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Tars Geerts, Mlytics: “with more businesses going online, there are more opportunities for cybercriminals to attack”

Since the world is going digital, more and more of our daily activities can be completed online. Yet, this transformation also opened up new opportunities for malicious threat actors. It’s probably impossible to track how many websites each of us visit every day. Are all of them safe?

This is the question that should be asked not only by website visitors but also the owners. If you want to create a successful online business, you should focus on cybersecurity as much as on the great customer experience.

Today, we’ve talked with Tars Geerts, the Growth Manager at Mlytics, a company that provides a traffic management platform, about website traffic management and the importance of website security.

Tell us about your journey throughout the years. How did the idea of Mlytics originate?

About four years ago, the CEO and founder of Mlytics, Ryan Chin, saw the market blooming with cloud and CDN solutions. But he also noticed that, while the product vendors and solution providers were impressive from a technical perspective, they weren’t always designed with the end-customers in mind.

Inspired by Steve Jobs, who said: “You have to start from the customer experience and work back towards the technology”, Chin decided to create Mlytics which is not just another CND vendor.

It first focuses on the needs of customers and then, delivers the technological solutions they need to help them make their businesses more successful. It gives them access to CDNs that are fast, safe, and provide them with choice and control.

Can you tell us a little bit about your traffic management platform? What are its key features?

Mlytics has created a one-of-a-kind, SaaS digital experience delivery platform, uniquely suited to optimize website traffic while keeping sites safe and secure. It combines multiple trusted CDNs with sophisticated security features into a centralized marketplace and leverages a proprietary Smart Load Balancer.

The platform allows access to multiple trusted CDNs – Akamai, Cloudflare, Stackpath, or Fastly – in a few clicks, enabling users to fully customize the solution to their business needs with its Multi-CDN marketplace.

Setting itself apart from traditional CDN solution providers, the Mlytics system collects global network performance data and translates it into traffic routing decisions, tapping an AI solution to automatically choose the most effective CDN that a client installed.

During outages or downtimes, the system automatically identifies and routes users to the best-performing CDN to deliver the optimal experience and avoid disruption.

Traffic going through the system is protected from a range of malicious activities by the platform’s Cloud WAF, API protection, CDN/origin DDoS protection, bot management, and access control tools. Once set up, clients can focus on other projects as the system seamlessly runs its course.

What problems can arise as a result of unmanaged website traffic?

One of the main problems is the decreasing website loading speed or even a complete shutdown due to high traffic spikes. For example, if you run an e-commerce website, you can expect significant traffic increases around holidays, Black Friday, and other important shopping dates. If you’re not prepared for these traffic spikes and your website traffic stays unmanaged, you will leave a bad impression on online shoppers. They will have a bad on-page experience and that will directly impact revenue and your brand reputation.

Do you think the pandemic altered the cybersecurity industry in any way?

Due to the global pandemic, the worldwide digitization speed shifted into second gear – employees had to start working remotely, friends and families had to resort to online meetups and digital forms of entertainment as well as plenty of people started to or continued to shop online even more.

This resulted in a sudden increase in demand for seamless digital content delivery and cybersecurity. With more businesses going online, there are more opportunities for cybercriminals and therefore, higher demand for cyber threat mitigation.

What are some of the main challenges new website owners face nowadays?

In my opinion, these are the most common challenges faced by website owners:

  • Unawareness of the importance of cybersecurity and seamless content delivery
  • Websites are not always being developed or managed in-house, so owners are heavily relying on third parties to implement changes
  • Costly cybersecurity and/or content delivery solutions

In your opinion, what does the growing popularity of cloud solutions mean for threat actors? Will it be more challenging to carry out cyberattacks?

Websites with properly implemented security solutions are most definitely raising the bar for cybercriminals. But as stated, many websites stay vulnerable due to a lack of security. This may be attributed to unawareness or costs involved with implementing solutions.

Besides traffic management, what other security tools do you think are crucial for every website?

I think an Origin Shield to protect one’s origin server is crucial. Origin Shield is a sophisticated security suite that is placed in front of the origin, this way it stays protected from L7 attacks.

As opposed to traditional WAF or Cloud WAF solutions, which are highly specific, Origin Shield takes a more holistic approach. It includes the following:

  • Cloud WAF (OWASP CRS and customized CRS)
  • Web firewall and header rules
  • Captcha/JS challenge
  • User-agent blocking rules
  • Rate-limiting rules
  • Rate limiting-header rules
  • Access control

Talking about personal cybersecurity, what measures do you think are a must for average Internet users?

Personal cybersecurity awareness has become a necessity in the current situation of increasing digital transformation. Either at the business or individual level, you need to protect your identity, accounts, money, and so on. So definitely, these are a few key measures everyone should take:

  • Avoid passwords that are easy to guess. Cybercriminals use software to try from millions of possible and the most commonly used passwords. Don’t use your name, family name, birthday, or personal thing as a password; hackers can make unexpected investigations about your life.
  • Don’t click anything you don’t understand. Clicking anywhere without investigating the website’s legitimacy or downloading an attachment without knowing the email sender may cause entering malicious software into your device. It may be an infected URL that causes installing ransomware that locks your access to your data unless you pay money for the hacker.
  • Enable automatic security updates. From the operating system (Windows, Android, Mac, etc.) to the browser extension, one should set every application and software on its devices to the auto-update option.

And finally, what’s next for Mlytics?

With a customer-first approach, Mlytics is always exploring opportunities to further enhance the digital experience of our users and their users. Hence, we continue to build a faster, more reliable, and safer online world, while providing the ultimate transparency, flexibility, and customer control.

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