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Don’t Let a DDoS Attack Hijack the Holidays

Posted on 10.31.2011

Even though Halloween has passed, the next eight weeks can be a particularly scary time for all online businesses but especially retailers. E-Commerce companies are particularly susceptible to Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks during the fourth-quarter holiday season, as attackers like to cause the most chaos and make the largest possible financial impact.

Because a significant percentage of most retailers' annual revenues are made in the fourth quarter, a serious DDoS attack can be financially devastating.

“Last year we saw attack durations spike in the last three weeks of the year,” says Neal Quinn, vice president of operations at Prolexic Technologies, a leader in DDoS protection services. “Our data shows that the two highest average attack duration figures for the entire year – six days and almost eight days – were recorded during the last two weeks of the year.  Typically, we see average attack duration of one to three days, so with longer attacks you can expect more downtime and more financial impact.”

To raise awareness of the increased potential for attack, Prolexic has launched a marketing campaign that suggests retailers put DDoS protection in place or re-evaluate the protection they already have, as it may not be sufficient to stop increasingly large and complex attacks.

“Many e-commerce firms obtain DDoS protection from their ISP, hosting provider or content delivery network,” says Michael E. Donner, chief marketing officer at Prolexic. “What many companies fail to realize is that against the more complex Layer 7 and SSL attacks that target Web applications, these mitigation services consistently fail to work. The campaign raises awareness of this little-known fact.”

The campaign is supported by a number of marketing assets that are available for download. In addition to two new white papers, “’Tis the Season – for DDoS Attacks” and “The Executive’s Guide to DDoS”, a case study on, a global online resource for spa and wellness services and products, is also available. Despite having DDoS mitigation services in place from its hosting company, the site was taken offline by a Layer 7 DDoS attack over the summer before Prolexic stepped in to mitigate the attack.


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