Customer Spotlight: NOVICA Promoting Happiness through Online Fair Trade

Customer Spotlight: NOVICA, Promoting Online Fair Trade

Some websites exist primarily to sell products to shoppers. But NOVICA isn’t your typical commerce website. It’s a website with a purpose, aiming to spread worldwide happiness to artisans and their customers. NOVICA’s mission is to connect artisans from impoverished areas to a global marketplace and empower them to build a sustainable business with their craft, while preserving ancient artistic traditions for future generations to enjoy.

From Ghana, to Central America, Indonesia and Peru, NOVICA spans a global market with artisans located in all regions of the world. These artists have been learning and perfecting their craft with skills that have been passed down for generations. NOVICA uses their website to connect shoppers with unique products, which range from custom-crafted earrings, to unique gifts and beautiful home décor.

Prior to the existence of NOVICA, many of these artisans had few ways of selling their products outside their local geography. They had limited access to customers, and few people around the world were able to marvel in the beauty and originality of their creations. For parts of the world in which artisanal skills are the way many survive, Novica has had a huge impact on communities looking to improve their quality of life.

By 2013, Novica had experienced over a decade of solid growth, partnerships with National Geographic, Unicef and the World Bank, and had sent over $25 million to artisans around the world. Over the same period, the company’s website experienced an explosion in traffic as buying products online really started to take hold with shoppers around the world.

Commerce websites who, like NOVICA, sell handmade products, have seen an immense rise in popularity; online retail revenue is increasing by 11 percent annually, according to CMO.com. It became clear to NOVICA that they had to make serious preparations for their next decade of growth.

The need for a relationship with Verizon
NOVICA needed a secure and high-performing website to fulfill their mission to empower artisans to operate a sustainable, creative business. They also had a mandated PCI-compliance requirement to provide their customers with a secure online shopping experience. This was crucial. Without a securely functioning website, shoppers can’t locate the products they want, and artisans can’t exhibit and advertise their unique treasures.

NOVICA partnered with Verizon Digital Media Services to improve their overall web performance, security, and enlist ongoing operational support. For example, Verizon’s Web Application Firewall (WAF) helps NOVICA determine which traffic is malicious and which represents legitimate customers.

How Verizon Helps
With Verizon’s easy-to-implement and enterprise-grade WAF, NOVICA’s site was secured quickly. And according to NOVICA CTO Charles Hachtmann, “We don’t have to worry about issues in maintaining servers or the infrastructure; Verizon is constantly monitoring the website’s security and performance. And with two complete ModSecurity rulesets, Verizon provides NOVICA with the most comprehensive implementation of a cloud-based ModSecurity WAF.”

Verizon helps NOVICA reduce vulnerabilities and risky exposures on their website by pushing out WAF configuration changes in only 2-5 minutes. That’s up to 900 percent faster than the competition! The massive scale of Verizon’s infrastructure enables optimum performance to support NOVICA’s global reach.

This paid off in early 2015 when Verizon’s WAF and NOVICA’s internal monitoring system warned that NOVICA’s website was under attack. A high volume of malicious HTTP requests, containing SQL injection, XSS and a variety of other attack vectors, flooded the website. NOVICA’s technical team contacted the Verizon support team, who identified the attack source within seconds. Verizon’s WAF dashboard enabled NOVICA to narrow down the attacks to one specific IP address.

Within minutes, Verizon’s WAF helped NOVICA blacklist the threatening IP address and blocked all malicious requests. Thanks to Verizon WAF’s real-time data display and extremely fast global propagation of configuration changes, over 500,000 malicious requests were blocked from reaching the website.

The Benefits
Since partnering with Verizon, NOVICA has also seen their website performance improve significantly. Page-load times have decreased from eight seconds down to just 1-2 seconds. The speed and responsiveness of their website allows them to focus on growing their business rather than growing their technical team.

With over $62 million pumped back into local economies, NOVICA is quickly sharing their passion for arts with numerous customers and artists around the world. There are always new artisans and crafts to be discovered, and Verizon and NOVICA are working together to make sure that no treasure goes unnoticed.

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