Don’t Let Cyberattacks Bring Down Your Holiday Cheer

cyberattacksThe holiday shopping season can make or break an online retailer. By doing things well, you can expect sales to surge and your customer base to grow throughout 2018. Do things poorly and you sacrifice many sales while cultivating a negative image for your brand. And if there’s one thing that can seriously damage your brand’s reputation, it’s cyberattacks and a cybersecurity breach.

With several high-profile cyberattacks in the news recently, shoppers are more cautious than ever about giving websites any confidential information. A survey of over 2,000 adults revealed that 44 percent are worried their credit card information will be stolen from a website, making it the single biggest source of anxiety surrounding holiday shopping.

The risk of cyberattacks is just as strong as the worry — an analysis of the 2016 holiday shopping season saw the number of attacks increase by 20.6 percent in November and December. To keep your customers safe (and your brand image intact), there are a few strategies to consider:

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Is Your Website Ready for Holiday Season Traffic?

load timesThe 2017 festive shopping season promises to be one of the biggest ever, particularly for online retailers. Total sales are projected to grow by 16.6 percent over last year, with online sales comprising 11.5 percent of all holiday shopping.

The period before, during, and after the holiday season is a huge sales opportunity for you. But if your e-commerce website is not ready for the influx of traffic, it can be a lost opportunity. Slow load times, broken links, and a poor user experience are unacceptable to shoppers expecting to find greater convenience and selection by going online.

Websites that cannot handle the surge in traffic immediately lose on sales. Worse, they damage the reputation of the brand and disappoint customers who may have otherwise become loyal fans. Optimising your website to accommodate more traffic is a sound goal for both the short and long term, and there are a few great strategies to keep in mind for getting your website ready:

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4 Ways to Make Sure Your Webshop Stays Open

e-commerce hostingWhile global e-commerce sales are predicted to approach $2.5 trillion this year and continue to grow to nearly $4 trillion by 2020, according to a recent eMarketer report, the market remains highly competitive.

Nearly 80 percent of new e-commerce sites ultimately fail, and companies need to have a strong understanding of their market, trends, merchandise, platform, and e-commerce hosting if they want to be among the minority of sites that succeeds.

Most importantly, though, new sellers must understand their customers. More than any other factor, knowing your customer is what will allow you to deliver a first-class online experience.

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The Secret to Shorter Load Times on E-Commerce Sites

shorter load timesE-commerce sales have increased dramatically over the past few years, and the growth continues to accelerate. Between 2015 and 2016, online sales increased almost 16 percent, and e-commerce is expected to continue to grow at rates above 20 percent. For online sellers and developers of e-commerce sites, this means the market will only become more competitive, and shorter load times will become more important.


Alongside increased sales, internet speeds continue to rise — and so do consumer expectations for online experiences. A measly four-second wait time causes 25 percent of site visitors to abandon a page, and for a site as large as Amazon, a single second of slowdown could cost $1.6 billion. Those numbers are nothing to sneeze at.


If your competitors’ sites load faster than yours, you could see your revenue start shifting to them. The effect is multiplied the longer you ignore your slow website, so why wait? The first step is to identify the mistakes that could be slowing down your website, keeping you from shorter load times, and costing you customers and cash. Next, you can take steps to correct them:

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5 Ways to Protect Your Company from DDoS Attacks

DDoS AttackAs an online business, you have the responsibility of ensuring the safety of your customers’ hard-earned money from DDoS attacks. Unfortunately, hackers are making it harder to fulfill that responsibility. Verizon’s 2017 Data Breach Investigations Report found that the e-commerce industry falls victim to cyberattacks more than any other industry. In some cases, hackers are looking to extort money from your company. In others, they’re coming at your business as a form of industrial sabotage.

One of the most common strategies used to carry out these intrusions is a distributed denial of service attack. Digital Trends reported that the frequency of DDoS attacks increased by threefold in 2016. These attacks typically take on one of three forms: protocol, volume-based, or application layer attacks. Each uses a different method to overload your network, but the results are the same: chaos.

Sizing Up the Threat

To put the threat of DDoS attacks in context, just imagine if the online component of your business were disabled for hours, minutes, or even seconds. Depending on the size of the company, this loss of service could cost as much as $250,000 per hour — maybe more.

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5 Ways to Prepare Your Site for Peaks in Traffic

Peak trafficAs an IT professional, you covet page views and unique visitors to your site. But at times of peak traffic, they can be as much of an obstacle as an asset. The popularity of your website can make it the victim of its own success.

Target experienced this problem firsthand when it introduced its Lilly Pulitzer product line with a torrent of multichannel advertising. Unfortunately, this advertising worked as intended. Customers flooded Target’s website, but it wasn’t quite prepared to handle the stress of that load.

The site never crashed, but it did experience severe lags in performance. At one point, administrators even shut the site down for 15 minutes voluntarily. Worst of all, the customers who did have the patience to wait through slow load times often discovered that products were out of stock or in limited supply. Customers were eager to buy, but Target’s website lacked the resiliency to accommodate peak demand.

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E-commerce Success Requires the Right Partner

e-commerceThere’s a saying in the venture capital community: If you want money, ask for advice; if you want advice, ask for money.

It doesn’t work quite the same way with cloud hosting providers. But it is true that customers who ask us for advice during the pre-sale process are often the ones who end up saving money further down the line. The best approach is to start with an honest conversation about your needs and plans. Using an e-commerce company as an example: Is the business even and steady, or do you see major spikes around big sales? What are your plans for outbound marketing? Are your customers just in the United States or around the world? For what contingencies do we need to plan?

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EU-US Privacy Shield: next steps

Trust_01_0Some weeks ago we informed you of the EU-US Privacy Shield, announced by the European Commission on February 2, 2016 meaning a new arrangement for transatlantic data flows between the EU and US. In this blog you can read recent developments of the EU-US Privacy Shield and alternative solutions offered by LeaseWeb.

EU US Privacy Shield in the making
We have known since October 2015 that the US Safe Harbor regime is invalid, meaning that personal data of Europeans can no longer be transferred by a company to US Safe Harbor certified companies. Monday 29 February 2016, the European Commission published the details of the EU-US Privacy Shield that should replace the Safe Harbor certifications.

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3 ways to maximize advertising and website ROI through IaaS

AdServing_02_DeliveryCustomers want content delivered instantly. Whether it’s articles & videos or any type of advertising inventory pushed from a Supply-Side Platform (SSP) to a Demand-Side Platform (DSP), Owned Media, or big data being transmitted into a Data Management Platform (DMP) and used for analysis and real-time optimizations, it has to appear on the screen in milliseconds. Slow websites decrease conversion rates and that costs money.

A strong infrastructure provider can resolve these challenges:

  1. Ad viewability (Billable Impressions/Page Load Time/SEO)
  2. Page speed (Ad Deliverability/UX/SEO)
  3. Data access (Efficiency/Relevancy)

It is achieved as follows: Read the rest of this entry »

How the Safe Harbour principle invalidation affects LeaseWeb

The Court of Justice declares that the Commission’s U.S. Safe Harbour Decision is invalid.

The Safe Harbour arrangement has been in place since 2000. It was formalized by the European Commission’s Safe Harbour Decision (2000/520/EC), and permitted the transfer of personal data of
Europeans to the U.S., to companies that are self-certified under the Safe Harbor Privacy Principles
and registered with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Last Tuesday, in a landmark judgment, the European Court of Justice – Europe’s highest court – declared the Safe Harbour Decision invalid. At present, it is not yet fully clear what the consequences will be of this judgment of the ECJ. What is clear, however, is that data should no longer be transferred to U.S. organizations solely on the basis they are Safe Harbour-certified. Companies that transfer personal data from the EU to the U.S., or rely on the processing of personal data in the U.S., will need to review their data flows for compliance with EU data protection law. They will likely need to consider alternative cross-border transfer solutions, e.g. by applying binding corporate rules, EU model contract clauses and/or obtaining individual persons’ consent for the transfer of their data. That operation will be time consuming and expensive. All this could potentially have serious implications for cloud hosting providers and their customers, who are suddenly faced with data residency issues.

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LeaseWeb on Twitter

Be prepared! Join @Leaseweb and @ZENEDGEprotect at our upcoming #free #webinar about the General Data Protection Regulation. Register today lsw.to/l7r #BePrepared

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What does #GDPR mean for your business? Join the conversation receive advice and ask questions with @Leaseweb, @NetApp, @brenno and @Acronis on April 12th! lsw.to/li6 #Discussion #Cloud #DataSecurity

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Catch the latest on the @Leaseweb #blog: 15 Business Problems That Can Be Solved By Moving to the Cloud lsw.to/lis

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