Online businesses face an onslaught of new threats and one layer of protection is no longer enough. Each unique threat must be prepared for, otherwise you risk losing customers, revenue and the opportunity to grow your business.
By threats we don’t just mean illegal attempts to attack your brand by contravening your security. A threat could also be the malicious misuse of legitimate business logic by automated traffic, such as bots scraping prices en masse for competitors, or scalping limited stock items for resale profits; it could even be a flood of genuine traffic overloading servers unexpectedly.
Any eCommerce, transactional or customer-facing website needs protection from each of these in order to safeguard their brand, as well as their profits and other business metrics.
Defending against security threats
Much has been written about the essential security measures required to protect websites against hackers and viruses, so we won’t cover it in depth here.
Needless to say, defences such as web application firewalls (WAF) and DDoS protection are crucial in the modern climate where security breaches can cause a costly and damaging loss of data at any time.
Defending against bot threats
On average, half of all web traffic is now automated bots rather than real users, much of it malicious.
Security solutions like WAF and DDoS protection can’t defend against these, as they use legitimate business logic to carry out automated attacks ranging from taking over user accounts, to rapidly snapping up in-demand items to be resold at extortionate mark-up prices.
The best defence against increasingly complex bot attacks is a bot management solution that uses machine learning and data science to model, detect and mitigate bot traffic. Read more about the bot management solution offered by Netacea, which powers TrafficDefender’s virtual waiting room.
Defending against overwhelming traffic
Bot mitigation and WAFs are not the only security measures critical to defending your website and business. You must also have a plan to protect your site and its functionality in the event of overwhelming traffic levels.
Every website has a capacity limit, and this can be quickly reached and exceeded. This usually happens at the worst possible time. For example, websites often crash when there is huge demand for specific items or services, either due to hype or scarcity of the items.
Once your website starts to reach capacity, your strained infrastructure will serve up a slow and unresponsive website to customers, causing frustration and damaging your brand. Once capacity is reached, the site will simply crash, and customers will be unable to reach your site. The damage this causes, especially during a big sale, is obvious.
The smartest way to protect customer experience when this happens is to place a virtual waiting room in front of your website for times when visitor levels breach what your infrastructure can handle. Having a virtual queue online will prevent the site from ever going over capacity, serving as many customers as possible, whilst managing the experience of those waiting in the online queue.
Even if you aren’t expecting a rush of traffic above what your infrastructure can handle, these events can happen without warning. Just as with security and bot threats, it is wise to have a strategy in place for overwhelming traffic spikes to protect your website, brand and customers.
“While we have a pretty good understanding of the ebbs and flows of traffic during the normal trading season, if a celebrity is pictured in the media wearing one of our products we need to be able to respond fast. With TrafficDefender we have the year round protection needed to deal with such unexpected events.”
Sharon Lowrie, Technology & Business Change Director, Hobbs London
TrafficDefender is the enterprise-class virtual waiting room, powered by Netacea and designed to provide a seamless user experience, no matter how many customers your website needs to serve at any given time. More than just an online queue, TrafficDefender is fully integrated with brands to enhance customer experience at times when the website would otherwise fail to perform.