Building a superior online experience

Introduction

Providing a superior online experience for a global customer base is no longer optional. As demand increases for web-based services and applications, businesses must satisfy customer needs while ensuring that their websites and applications remain as secure, fast, and reliable as possible.

With this shift, enterprises face new challenges and opportunities for growth — from anticipating and meeting customers’ digital needs to mounting a strong defense against web-based attacks, overcoming latency issues, preventing site outages, and maintaining network connectivity and performance.

Building a superior online experience doesn’t just require a single tool or product suite, but the integration of a comprehensive security posture and performance features designed to cut down on latency and improve network reliability — as outlined in the diagram below:

improve network reliability

Here are five key steps modern enterprises need to take in order to meet customer needs and provide a secure and seamless user experience.

STEP 1 Ensure Secure, Fast, and Reliable Customer Connections

DNS

DNS is an essential component of every Internet-based business, yet it is often overlooked until something breaks. As DNS attacks become more prevalent, businesses are starting to realize that the lack of a resilient DNS creates a weak link in their overall security strategy. The millions of dollars spent on building and securing web properties are of no value if their applications are unavailable and their customers can’t find them.

DNS challenges

High latency: Businesses may face web performance problems when their webpages frequently load assets from more than one domain, increasing the time required to resolve each requested domain.

In-house DNS infrastructure: Self-hosted DNS is costly to maintain, may add latency due to slower DNS resolution for a globally-distributed customer base, and is not fully protected against sophisticated DNS attacks.

Small-network DNS providers: When selecting a DNS solution, businesses often make the mistake of choosing a provider that does not have a large network and does not perform DNS resolution at all data centers. This can restrict performance and reliability, particularly for companies that need to reach customers across various regions of the globe.

What to look for in a DNS provider

Integrated security solutions: Because the DNS threat landscape is so diverse, effectively mitigating DNS attacks requires an integrated security strategy that includes DNSSEC, DDoS attack mitigation, and a DNS firewall. For large enterprises that prefer to maintain their own DNS infrastructure, a DNS firewall can be implemented in conjunction with a secondary DNS. This setup adds a security layer to the on-premise DNS infrastructure and helps ensure overall DNS redundancy. Also learn more about DNS security that reduces threats and costs.

Fast DNS resolution: For businesses considering cloud-based managed DNS providers, it is essential to select a provider that can maximize performance and availability with fast DNS resolution and geo-based or dynamic routing.

Redundancy: Businesses that choose to host their DNS records with a single provider are more vulnerable to outages since they depend on a single point of failure. In order to maximize resiliency, businesses need to not only enlist the help of multiple separate managed DNS providers, but also ensure that those providers do not share the same nameserver facilities.

Client-side security

Today, up to 70% of the code that executes and renders on users’ browsers comes from external, unmonitored JavaScript integrations, opening up new and expansive avenues for client-side attacks like Magecart, cross-site scripting (XSS), credit card skimming, website defacement, and worse.

Server-side security tools have limited, if any, visibility into client-side threats and no way of preventing attacks or patching these vulnerabilities. For companies with a web presence, it is vital that they deploy and maintain dedicated client-side protection in order to secure their websites against these common and rapidly-evolving threats.

Client-side attacks

Cross-site scripting (XSS):  XSS attacks occur when an attacker attaches, or inserts, malicious code onto a legitimate website, often with the purpose of stealing user login credentials, accessing other sensitive information, or taking control of a user’s browser.

Magecart attacks: Magecart attacks fall under the umbrella of ‘data skimming,’ in which attackers insert malicious code into websites and scrape confidential user data (e.g. credit card numbers, passwords, etc.) from online payment forms. This kind of attack may be more difficult for businesses to detect, since attackers can disguise malicious code within harmless code or encode stolen data so that it can be returned to the attacker undetected.

Spoofing: Spoofing, or disguising malicious communication by impersonating a trusted source, allows attackers to steal sensitive user data, reroute traffic to cause a DDoS attack, or gain unauthorized access to an organization’s system or network.

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How to Build Infrastructure to Deliver a Superior Online Experience

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