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3 Things Ecommerce Sites Must Do in Response to the Major Internet Outage

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As you are probably aware, a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack on DNS provider Dyn has resulted in outages for several major websites and online services, including Twitter, Spotify, PayPal, Box.com and Reddit. Thousands of ecommerce shops have been affected as well, with Shopify, Big cartel and Etsy all affected. If your shop is still online, you may be tempted to breathe a huge sigh of relief, but there are a few things you should do first:


 

1. Do a full security audit of your website

This is a must for all stores – whether your site is down or live. Massive coordinated hacks often occur in multiple waves, so it’s best to be prepared for any potential attacks or outages.

If you have in-house website security personnel, have them do a thorough evaluation to verify that everything is secure and identify any attempted hacks. If you host your website with an ecommerce platform or a hosting service, contact their support team to get any important information or updates.

2. Closely monitor your online advertising campaigns…and consider turning them off

Unfortunately, this kind of attack has far-reaching consequences that go beyond the directly affected stores. When consumers hear about half of the internet shutting down and can’t use their Starbucks app to buy a coffee, they won’t be too eager to shop online anywhere. This consumer skittishness could result in a downturn that could last days.

If your site is down, shut off all ad campaigns until you can verify that your website is fully up and running.

If your site is still live, keep a close eye on your campaigns. If performance is noticeably lower than normal, scale back your spend or turn off your ads entirely.

3. Keep your customers informed

If your site is down, use available channels like Facebook and email to let them know what is going on. Despite how widespread this attack is, there will still be many people who will not immediately know what is going on. If they try to visit your store and find an error message, it could worry and confuse them, leading them to possibly question whether your site is a safe and reputable place to shop. By keeping visitors and customers up to date via social media and email, you can mitigate any concerns and keep up a strong dialogue with your customers.

If your site is still live, focus on affected websites and services that you use to engage with or service customers. For example, Twitter has become a common platform for customer service, so if customers regularly contact you there, be sure to let people know (via Facebook, email, etc.) of alternate methods of contact while that service is down. Similarly, if you use PayPal as one of your payment options, you should temporarily disable it (if possible) to keep the checkout experience smooth.


We hope everyone’s websites are safe during this unprecedented attack, and that any sites experiencing problems quickly return to normal. This will all hopefully be over soon, but until then, please make sure to take any available precautions and safeguard your website (and business) from serious harm. If you have any questions or need some advice, we are here to help however we can. 

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