Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR), a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information services, today announced that the company has experienced rapid adoption – 36% growth from 2014 to 2015 – of its cyber security technology by European retail clients, with brands such as Funky Pigeon, All Saints and Permanent TSB securing and optimising their web presence with Neustar. In the run up to busy seasonal shopping days such as Easter and Father’s Day, Neustar expects this explosive demand from retailers to continue into 2016 as more customers look to benefit from its cyber security protection that can keep them safe from DDoS attacks, hackers and ransomware.
Securing and testing websites is about protecting brand reputation as well as revenue. A slick looking website may draw in customers initially, but the damage to a brand’s reputation in the event of a cyber-attack can leave customers feeling uneasy about website security. Recent research by the Ponemon Institute, an independent research firm focused on privacy and data protection, says website performance influences perceptions about security to the point where 88 percent of consumers distrust websites that crash and 78 percent worry about a company’s security when a website is sluggish. It is for these reasons that Europe’s major retail brands are turning to Neustar ahead of busy shopping periods to insure optimal website performance.
One online retailer that experiences seasonal spikes is the online greetings card retailer, Funky Pigeon. It chose Neustar to monitor its website performance. John Symonds, IT Services Manager, Funky Pigeon, explains, “We are 100% dependent on online revenues, particularly over the crucial annual peaks in trade such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. There’s no room for slow page loads or site outages in this market.”
Fashion retailer, All Saints, has a strong online presence that needs to be high performing at all times to deliver an effortless user experience, not just for e-commerce purposes but as an extension of the All Saints brand image. Neustar’s UltraDNS provides All Saints with 100% website availability, optimal performance and built-in security that is also scalable to future demands.
David Blane, Ecommerce Systems Administrator, All Saints, explains, “The All Saints domain name is our customers’ first interaction with the brand and sometimes getting the customer to the point where they load the website is more important than what the website contains. For a website such as ours, website performance is critical as customers are not prepared for web pages to load. We chose Neustar UltraDNS to ensure 100% website availability and provide security features that protect us from external threats such as costly DDoS attacks.”
It is not only fashion and products that are sold online. Personal banking services are another important retail offering that can fall victim to attack. Permanent TSB is Ireland’s third largest retail bank with over 1 million customers who use its online and mobile banking services 24/7. This means that the bank’s website and digital presence must be protected against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, which could otherwise take it offline.
“Permanent TSB bank is all about doing the basics extremely well and providing those services anywhere, anytime,” explains Martin Farrelly, Head of IT Risk and Control at Permanent TSB. “In addition to our local branches and ATMs, we provide telephone banking, business services, mobile banking and online banking. We also enable mobile money transfer. “With more banking transactions happening online than through any of our local branches or via our call centre, it’s good to know we have professional DDoS mitigation in place in case of attack,” says Martin Farrelly.
In today’s world of online retail, a brand is more than great digital marketing. To be a brand that is trusted by customers who return to its website again and again, online marketing, IT and security need to be integrated or else brands face the real possibility of destroying customer loyalty.
“There are threats to online shopping every day of the year, from the moment someone types a URL, navigates through a site and into post-sale outreach. Peak shopping dates simply up the stakes,” explains Anthony Chadd, Director EMEA, Neustar. “The brands which combine a strong retail offering with robust security will, in the long term, outlast those where trust has been eroded through poor website performance or downtime caused by cybercrime. Neustar looks forward to extending its European customer portfolio in 2016 and helping more brands to optimise and secure their web presence.”