2015 Holiday Season Analytics: Mobile Usage Up, More DDoS Attacks

Ami Badani

Mobile DDoS Attacks

During big events, the DevOps and IT teams at e-Commerce companies spend cycles preparing for the huge influx of traffic, optimizing for performance, and getting ready for the increase in attacks and security issues that come with such a surge in traffic and transactions. As many e-Commerce customers rely on Instart Logic for their application delivery needs, we also need to ensure our systems can handle the traffic.

It may come as no surprise that one of the largest traffic days was Black Friday. Below are some key insights on the traffic we observed. Overall, there was an 8% traffic spike in last mile bandwidth between Black Friday and the prior Friday.

Reducing bytes sent over the last mile should be done every day, but it is even more critical during big events. Through our optimizations we were able to eliminate over 50TB of data from the wire. 67% of the bytes saved over the last mile by our customers was from using our SmartVision image optimization technology.

BlackFriday Savings In Bytes Transported

Without images, e-Commerce would be much less effective. As a result, images comprise the largest percentage of data delivered and have a tremendous impact on speed. The top 3 image formats are JPEG, WebP, & GIF. We optimized over 1.8 Billion images on Black Friday, a 29% increase over days earlier in the week.

Chart - Number of Images Transcoded

The number of operating systems and how many ways users access the internet is increasing. We saw traffic from 38 different operating systems across tablets, smartphones and personal computers over the holiday period. PCs were used by 65% of users while 35% used either a tablet or smartphone.

Chart - Device Types

On the personal computer front, Windows was the dominant OS while Apple dominated on the tablet and smartphone side. Pretty surprising given that only ~15%+ of smartphones users worldwide use an iPhone.

Chart - Personal Computers OS Share

Chart - Mobile Devices OS Share

Not only is good traffic on the rise during the shopping season, but so malicious traffic. We found that security attacks were definitely higher during the holiday season than in other times of the year, specifically DDoS attacks. During this time, we saw large DDoS attacks that were typically 15x higher than average-size DDoS attacks. Clearly, cyberattacks are on the rise during the peak holiday season.

So there you have it. It’s a bit past the holiday season, but better late than never. Join us every quarter as we highlight some critical trends that we are seeing across our service and how we can help improve your performance and provide increased security protection.

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