowledge this I I fly airplanes that are kind of unusual.
They don't have engines.
They don't burn fuel. I immediately acknowledge that flying airplanes is a very expensive thing to do.
So my particular pursuit has been I wouldn't say necessarily affordable but like because my interest was in aeronautics and I wanted to learn more about it, finding a way to do it has been important.
I also want to say, you know, anyone who is interested You know, you shouldn't consider that you would have to get like a whole pilot's license by any means I stuck with it.
I found help to do it all kinds of, you know, just ways of making it work.
But, you know, anyone can I think like find a way to, you know, even just take one flying lesson.
If you're interested, or for whatever field it is you're interested in, find a way to just get one taste of it.
And that, you know, there are means and possibilities available.
If that's what you think you want to do.
Can you tell us about the the path that you've taken to where you are today.
So you talked about some of the the aircraft that you've worked on at your work in other lab, but just over the course of your the arc of your lifetime from being a student to today.
So, of course, I'd love to tell you about the path. I've been working on, um, You know, I really think that the thing I would underscore is having followed a very intrinsic motivation.
That's probably the primary Thing I think that's been important across the path.
I've been on You know, I started out with like very nebulous kind of a drive to want to build things a drive to want to make things that people would find useful.
That pushed me to want to understand how electronics work because I wanted to build things on the basis of, you know, being able to manipulate using that skill.
Figuring out from there.
What else I was interested in. It's just been sort of one thing after another.
Right. I didn't know how it would all play out at the beginning.
So, you know, just pursuing those interests and perhaps without regard for necessary early The world inputs.
That's been a strong theme. Well, when you started working on your on their craft.
Did you start with the problem in mind for like there's, you know, last The last mile logistics for these hard to reach places or was it, hey, like I I can solve this fundamentally hard problem and then found the users who would be applicable to Yeah.
Um, good question. I think that There's been some of both.
And I want to be really forthright about that. I mean, we love technology.
Right. And finding a way for there to be more good technology as I think it would be hard to say that that's, you know, far from the heart of anyone who takes joy in making things But for me, the real joy is in making the right things.
So I spent an inordinate amount of time studying aviation businesses, trying to understand What makes an aircraft useful to anybody you know what jobs we pay aircraft to do as a guide for understanding where there would be room for improvements and advancements.
Anything else feels like it would be, you know, walking blind.
I mean, I'm trying to make technology which fundamentally is about making useful tools.
If I weren't, I might be trying to do something beautiful like make sculpture right Right.
In the commercial endeavor. I've acknowledged my role in finding something that is going to help somebody do their job better.
I didn't know everything I know now at the beginning.
But filling in that piece has always been An obvious required component of building a company.
So shifting focus a little bit.
There. So there are a lot of systemic issues that are gaining mainstream attention in 2020 and I and I was looking at project alloy that you had started Years ago.
Can you tell our audience about that. Yeah, of course.
And I think for this audience. It's going to be of special interest. So project alloy first is a nonprofit and that I founded several years ago, I think, four years ago now.
And it came from me wanting to personally, you know, act on my values.
But let me tell you more. First, what it does. Project alloys and the nonprofit organization and the main thesis of it is that opportunity is found in situations where groups of people come together like a tech conferences.
I personally early on, you know, while I was, you know, early in my career, given the opportunity to attend one or two tech conferences where I met incredible people doing, you know, work that I found astonishing and very cool.
And the chance to come into contact at those events really felt like it made a difference to me in a bunch of ways.
For one thing, knowing what was interesting that people were working on or for to, you know, having had a brief chance to even talk to somebody who was doing something, you know, so meaningful and impactful.
It also made me feel like I could do it because You meet somebody who is and you realize, you know, they speak at one second per second speed like everybody else.
And so I wanted to try to find a way to scale that and to reach people who are from backgrounds that are underrepresented in the tech industry like me.
You know, and that a great way to do that would be to facilitate making it possible to be present for those opportunities.
Right. And that's really fortunately that's really easy.
Actually, there's a direct way to do that. So, you know, we made a organization that focuses on conferences about tech topics.
And we created a program that provides grants to cover tickets travel and hotel fees.
The goal being just to reduce any barrier that might be present.
Right. Because, you know, if you have that interest and means are a barrier, then we can reduce the barrier.
So it's pretty straightforward in that way. I thank you for your work in making that a reality for so many people I don't think thanks or what I'm after.
I mean, There's a there's a long road ahead of Project Alloy as an organization, of course, right now, you know what it means to have a tech conference is an interesting question.
And, you know, I think that the other thing about it that I want to highlight as being important is Project Alloy is really intended as an alliance.
I think so often we see efforts to subdivide people according to identity and I have yet to meet a person who is cleanly described by a single word.
No, no person is And so I felt that it would be important to have an organization that was for technologists You know, whose heritage or the color of their skin or able bodiedness or gender or sexual identity.
Were not reflected as they should be. But all together, not an organization for any one specific individual identity as a as a cohesive or as a collective And what I found is when you have an organization that makes the world a little better for any one group.
That it makes the world better for a lot of people, you know, one good example of that is pushing for captioning right So when you have more affordances for people who Are deaf hard of hearing or don't hear as well, you know, and you say ask a conference to produce subtitles.
Then other people can ingest that same technical material who may or may not even be able to afford the time to listen.
It is an above the, you know, across the board and improvement on our ability to access and manipulate the world so How can how can organizations That people belong to who are viewers right now help with Project Alloy I like that question.
I think that when we're looking for help.
I think that we're looking for Folks who have a strong sense of wanting to contribute to the mission.
And we are open to volunteers. I think that we also You know, accept donations from people.
It is supported by the tech industry as well.
And so those are probably the two main ways that people seek to help us And with the shift to To virtual events.
Is there a way for people who are hosting virtual conferences to get in touch with Folks from the Project Alloy community.
Yeah, definitely. The email address is hi at project alloy.org Well, I will, I will be sure to put that in the show notes after Okay.
Cool. Um, let's see.
Let's, uh, let's try to spotlight on you on your path in early life. What was it like growing up in Hawaii.
Oh yeah, thanks for bringing up Hawaii. I Hawaii is an incredible place.
And a lot of the reasons that's true is like not exactly maybe the image or reputation of it as a vacation destination.
I'd say a lot of what makes Hawaii really special is that people are very kind and care for each other.
And part of the reason for that is it's a chain of islands. It's actually the most remote chain of islands on earth.
It's the furthest archipelago from any landmass.
And I think that really did affect how I look at the world. You know, one of the side effects of the remoteness was feeling really aware of the impact that shipping logistics can have on what you can and can't have because it takes a really tangible amount of time and money to order anything And I think that gave me an instinct for how you can improve infrastructure and by doing so have an enormous impact on people's lives.
That's it's like latency for physical goods. Yeah, it's definitely it's definitely no matter how you cut it.
I mean, I think right now, a quart of milk costs like $7 in Hawaii.
Because of the, you know, just the distance, you need to cover and the timeliness of it.
And, you know, you scale that across every single thing you could want And suddenly being remote is Very obviously a cost.
I imagine that must have had some influence on the direction you decided to take your company.
I mean, when you see that you can address every aspect of society by making a difference in one particular area.
Are there geographical like are you are there geographical regions.
I think I missed what you said. Oh, I think I missed a little bit of what you said.
Are you are you flying much of are you flying a lot of your aircraft in Hawaii, or are there other geographical regions where you are seeing more activity for your for your aircraft.
I'm not speaking about our geographical locations at this point.
Okay. Let's see.
Before we go to audience questions.
Are there other things that you'd like to share with the audience.
I think we've done a pretty good job of covering most of what I would want to chat about See, do you have any a pop culture art recommendation for the audience.
It can be a book, movie, video game or TV show or any medium.
Oh my goodness. That's a great question.
Um, you know, 20 is I don't think this is like it's a movie necessarily worth rewatching, but I was thinking back on sort of early influences and I was thinking about the movie battery not included.
So I think if there was one maybe found the foundational vision to like, you know, think back on it would be this really schlocky 80s movie about flying robots.
You know, and again, just, you know, Jade.
I want nothing more than flying robust to be able to bring you hand sanitizer.
I think that it's unlikely that we will see it in the small scale. Actually, I think that aircraft tend to be pretty large when they're useful, but one day.
Well, where, where will we be going next with flying robots. Please feel free to rewatch that movie as a as a placeholder until then.
What, well, tell us where you see the entire world of flying robots going in the future.
Oh, I like it, but that would directly contradict my belief that it's very hard to predict these things.
I want to know too. I don't. That's the exciting part. All right, and Let me check the chat.
I believe we don't actually have any audience questions so All right, I guess we can we can earned early Oh, I didn't realize we were running fast, but it's been a it's been a pleasure to chat.
Thank you for coming on the show.
If anybody does want to chat more about drones, specifically, which are my primary interest is focused.
We are their craft and we can be contacted through our website, their craft calm.
Before I forget, how did you, where did the name come from.
Their craft. Because we practice the art of getting things where they need to be.
And it sounds a lot like aircraft.
And that Cool. Well, thank you for coming on the show. It's been great having you here.
Thank you, Jade. Always a pleasure. Thank you.
This video will walk you through how to secure your RDP using Cloudflare access Securing RDP with Cloudflare access is a four step process.
Step one, enable access and create a policy.
Step two, install Argo Tunnel and the Cloudflare D client.
Step three, establish RDP connections with Argo Tunnel.
And finally, step four, configure RDP using Cloudflare access. Before getting started, you need a Cloudflare account with at least one active domain.
You can sign up for a free account by visiting Cloudflare.com.
For this demo, my client machine is a Mac and the active domain is orangeclouded.com.
The target device is a Windows machine.
I've enabled access prior to filming this demo, so I'll show you how to create a policy.
Creating an access policy is important because without a policy in place, access can't control who can reach your target machine during and after configuration.
Using any active Cloudflare domain, navigate to the access tab in the dashboard.
To begin, create a policy for the hostname that prevents any traffic to that hostname from reaching your server.
I'll reconfigure this policy to allow traffic once the setup is complete.
In the policy creator, select Deny as the decision and under Include, select Everyone.
This rule will prevent any requests to that hostname from bypassing access.
Now that I've set up the policy, I need to install Argo Tunnel on my target machine.
Argo Tunnel ensures requests route through Cloudflare before reaching the web server so you can authenticate traffic with access.
Argo Tunnel uses Argo Smart Routing technology to route traffic over the fastest path within the Cloudflare network between the user and the data centers closest to your origin.
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Now that you've enabled Argo Smart Routing, the next step is downloading Cloudflare D to the target and client machine.
Cloudflare D is the software that runs Argo Tunnel. It's available for AMD64, x86, and ARMv6 machines in binary, DEB, and RPM types.
The code for the Cloudflare D client is also available on GitHub.
Download the Cloudflare D version appropriate for your operating system, which in this case is Windows, and extract the zip file to access the executable file.
I'm using the 64-bit version for this video.
Run the Cloudflare D executable to ensure it works properly on the target machine.
To spin up a tunnel, you'll first need to log in with your Cloudflare D account.
Run Cloudflare D login to open the login page in your web browser.
If the browser fails to open, right-click the login URL and navigate to it in the browser.
Log in using your Cloudflare username and password.
After logging in, you'll see a list of domains associated with your account.
Argo Tunnel connects your machine to the Cloudflare network by associating it with a hostname in your Cloudflare account.
I'm going to locate the domain that I wish to use to represent my server and select its name in the table.
Once you select the domain, Cloudflare D will automatically install a certificate to authenticate your machine to the Cloudflare network for your specific hostname.
Once Cloudflare D installs the certificate, you'll see a success message in your browser and you can start using Cloudflare D in Argo Tunnel.
Now that I have the certificate, I need to go back and edit the access policy that I created before.
Let's go back to the access app to change it.
As you can see here, the original policy denied everyone. With this configuration, our Argo Tunnel wouldn't work.
I'll change the policy to allow certain connections.
You have the option to include via email or predefined groups. I'll choose to allow emails ending in at orangecloud.com and click Save to update the policy.
Now, I'm ready to establish my RDP connections using Argo Tunnel.
Argo Tunnel permits traffic over HTTP and HTTPS.
Cloudflare Access opens a secure connection to proxy RDP traffic through the Cloudflare network.
Make sure that RDP connections are enabled on the target machine.
In Windows 10 Pro, you can do so by visiting Settings, RDP Connections, and then toggling them on.
On the target machine, run the following command to assign the hostname.
Access will default to port 3389 for RDP connections.
Now that we've created the tunnel, let's establish an RDP connection.
For this, you need to install the Cloudflare D software on your client machine as well.
Do so using the same process we followed earlier.
Make sure you download the correct version of Cloudflare D for your operating system.
You can initiate an RDP connection to a machine behind Access with the following command.
The command will initiate an RDP connection through a proxy to reach the corresponding Cloudflare D daemon running on the server.
You can specify any port on the local host in the command above.
It does not need to match the port in use on the target machine. Cloudflared will proceed to launch a browser window that contains the same Access login page you find when attempting to reach a web application.
Select your identity provider and proceed to log in.
If the browser window is not launched, you can also use the unique URL output in your command line.
When you've successfully authenticated, the browser will return your token to Cloudflare D in a cryptographic transfer and store it.
The token is valid for the session duration configured by your Access administrator.
Cloudflare D will store the token and use it to authenticate your requests.
You can now configure your RDP client to point to localhost 2244 and begin your RDP session.
This concludes the video walkthrough on securing RDP with Cloudflare Access.
If you have any questions or want to use Access to secure other applications or resources, visit teams.Cloudflare.com.
Thank you for watching.
Microsoft Mechanics www.microsoft.com www .microsoft.com www.microsoft .com www.microsoft.com www.microsoft.com www.microsoft.com What is a bot?
A bot is a software application that operates on a network.
Bots are programmed to automatically perform certain tasks.
Bots can be good or bad. Good bots conduct useful tasks like indexing content for search engines, detecting copyright infringement, and providing customer service.
Bad bots conduct malicious tasks like generating fraudulent clicks, scraping content, spreading spam, and carrying out cyber attacks.
Whether they're helpful or harmful, most bots are automated to imitate and perform simple human behavior on the web at a much faster rate than an actual human user.
For example, search engines use bots to constantly crawl webpages and index content for search, a process that would take an astronomical amount of time for any human user to execute.
Microsoft Mechanics We have seen malicious foreign actors attempt to subvert democracy.
What we saw was a sophisticated attack on our electoral system. The Athenian Project is our little contribution as a company to say, how can we help ensure that the political process has integrity, that people can trust it, and that people can rely on it.
It's like a small family or community here, and I think elections around the nation is the same way.
We're not a big agency. We don't have thousands of employees.
We have tens of employees. We have less than 100 here in North Carolina. So what's on my mind when I get up and go to work every morning is, what's next?
What did we not think of, and what are the bad actors thinking of?
The Athenian Project, we use that to protect our Voter Information Center site and allow it to be securely accessed by the citizens of Rhode Island.
It's extremely important to protect that and to be able to keep it available.
There are many bad actors out there that are trying to bring that down, and others trying to penetrate our perimeter defenses from the Internet to access our voter registration and or tabulation data.
So it's very important to have an elections website that is safe, secure, and foremost, accurate.
The Athenian Project, for anyone who is trying to run an election anywhere in the United States, is provided by us for free.
We think of it as a community service.
I stay optimistic by reminding myself there's a light at the end of the tunnel.
It's not a train. Having this protection gives us some peace of mind that we know if for some reason we were to come under attack, we wouldn't have to scramble or worry about trying to keep our site up, that Cloudflare has our back.
Hi, we're Cloudflare.
We're building one of the world's largest global cloud networks to help make the Internet faster, more secure, and more reliable.
Meet our customer, HubSpot.
They're building software products that transform the way businesses market and sell online.
My name is Carrie Muntz, and I'm the director of engineering for the platform infrastructure teams here at HubSpot.
Our customers are sales and marketing professionals.
They just need to know that we've got this.
We knew that the way that HubSpot was growing and scaling, we needed to be able to do this without having to hire an army of people to manage this.
That's why HubSpot turned to Cloudflare.
Our job was to make sure that HubSpot, and all of HubSpot's customers, could get the latest encryption quickly and easily.
We were trying to optimize SSL issuance and onboarding for tens of thousands of customer domains.
Previously, because of the difficulties we were having with our old process, we had about 5% of customers SSL enabled.
And with the release of version 68 of Chrome, it became quickly apparent that we needed to get more customers onto HTTPS very quickly to avoid insecure browsing warnings.
With Cloudflare, we just did it, and it was easier than we expected.
Performance is also crucial to HubSpot, which leverages the deep customization and technical capabilities enabled by Cloudflare.
What Cloudflare gives us is a lot of knobs and dials to configure exactly how we want to cache content at the edge, and that results in a better experience, a faster experience for customers.
Cloudflare actually understands the Internet.
We were able to turn on TLS 1.3 with zero round -trip time with the click of a button.
There's a lot of technology behind that. Another pillar of HubSpot's experience with Cloudflare has been customer support.
The support with Cloudflare is great.
It feels like we're working with another HubSpot team.
They really seem to care. They take things seriously. I filed cases and gotten responses back in under a minute.
The quality of the responses is just night and day difference.
Cloudflare has been fantastic. It was really an exciting, amazing time to see when you have teams working very closely together, HubSpot on one side and Cloudflare on the other side, on this mission to solve for your customers' problems, which is their businesses.
It really was magic. With customers like HubSpot and over 10 million other domains that trust Cloudflare with their security and performance, we're making the Internet fast, secure, and reliable for everyone.
Cloudflare. Helping build a better Internet. Cloudflare.
Helping build a better Internet.
Cloudflare. Helping build a better Internet.
This video will walk you through how to export access logs to a third-party SIEM and security intelligence platform using LogPush.
For this demo, we'll use an active Cloudflare domain with access enabled and a pre-configured Google Cloud Storage account.
To learn more about how to configure Cloudflare access, please visit the developer documentation at developers.Cloudflare.com.
The first step to exporting your Cloudflare access logs is to log into Cloudflare and choose an active domain that has Cloudflare access enabled.
After logging in, navigate to the Analytics app in the Cloudflare dashboard, then click the Logs tab.
Here, you can set jobs to push your logs outside of Cloudflare's platform.
Cloudflare supports different destinations, such as Amazon S3, Google Cloud Storage, Sumo Logic, and Microsoft Azure.
For this demo, we'll use Google Cloud Storage.
After choosing your preferred service, which in this case is Google Cloud, click Next to configure the bucket path.
The first step is to name the bucket.
This name should be consistent with the bucket name in Google Cloud. The next step is to define a subfolder for Cloudflare to push your logs.
You have the option to set daily subfolders, so let's choose Yes.
Cloudflare pushes the logs to dated subfolders, so it's very important to set the bucket permission to allow Cloudflare to push logs.
Now that the bucket path is defined, you need to set the route.
Copy the IAM user listed here. Now you need to head to Google Cloud Storage to add that user.
Navigate to Google Cloud Storage, click Add Members, and paste the user from Cloudflare into the New Member field.
Select the Storage Object Admin role, which gives full control of Google Cloud Storage objects.
Click Save to complete.
Now we need to head back to the log push configuration in the Cloudflare dashboard and validate the access.
Click Validate Access. When clicked, Cloudflare sends a test file to your destination to validate the access and prove ownership.
Now let's go back to Google Cloud.
Click Objects. Here you see a new folder created with today's date.
Click the folder, and you should see the test file from Cloudflare.
Click the file, then the link URL, and copy-paste the ownership token into the log push configuration within the Cloudflare dashboard.
Then, click Prove Ownership.
Now that the ownership has been validated, you need to choose a dataset.
I'm going to select the HTTP requests. You'll see a list of fields to add to the logs, including cache, performance metrics, firewall, etc.
For now, I'll choose the default selection. If you click Advanced Settings, you'll see that you can set the timestamp format or choose to only send a random sample percentage of your logs to decrease the log value.
Let's stick with the defaults and click Save and Start Pushing to complete the log push configuration.
Now that the log push configuration is complete, I need to use the Log Push API to import the data fields from Cloudflare to the Google Cloud Platform.
For this, we'll use Plus9, an API client that eases the work of doing API manipulation.
The first step is to get the ID of the job I've just created.
To do this, run the following API request.
After sending the request to the API, you'll see the job ID.
The second step is to update that job with the job ID from the previous API request.
Take the job ID, add it to the end of the following API request, and change the request to a put.
After clicking Send, the same log push fields that you configured in the Cloudflare dashboard will be added to the Google Cloud Platform with the request headers at the end.
After sending the request, confirm that there are no errors, the job has been updated with the same ID, and the fields list is available, including the request headers.
Now that the job has been updated, let's check the bucket for the logs.
You should see the authenticated user aligned with the request.
After reviewing, you'll see that for all of the requests, there are specific fields and request headers with the cf-access -users, which gives a list of authenticated users that have been granted access to the applications.
This concludes the video walkthrough on how to export access logs to a third-party SIEM and security intelligence platform using LogPush.
If you have any questions, or want to use access to secure other applications or resources, visit teams .Cloudflare.com backslash access.