Is Your Site Doing Enough to Prevent a DDoS Attack?

Sue Marquette Poremba
Slide Show

The Impact of Advanced Persistent Threats to Enterprises

If you run an e-commerce site, the worst thing that can happen is an attack that takes down your Web page. And while such an attack is never good, having your site down during this time of year can be disastrous.

Prolexic did a study of its e-commerce customers, asking about DDoS protection and the effectiveness of different types of DDoS mitigation services. Those interviewed covered a broad range of industries including consumer electronics, health care, online payment processing, fashion and apparel, toys and gifts, heating and plumbing, and software as a service (SaaS).

What the survey found is that virtually every company, no matter what industry, is concerned about being the victim of a DDoS attack within the next year. Decision makers in enterprise are aware that anyone who has a website, no matter the size of the company or the type of industry, is at risk. Awareness is a good thing, considering that it has taken a long time to get people to understand that no company is completely safe from an attack. Of course, many of these companies have been the victim of a previous attack, so they know they aren’t immune, but found out the hard way.

Many e-commerce sites rely on content delivery networks (CDNs) to host their site, yet the respondents to this survey believe that CDNs and Internet service providers (ISPs) are the least effective when it comes to DDoS protection. On the other hand, the respondents don’t seem too sure on what is an effective tool because while there were plenty of votes for “least effective for mitigating DDoS attacks,” when it came to the different providers and appliances, there were almost no votes for “most effective.” That is likely why they turned to a company that specializes in DDoS attack prevention to protect them.

Prolexic is a company that specializes in DDoS attack prevention and all of the respondents are customers—most of whom turned to the company in response to an attack, which may have skewed the results of the survey a little bit. But I think it still provides some solid takeaway points for anyone who runs an e-commerce site.

Your ISP and/or your CDN may not be providing the protection you need—or thought you had—in case of a DDoS attack. As the survey pointed out:

Gartner predicts a 10 percent growth in the financial impact that cybercrime will have on online businesses through 2016 as DDoS attackers take advantage of new software vulnerabilities that are introduced via new cloud services and employee-owned devices used in the workplace.

An e-commerce company may think it is safe from a DDoS attack, but the bad guys are looking for new ways to attack. Once hackers perfect their methods, it will surely hit companies financially. As we enter the important holiday shopping season, be sure to verify that your site is protected from potential DDos attacks.

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