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5 Tips for Web Performance & Security During the Holiday Rush

The holidays mark a time of great opportunity for online businesses. But hackers are also lying in wait to snag customer data. In the past year alone, Sony, Target, Home Depot, and even the government-monitored healthcare.gov fell victim to data thieves. So, how can you protect your business? Here are a few ways to boost your web performance & security during the hectic holiday season.

5 Web Performance & Security Tips to Protect Your End Users

1. Know your vendors.

As web applications grow steadily more integrated with third party services, it bears reminding that each one is a potential security hole. You should be familiar with all of the vendors involved in delivering your site.  Make sure that you understand their SLAs and have reviewed their Terms of Use and privacy policies.

Beyond that, it’s helpful to understand what data vendors may store, where and how they store it, and for how long. You can even enforce access controls, up to and including a full-fledged Identity & Access Management (IAM) strategy.

2. Protect customer data.

If you’re transacting business online — across borders and at a large scale — the regulatory landscape can be fluid and variable. To keep up, you’ll need to be diligent about understanding security regulations and protecting your customer data. One certainty is that PCI compliance is mandatory for eCommerce. This means you have a verified set of measures in place to protect cardholder information and regulate access. Data experts recommend that businesses clear old customer data and only hang on to recent data to handle shipment tracking, returns, and refunds.

3. Protect against SQL attacks.

SQL injection attacks are a prevalent threat to web performance & security. Hackers use malicious data to brainwash the application into performing unauthorized tasks such as accessing customer data. Use a trusted API to reduce the risk of these attacks. Third-party security software can also help spot SQL vulnerabilities and respond in the event of a breach. Update your web applications regularly, and keep your data thoroughly encrypted.

4. Maintain an inclusive security policy.

Simply taking steps to secure your site does not mean you have a security policy. Outlining a policy enables you to be systematic and proactive about new threats, such as Heartbleed and bashpocalypse, and to train your organization for future threats. A clearly outlined policy will put you in a position to react quickly when a breach does occur, and ensures that your team will know exactly how to communicate with your customers in such an event.

5. Keep an eye on incoming traffic.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are a big threat during the holiday rush. Even without valid login credentials, hackers can infiltrate a network and clog it with fraudulent traffic until it crashes. What’s worse, they can be gradual attacks, opening connections right up to your server’s timeout value to ratchet up memory usage and quietly killing your performance. Advanced monitoring tools can detect suspicious traffic and redirect it away from your system before it’s too late. Many savvy businesses use cloud-based services to simultaneously guard against DDoS threats and boost network connectivity.

Key Takeaways

  • Update your software, passwords, and other system components regularly.
  • Use multiple layers of protection.
  • Monitor traffic and respond to strange activity immediately.
  • Protect customer data and clear records as soon as possible.
  • Consider third-party monitoring services to boost your security.

While there’s no way to be impervious to hackers, these tips can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim. Meet with your IT team regularly to review and revise your security plan and stay on top of threats year round. With a solution like Yottaa, web performance and security is monitored for you 24/7. If there is a threat to your app, the Yottaa team will notice right away and alert you. Contact us to learn more about how Yottaa’s solutions protect your app and improve web performance.


The Need for a Web Application Firewall

Sources: Sitepoint, LiquidWeb

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