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Customization Tech Company Halts Six-Figures-Per-Hour Losses from DDoS

Scalable Press (scalablepress.com) is an international customization and printing company. As a technology-driven organization, it requires robust cybersecurity—which became quite clear as the company grew. “An outage can cost us six figures of revenue per hour,” said Jeremy Kerr, a DevOps engineer with Scalable Press. “And we started experiencing DDoS attacks; the largest one brought our site down for three hours. We realized this would be an ongoing problem, and we needed to do something about it.” Scalable Press engineers determined that their existing security measures were inadequate, and they sought a replacement solution.

Our primary motivator was to find something that had more sophisticated features. We wanted a solution that could do behavioral analysis, so that it could learn from attacks and respond to them.

Comparing Solutions
Along with comparing feature sets, Scalable Press investigated other aspects of the solutions they were considering. “One of the main selling points for Reblaze was references from other Reblaze customers who were able to successfully mitigate attacks.”

Other important considerations included DNS and SSL management. Mr. Kerr explained, “This is actually one of the selling points of Reblaze for us. For our product we host thousands of domains, and we have to be able to set them up automatically. No human is involved in that— when somebody purchases a site, the site is created automatically and it has SSL and everything set up for them.”

Reblaze does not charge per hostname, as many other solutions do. “For the number of domains we have and the number of certificates we have to manage, other providers would be a significant cost increase. And we have to be able to control our own DNS and SSL—that’s very important for us.”

After Scalable Press selected Reblaze, the team took advantage of its 24/7 support. “As we switched our traffic over, the support was excellent. The Reblaze team is super helpful. They’ve been extremely responsive whenever we’ve had a question or any kind of an issue.” As a fully managed service, Reblaze is maintained remotely by Reblaze Technologies. As new web threats arise, all worldwide deployments are updated automatically to counter them.
Mr. Kerr commented, “I really like that the various ACLs and blacklists are kept up to date for us. It’s nice not to have to maintain the firewall and other parts of the solution.”

When Mr. Kerr was asked which features of Reblaze were the most useful, he said, “Definitely the logging and monitoring. When an incident occurs, it is extremely useful to be able to quickly slice the traffic and understand what the attack is. Once we understand the root cause, it’s a lot faster to arrive at a solution.”
“The support is excellent”
When asked to summarize Scalable Press’ experience using Reblaze, Mr. Kerr said, “The support is excellent. Whenever we’ve had an issue, it’s been obvious that from Reblaze’s perspective, it’s an all-hands-on-deck situation. We’re very pleased with the support we receive.”
Someone can mitigate attacks even when they don’t have a lot of experience. That person doesn’t need to understand how to do everything within Reblaze—they just follow the directions in the runbook and they can block the attack.
A tool that a lot of different people can use
Another important aspect is Reblaze’s ease of use. Mr. Kerr explained, “In the past, if we got attacked, we had to make changes to the network layer. This required a pretty deep understanding of the network layer in order to make those changes safely, and there aren’t many people who have this. And we have offices around the world.

“Now we have a tool that a lot of different people can use. With Reblaze, it’s trivial to write a runbook. When an attack happens, an alert fires, and the alert includes a reference to the runbook. It says ‘go log into Reblaze, and here’s how to quickly identify what the attack is, and here’s how to block it.’

“Something like that would have been very difficult for us to do before Reblaze. But now even somebody who doesn’t have a lot of experience can handle these situations.”
INDUSTRY
Mass Customization and Printing
CHALLENGES
  • Blocking frequent DDoS attacks, each of which could potentially result in high loss of revenue
  • Affordably scrubbing incoming traffic for thousands of domains
  • Maintaining control over SSL and DNS even while using an external security solution
SOLUTION
Scalable Press deployed Reblaze, incrementally routing traffic and gradually shifting from report-only (testing) mode to active mode.
RESULTS
  • DDoS attacks are being mitigated. Company and customer sites remain available and performant
  • Scalable Press remains in control of its DNS and SSL
  • Runbooks allow attacks to be handled by personnel around the world, without needing IT experts to be involved

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