Escalating commercial property rates force businesses into the firing line of cyberattacks
DDoS isn’t the latest online clothing store. Distributed denial of service (DDoS) is, however, a very real threat for anyone selling goods online. Unless you take the necessary precautions, this type of cyberattack could bring your business to a grinding halt. Unfortunately, the retail sector’s rapid migration from the high street to the information superhighway is exposing more and more businesses to this very real threat. Believe it or not, the internet isn’t entirely to blame for this worrying trend.
The internet celebrates its 30th birthday this year, so let’s spare a thought for this much-maligned invention – one of man’s most significant – that gave us the digital revolution. Yes, there are well-documented disadvantages its convenience brings – from cybercrime to obesity – but should we be so quick to point the finger as soon as an issue arises in society? Take the current state of the Great British High Street for example. There’s no denying the internet has played a part in its decline. However, your average shopper probably doesn’t realise another factor is forcing retailers online: extortionate business rates.
Rising Business Rates
If there was a competition for the most baffling tax down the ages, Britain would have plenty of potential entries to choose from: printed wallpaper, hats, windows and fireplaces are just some of the things that have helped line the tax man’s pockets in the past.
More recently, it’s business rates that have left some of us scratching our head. This tax on commercial property – shops, pubs, offices and factories – is a big cost for businesses because it only takes the building into account. So, unlike other taxes based on performance – income tax, corporation tax, VAT etc. – you get hit with the same bill whether you’re making a fortune or nothing at all. According to research by PricewaterhouseCoopers, a total of 2,692 shops vanished from Britain’s top 500 high streets in the first six months of last year – that’s around 14 a day.
The move online
This doesn’t always spell the end for businesses that struggle to cope. Many migrate online or expand their existing online operation, eliminating the need to pay this crippling tax or reducing it significantly – rising business rates often work in favour of online retailers because their out-of-town warehouses are worth less than high street property.
With one problem solved by the move online, these forward-thinking businesses must prevent another potentially debilitating issue from arising: the threat of cyberattacks like DDoS – a malicious attempt to take an online service out of action by overloading it with traffic from multiple sources. Downtime simply is not an option for web-based operations, due to the negative impact on immediate revenue and reputation.
That’s where IT project management and business change specialists TDM Group can really make a difference. Whatever the size of your online business, we understand the importance of protecting web applications and server infrastructure. After all, your website is one of the most critical components of your continued online commercial success.
For example, we strive to improve the security and performance of our client’s websites by deploying Incapsula solutions from Imperva – a leading cybersecurity software and services provider.
This innovative tool makes websites safer, faster and more reliable using a range of services that can be used individually or as an integrated solution:
- Web application firewall
- Comprehensive DDoS protection
- Global content delivery network
- Application level load balancer
Incapsula DDoS protection mitigates attacks of all sizes quickly, without interfering with legitimate traffic or increasing network latency. A variety of protection options – including website security, nameserver DDoS protection and infrastructure DDoS protection – allows you to tailor a package that matches your business’s unique requirements.
TDM Group and Schuh
schuh’s reputation as one of the UK and Ireland’s most successful footwear retailers is built around the development of a highly successful eCommerce channel – first launched in 2002. This has enabled them to keep pace with changing consumer habits, as the demand for digital browsing and purchasing methods grows. Claire Steyert, Internet Development Manager at schuh explains: “We regard our eCommerce operation as an integral part of the business. It’s important for the customer to enjoy a seamless experience, whether they interact with us on a mobile device or desktop computer.”
Aware that a successful eCommerce channel requires a reliable and secure supporting infrastructure, schuh has been working in partnership with TDM Group since 2003. Both parties have developed a longstanding working relationship, giving schuh the confidence to successfully navigate the changing digital landscape.
Regarding the threat of a DDoS attack, Claire explains: “eCommerce is now a big portion of our business and continuous uptime is critical to delivering excellent service to the customer, who is our primary focus. It’s essential that customers can shop online whenever they choose, 24/7, and receive great service. They just expect our website to be there – they won’t come back later if it’s not available.”
TDM Group gives schuh peace of mind by delivering 24/7 infrastructure management, flexible hosting and expert advice from a trusted source. This invaluable service helps them manage and develop a secure and effective infrastructure; one that matches their ambitions for growth and expansion.