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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Launching a New Game? Make Sure to Use These Technologies

cloud computingGame design is like the virtual Wild West, where anyone with a dream and some courage has a chance to build something great. But you can’t grow an indie game studio on dreams alone; you need the right technology to turn your vision into reality.

 

Cloud computing offers game developers a means of quickly and easily spinning up or down, depending on their circumstances. The technology enables them to respond quickly to unexpected performance demand, which is critical to building a thriving user base.

 

Cloud computing becomes an even bigger asset when it’s paired with dedicated servers. A system built on these technologies working in tandem offers flexibility, customization, and raw performance power.

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Throwback to My First 5 Months in Singapore

LeaseWeb Singapore“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself’” – Henry Ford

Now that I have spent 5 months working and living in one of the most vibrant cities in the world, I thought it would be a good point to write a follow-up to my previous piece ‘’My Journey from the Netherlands to Singapore’’. A lot has happened during this time. I would like to start with the Global Sales Kickoff that took place during the last week of January. All of the sales teams from across LeaseWeb’s offices visited Amsterdam to commence the sales year.

The Global Sales Kick Off gave us the opportunity to experience a sales training led by Steven Vantongelen. It was a fascinating session and definitely gave everyone the energy and motivation to maximize sales in 2017. It certainly gave a boost to the team in Singapore, since we not only met, but actually exceeded our sales target during the first quarter of the year. The team has closed a considerable number of significant deals, and we can be proud of what we have achieved during Q1, particularly taking into consideration the small size of the team. After the Global Sales Kickoff, a former colleague from LeaseWeb Netherlands, joined LeaseWeb Asia Pacific and supported us in lead generation. Unfortunately, he only stayed until the end of April – he was doing a 3 month internship in Singapore – and returned back to Reykjavik, Iceland to finish his Masters degree.

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Buy or Build? How IT Services Firms Can Partner for Cloud Success

Hosting InfrastructureIT services companies – from managed service providers to pure consultants – often face a difficult decision whether to “buy or build” hosting infrastructure to meet client requirements. As the cloud market matures and providers expand their options for partners, services companies now have better options for working with infrastructure that is already there rather starting from scratch. Nevertheless, let’s consider both sides of the fence and look at where it makes sense to buy and build a cloud service.

When buying into the cloud is better

There are many good reasons for IT service providers to engage with an existing cloud provider, including:

  • No data center or hardware infrastructure investments. This might seem obvious, but many IT companies invest in cloud infrastructure only to find the return is less than anticipated. The procurement and management requirements of all the components necessary for a scalable cloud are easily underestimated and require specialist skills.
  • Avoid high maintenance costs. In addition to the capital investments, running a cloud requires ongoing maintenance costs often not anticipated during the build stage. And as a cloud partner you get access to better rates and healthy margins usually associated with equipment reselling, but often overlooked in the cloud.

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Looking Back at 20 Years of LeaseWeb

As LeaseWeb approaches its 20th anniversary, I’ve recently had a quote from Chuck Yeager stuck in mind, “If you want to grow old as a pilot, you’ve got to know when to push it, and when to back off.” As a pilot myself, and someone who spent his early life working as one professionally, this line resonates. When you are flying, there is little room for error. Expertise, teamwork, and precision, mean the difference between a safe and enjoyable flight and one that could place people in real danger.

While the risks in the field of cloud hosting may not be as dramatic as those in aviation, they are no less real. Much like in aviation, deep knowledge of the field and the right team are important. But, expertise and teamwork are not enough in themselves. They need to be brought together in the right way to provide a framework for success.

When we started LeaseWeb in 1997, I could have never imagined what the company would become. The field of technology was quite different. The internet as we understand it today had barely emerged, dial up modems were the only way to get online, and no one had even imagined the possibility of the smart phone. Access to the internet was limited and at times hard to come by. I remember being in Nairobi after a flight with our 747 and trying to find a way to get online. There were actually no local connections, so I ended up paying nearly € 800 in calling charges to South Africa just to get access to the internet.

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How to Ensure Business Continuity in the Cloud

Business ContinuityBusiness continuity, like its little sibling backups, is too often overlooked until it’s too late. But with the cloud on their side, IT and business leaders have a new chance  to rethink the breadth and effectiveness of their business continuity capabilities to help avert the next outage.

The ‘build it and they will come’ days of business continuity

If you look at how business continuity was traditionally performed in medium to large organizations it usually involved a lot of talk about the “second site”. Core systems, applications, and data are literally duplicated (sometimes with watered-down capabilities) at an off-site data center or server room.

In the event of a business disruption, such as a fire alarm, the production systems would be switched over to the DR system and, at least in theory, the business would continue as usual.

One of the major challenges with using this architecture is the cost and resources required to do it properly. While some core business applications might require hardware duplication, the vast majority of applications can be run on standards-based hybrid cloud infrastructure.

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Finding My Way to the Land of Windmills

NetherlandsI recently moved from South Africa to join LeaseWeb as a Scrum Master. As expected, this was a big step filled with many challenges and sometimes overwhelming uncertainty.

My journey started with the interview process. After two online interviews, I was invited for a face to face interview at the LeaseWeb head office in the Netherlands. I experienced the company as honest and open. I immediately felt at home even though I hadn’t even received an offer.

When starting a new job in a new country, acceptance and belonging are important and this is the very much the experience I had with LeaseWeb from the get go. As soon as the contract was signed, I was welcomed and taken care of every step of the way.

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5 Things You Should Do When Migrating to the Cloud

Migrating to the cloudFrom both a business and an IT perspective, migrating to the cloud can be a good option for many businesses. But, it’s not something that can be done without the right research and preparation. If you want to be successful when migrating to the cloud, you need open communication with both your own team and hosting provider, as well as a clearly defined cloud migration strategy that is connected to your business needs. What follow are 5 tips to help you get started.

  1. Share your roadmap

Setting goals is everything. Your goals for migrating to the cloud should be closely connected to your business goals. How fast do you want to grow (i.e. how scalable does your technology need to be)? Who in your organization needs what functionality in order to reach which goal?

Select a cloud partner who is open to discussion about your roadmap and its implementation. Together you can create a technology roadmap that best supports your ambitions. Ideally, your cloud partner is a trusted advisor who shares his expertise with you. Keeping in close contact with your partner and sharing the load will also enable you to divide tasks between you: while your cloud provider focuses on hosting a cloud platform and making sure your servers are up-and-running, you will be able to concentrate on creating more value for your customers.

The value of leveraging a third party can only be achieved when both sides understand their responsibilities and expectations. This means communication between you and your partner should be one of your top priorities.

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