Is Your Website Ready for Black Friday?

  • 17 Nov 2020
  • Business Security, Web Applications

Black Friday is undoubtedly one of the busiest and most profitable times of the year for eCommerce. This time of year is important to protect your business from cyber criminals. Business owners should prepare for potential Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attacks. Cyber criminals will focus on exploiting businesses during their busiest times to their privilege.

Consequences of down time for a business is damaging on a normal day, but on their busiest day of the year will be catastrophic. So it's important for all businesses to be aware of potential threats and understand how to mitigate the risks.


What is a DDoS Attack?

Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDos) is one of the most powerful cyber hacks out there. These attacks target websites and other online services. They focus on overloading the system making it difficult for your website to load. The attacks send multiple requests with the aim of exceeding the applications capacity which will then crash the web application.

Once a web application is down, it will stop any legitimate traffic accessing the application, stop transactions of sales resulting in massive financial damage. The hacker will then contact the business demanding a cryptocurrency ransom to be paid and in return the website to resume back to normality.

A DDoS attack can be carried out by competitors who want to sabotage your application and sales or cyber criminals out for a financial gain.


How to identify a DDoS Attack?

The most obvious sign is when a website slows down or becomes unavailable. Traffic analytic tools will help identify other signs of a DDoS attack such as:

  • Spike in traffic coming from a single IP address
  • Unknown rush of requests to a specific page or endpoint
  • Spike in traffic coming from the same geolocation, device type and web browser version
  • Unnatural traffic spikes at odd hours of the day


How to prepare for a DDoS Attack?

Although nothing will fully eliminate the risk of a DDoS attack there are practices a business can put in place to prepare as best as possible to avoid a DDoS attack.

So, here are 5 practices to put into place

Run a load test ahead of black Friday with the predicted influx of traffic to the website. This allows businesses to upgrade the infrastructure if needed. Businesses don't want their website to be slow for customers and want to avoid poor user experience.

Understand your service
Businesses should identify points of their service where resources can get exhausted with capacity. Find out who is responsible for the resource whether it be your business or the supplier.

Testing and monitoring
Test your defenses to see if they work regularly and ensure that if there was an attack it would be noticeable by being notified immediately. Minimise downtime and ensure a quick recovery time to avoid missing lots of sales.

Response Plan
Ensure a response plan is in place for when an attack does happen. This ensures the application can still operate in a certain manner whilst resolving the issue.

Use DDoS Protection Software
Services providers such as DDoS Protection software can help mitigate DDoS Attacks. They help prevent resource exhaustion within applications that will then minimise effects and severity of a DDoS Attack

Here at North Cyber Security we can offer you a review of your current set up.

Contact us today to find out more.


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