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Many e-Commerce Sites Risk Losing Holiday Sales to Network Downtime, New Research Finds

DULLES, VA--(Marketwire - Oct 11, 2011) - A new study commissioned by VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN), the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world, finds that availability of online e-commerce sites could be at risk -- even for the largest e-tailers -- due to Domain Name System (DNS) performance issues. Considering that the busy holiday shopping season is just around the corner, any unavailability during this critical time can be devastating for businesses.

The latest Verisign State of DNS Availability Report found that in the second quarter of 2011, even the top e-commerce sites suffered the kind of DNS failures that erode revenue and threaten customer loyalty. The report also spotlights the widespread need for solutions that ensure DNS availability -- a crucial requirement for the reliable operation of websites, network services, and online communications.

Research Highlights:

Using proprietary technology, ThousandEyes, a company that provides application performance analytics, calculated the minimum, maximum, and average DNS availability of the Alexa 1,000 websites during the second quarter of 2011 to illustrate the state of global DNS availability. The study found that minimum DNS availability averaged 95.05 percent for United States (U.S.) sites that host their own DNS, while U.S. sites using third-party managed DNS services averaged a minimum DNS availability of 97.35 percent. This 2.3 percent difference in minimum availability equates to approximately 40 more minutes of downtime daily for sites with internally managed DNS. Other key findings include:

1. U.S. websites with self-managed DNS experience almost 40 minutes more downtime daily, on average, than third-party managed sites.

2. Global minimum DNS availability averaged 95.30 percent for sites that host their own DNS, while sites using third-party managed DNS services averaged a minimum DNS availability rate of 97.14 percent.

3. Sites with internally managed DNS have a higher propensity to experience near to total outages, while sites with third-party DNS management did not experience total outages.

4. Businesses that rely on their online presence for critical operations, such as e-commerce, need to invest in secondary DNS management services -- particularly if their primary DNS management strategy is internal -- to act as a failsafe to serve traffic to their websites in the event that the primary DNS management tool becomes unavailable.

In addition to the DNS availability research, Verisign examined its own DDoS Protection Service customer data and found that e-commerce customers are facing longer than average Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. The report notes that since Jan. 1, 2011, DDoS attacks mitigated by Verisign for its e-commerce customers lasted 40 percent longer than the DDoS attacks it mitigated for all other customer verticals combined.

"Maintaining a world-class DNS infrastructure is a complex undertaking that requires enormous scale and expertise," said Ben Petro, senior vice president of Verisign's Network Intelligence and Availability Group. "As this latest research shows, self-managed DNS results in significantly lower availability that can cut into a company's bottom line. With the host of other competitive issues facing retailers today, there's no reason that website availability should be one of them when they can rely on Verisign's suite of network intelligence and availability services to keep their sites up and running."

Ensuring Availability During the Crucial Holiday Season

Downtime can be financially devastating during the crucial holiday shopping season, which accounts for as much as 40 percent of retailers' annual revenue -- and even as much as 50 percent for toy merchants.i To help retailers fortify their sites for the upcoming season and beyond, Verisign is offering the Verisign Uptime Bundle which combines three proven services that protect network infrastructure for businesses of all sizes:

The Verisign Uptime Bundle Offers:

  • Verisign Managed DNS is a cloud-based hosting service that helps improve the availability of Web-based systems by delivering DNS resolution with a 100 percent service level agreement.
  • Verisign DDoS Protection Services provides comprehensive protection from DDoS attacks by detecting and filtering malicious traffic before it reaches the network.
  • Verisign iDefense Security Intelligence Services offers 24/7 access to accurate and actionable cyber intelligence on vulnerabilities, malicious code and global threats.

Businesses protected by the Verisign Uptime Bundle can count on the infrastructure and expertise that comes from operating the global, high-availability network supporting .com and .net for more than a decade. This suite of services is designed to operate with any network infrastructure -- even one hosted by other providers -- and also enables secondary DNS hosting through Verisign to gain incremental infrastructure without additional IT investments or changes in site hosting and management.

Customers who sign up for the Verisign Uptime Bundle by Nov. 1 will receive 14 months of service for the price of 12. For more information, visit http://vrsn.cc/prEaWy

Best Practices Webinar Features Forrester and Internet Retailer

Retailers interested in learning about best practices to protect network and online operations during the upcoming holiday shopping season can watch a complimentary recorded webinar titled "Best Practices in Keeping Your eCommerce Website Up and Running During the 2011 Holiday Season." The webinar, hosted by Internet Retailer Editor Don Davis, features insights on best practices for ensuring a trouble free online shopping experience from Peter Sheldon, senior analyst at Forrester Research, and Sean Leach, vice president of strategy for Verisign's Network Intelligence and Availability Group.

About Verisign
VeriSign, Inc. (NASDAQ: VRSN) is the trusted provider of Internet infrastructure services for the networked world. Billions of times each day, Verisign helps companies and consumers all over the world connect between the dots. Additional news and information about the company is available at www.verisigninc.com.

Statements in this announcement other than historical data and information constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as amended. These statements involve risks and uncertainties that could cause Verisign's actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by such forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, among others, the uncertainty of future revenue and profitability and potential fluctuations in quarterly operating results due to such factors as increasing competition, pricing pressure from competing services offered at prices below our prices and changes in marketing practices including those of third-party registrars; the sluggish economic recovery; challenges to ongoing privatization of Internet administration; the outcome of legal or other challenges resulting from our activities or the activities of registrars or registrants; new or existing governmental laws and regulations; changes in customer behavior, Internet platforms and web-browsing patterns; the inability of Verisign to successfully develop and market new services; the uncertainty of whether our new services will achieve market acceptance or result in any revenues; system interruptions; security breaches; attacks on the Internet by hackers, viruses, or intentional acts of vandalism; the uncertainty of the expense and duration of transition services and requests for indemnification relating to completed divestitures; the uncertainty of whether Project Apollo will achieve its stated objectives; potential introduction of new gTLDs; and the uncertainty of whether the .com Registry Agreement renewal will occur by December 1, 2012, if at all. More information about potential factors that could affect the company's business and financial results is included in Verisign's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2010, Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K. Verisign undertakes no obligation to update any of the forward-looking statements after the date of this announcement.

©2011 VeriSign, Inc. All rights reserved. VERISIGN, the VERISIGN logo, and other trademarks, service marks, and designs are registered or unregistered trademarks of VeriSign, Inc. and its subsidiaries in the United States and in foreign countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective owners.

i "Holiday shoppers came out to spend in November," CSNews.com, Dec. 2, 2010.