DDoS have been around for a while, but that doesn’t make them any less devastating. Since 1999, companies like Sony and US Bank have been brought to a standstill by these coordinated assaults on their network. While we hear about the attacks on large corporations, that doesn’t mean small companies are immune from DDoS attacks. Doing nothing to prepare for a DDoS attack is not an option.
How does a DDoS attack work?
DDoS stands for distributed denial of service. During an attack, malicious parties spam your infrastructure and overwhelm it, bringing your operations to a halt. There are three types of attacks:
- Volume = they flood your bandwidth.
- Protocol = they flood your server resources.
- Application layer = they flood your software.
During a DDoS assault, hackers spam your network with an impossibly large number of requests. While this is happening, your employees and customers can’t use your services, essentially stopping your business in its tracks.
This can happen to anyone. We hear about the big attacks: game servers being overwhelmed, or banking customers unable to withdraw money. But it doesn’t matter the size of the company – anyone and everyone with an internet circuit is susceptible. A recent study found that nonprofits are one of the most likely targets of DDoS attacks.
How bad can it be?
There’s an obvious downside to DDoS attacks: your customers can’t reach you. Thanks to smart phones, your company’s website is increasingly becoming a front lobby for your customers. Customers aren’t going to your offices – they’re walking through the front door of your website for whatever they need.
So, when your website goes down, it’s like walling off your door and locking all your customers out.
But these attacks do more than just incapacitate websites. DDoS attacks can lead to:
- Loss of revenue and customers
- Damage to your company’s reputation
- Unnecessary time and expense spent bringing your site back online
- A halting of business-critical, web-based applications and processes
- The exploitation of network vulnerabilities by DDoS hackers
How to Prepare for a DDoS Attack
DDoS attacks aren’t going away – they’re growing more prevalent. In the second half of 2021, they recorded record-breaking numbers in both HTTP DDoS attacks and network layer attacks. In addition, there has been a rise in ransom DDoS attacks. In Q4 of 2021, ransom DDoS attacks rose by 175% from the previous quarter and 29% from the previous year. In these devious attacks, hackers demand money from their victims to stop the DDoS attack or threaten future attacks if the money is not provided.
The infrastructure and security measures that served you in the past may not be able to stop a DDoS attack today. A recent botnet used by hackers can send 17.2 million requests to a website per second. Can your infrastructure handle something this big?
If you’re feeling unprepared, there are some quick measures you can take to protect your company:
Want more help?
As third-party consultants, it’s our job to stay up to date on the latest cloud security solutions. Our relationships with vendors and experience with mitigating DDoS attacks at the infrastructure level gives us a unique perspective on full-scale security solutions. If you’re unsure if your current network can handle an attack – reach out. We’ll help give you peace of mind.