Balancing the need to secure content and the need to keep response times low is a major concern for every business with an online presence. A recent website analysis by About:Performance on different security strategies taken by companies during the Super Bowl can help shed light on this important topic. Much discussion has revolved around content security recently, with many companies evaluating their website security and thinking up ways to mitigate potential data leaks; however, site traffic should be high on a business’s list of priorities if it wants to keep customers coming back for more.
The Super Bowl presents the perfect opportunity to analyze high site traffic spikes and to determine the best strategy for balancing website performance with site security measures. If businesses invest in a high-cost commercial during the Super Bowl, they will undoubtedly want to reap the benefits of this marketing tactic and drive customers and prospects to their websites. According to Greg Speckhart’s analysis, three companies utilized secure sockets layer (SSL) to secure website content during the 2014 Super Bowl, but differences in their employment of HTTPS protocol created vastly disparate end-user experiences.
Doritos and Turbotax, which have similarly sized websites, were two of the three analyzed companies using SSL on their homepage. All of Turbotax’s SSL was set up to be delivered from a single content delivery network (CDN) provider across 13 different IP addresses and one domain. Doritos split its SSL content between eight domains and 92 IP addresses, utilizing a CDN for just under 65 percent of SSL content, the cloud for nearly 21 percent, and a private partner for the rest. As a result, Turbotax had a response time that was 1.2 times faster than Doritos and a 400 percent faster SSL time.
This data demonstrates that businesses must determine what content is worth the cost of extra latency SSL security measures. Balance is necessary, especially during high-traffic periods. Also, when employing SSL, businesses should be sure to not use too many sources to load content to keep latency issues at a minimum. The best way to prevent any mishaps during periods of high traffic volume is to work with a high-performance CDN provider who will offer scalable delivery of on-demand content which will enable stable and reliable performance, even during spikes in website traffic.
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