DDoS attacks are on the rise. Even with the advanced technology we see in 2018, businesses are still getting tripped up by DDoS attacks.
HelpNet Security has reported a 40% increase in attack frequency over the past year. More worryingly, one in five organisations will be targeted again within 24 hours of the first attack.
What is DDoS?
If you look up the DDoS definition, it sounds quite scary. And rightly so. DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) is a type of DoS attack where multiple compromised systems are used to target a single system.
So, what is a DoS attack? DoS stands for Denial of Service. So, we’re talking about a Denial of Service attack of your business systems.
During a DDoS attack, there is no single source of attack. Hence the Distributed description. This makes stopping the attack difficult. To stop a point of attack, in a single instance, you’d block the incoming IP address. But, with thousands – often hundreds of thousands – of automated attacks with multiple points of origin, it is impossible to distinguish genuine user traffic from attacks.
How can DDoS impact your business?
DDoS can ruin a business. Failure to proactively protect your business from a DDoS attack could impact you, your department or the entire organisation. The most common impacts are outlined below:
- Financial: According to a survey by Woburn Mass, DDoS attacks cost $52,000 per incident for SMBs and up to $444,000 for larger enterprises
- Reputation: When words gets out that you’ve been the victim of a DDoS attack, customers lose faith – it’s their data in your hands, after all
- Business: Lines of credit are crucial for businesses – with bad reputations and expenditure on repairing DDoS attacks, credit is key to keeping business momentum
- Security: Once your security has been compromised once, you are forever on the back foot
Signs of a DDoS
There are some key signs that your business is suffering a DDoS attack. Any of the below will set off panic alarms in the IT manager’s head, so you must always be wary of:
- Slow network performance: Multiple users have raised tickets complaining they cannot access the intranet and opening files from colleagues is taking too long
- Website down: Your website is down and you’ve checked with your provider
- Inability to access standard websites: Websites you (and everyone else) uses day-to-day are inaccessible
How to protect against DDoS attacks
Fighting a DDoS attack midway through the attack is too late. Rather than “How to stop a DDoS attack” the question needs to be “How to prevent a DDoS attack”. The steps to take when planning prevention of DDoS attacks revolve around the right technology and expertise.
- Do the basics well: Simple things like bandwidth buffering allow for traffic spikes including those associated with DDoS attacks
- Utilise the cloud: Cloud computing is more cost effective, more scalable and opens the door to more bandwidth on-premises
- Find the right provider: Mitigation providers are experts at providing DDoS mitigation. The right provider will have huge network bandwidth and DDoS mitigation capacity at multiple sites around the internet. They can take in any type of network traffic, whether you use your own data centre or any number of cloud providers. They can scrub the traffic for you and only send “clean” traffic to your data centre.
The moral of the story when it comes to DDoS attacks is prevention rather than reaction. To secure your business from DDoS attacks, check out our security pages.