How to Prevent DDoS Attacks on eCommerce Sites

Learn how to mitigate and prevent DDoS attacks that can take your eCommerce site offline.

Importance of Cybersecurity From DDoS Attacks

Noticing a traffic spike to your eCommerce store is what you want to see as a website owner, right? Typically, high volume traffic translates to more sales — but unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Experiencing a rapid and significant uptick in traffic can also be a warning sign that your site is the target of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, one of the most devastating types of cyberattacks on eCommerce websites.

As an eCommerce store owner, it’s important to be aware of DDoS attacks, which have grown in popularity for several reasons. In part, they are relatively cheap to execute, costing as little as $100 a day to deploy on unprotected web servers. While cybercriminals don’t profit directly from the attack, there are several motivations behind them. They may be used as a diversion by cybercriminals so they can steal customer data or inject malware behind the scenes. Or, competitors may hire hackers to carry out attacks on other sites in an attempt to divert shoppers and impact sales.

Regardless of who is behind the attack or why, the impact on a company’s bottom line shouldn’t be underestimated.

Consequences of DDoS on Business Operations

The consequences of a DDoS attack can be hard for any business to overcome. For a small eCommerce business, the fallout can be devastating. In fact, the loss of revenue from legitimate traffic following a single DDoS attack can cost a business upwards of $50,000.

While a DDoS attack can cause immediate financial impacts for your online business, the long-term effects can be even more far-reaching. According to a 2019 study, if a company experiences a data breach, a colossal 81 percent of consumers are unlikely to continue engaging with that brand online at all. Rebuilding consumer trust and confidence in the wake of a cyberattack can be one of the biggest obstacles to overcome as an online business, and the damage is often permanent.

DDoS Mitigation for eCommerce Websites

Diagnosing a DDoS attack is not always straightforward because the symptoms of an attack are often similar to non-malicious issues like network bandwidth problems or slow website speeds. Since they are so hard to detect and remedy after they’ve taken place, your best defense against lasting damage is to prevent them entirely with the help of a web application firewall (WAF).

Using a WAF with DDoS support helps protect your website against even the most powerful DDoS threats in real-time. WAFs redirect malicious traffic before it can overload the targeted server, ensuring that cybercriminals aren’t able to cause further harm to your website or cause additional downtime.

For proactive DDoS protection against flood attacks and other vulnerabilities, you can use a WAF alongside an automated website scanner as a barrier to not only deflect unwanted traffic but remove other threats that could slip by undetected. This combination will allow you to identify and remove malware before it can do serious damage or impact your bottom line.

In the case of DDoS attacks, prevention is always cheaper and easier than recovery. Investing in the online services and tools you need to keep your site safe is well worth any upfront cost, and you can rest assured that any future spikes in traffic will be a reason to celebrate.