No doubt you've heard a lot about DDoS attacks, and hopefully stayed fortunate enough to never experience one.
If so, consider yourself lucky. This acronym stands for Distributed Denial of Service, which means multiple compromised systems attacking one source. It typically occurs when huge amounts of bots organized in so called botnets start attacking internet services.
Once a DDoS attack targets your system, it becomes self-explanatory: it's able to shut down your entire site. It prevents you or anybody else from using your network, your website, or your internet connection in an unusual way. If attacks are too big for your existing connectivity, there is only a few options other than to wait until it's over.
Statistics show that around 50 million DDoS attacks occur every year, which should wake you up to what could potentially happen.
What's worse is these attacks are becoming overly complex and could strike different parts of your network system. They often get used as diversions for various illegal online activities as well.
Here's everything you need to know about DDoS attacks and what they are capable of.
The Costs Involved in a DDoS Attack
Kaspersky notes the cost of a DDoS attack on a small business is already at a staggering $52,000. For an enterprise, the costs can go all the way up to $444,000.
All of these expenses relate to emergency mitigation, lost productivity, and lost customers. However, the biggest consequence comes in losing access to critical data, especially when much of it needs to adhere to government regulations.
Another consequence bringing tremendous financial liabilities include damaged business reputation. When customers see you didn't bother to protect yourself against such a brazen attack, it makes you look careless. Most notably, it's true when customers depend on you for their own safety through their internet service provider.
Expenses in Repairing Damage
After a severe DDoS attack goes away, you will have to spend a not neglectable amount of time in getting your systems up and running again. Checking if everything is still working properly or if the high load may have caused some unforseeable problems.
Another time-consuming action item is to check if this attack could have been avoided or at least mitigated and find ways to avoid a similar attack next time. This might end in changing services or spending lots of resources and money on new appliances and security products.
The problem is, most of the thieves who create DDoS Trojans seldom get caught. Some do, however, and the arrest of a 16-year-old boy in the U.K. three years ago weeded out one of the worst DDoS attacks in history.
Being Caught Off Guard
As an official disaster, a DDoS attack could bring other problems costing you even more than the expenses listed above. Not being prepared can end in your business being stopped for the time of the attack. So the question should always be, how long can my business survive without new business coming in? And can I cover for the days and weeks after an attack, since the business will most likely not come back as strong as before immediately?
Also, many of your existing IT staff may not have the means to deal with a DDoS attack when you don't take risk seriously. IT experts continually note firewalls and other intrusion prevention systems don't always have the ways to comprehensively protect you.
Having this in mind, what can you do to give you the best protection against these ever-increasing threats?
As a Service Provider: keep your own house clean
Over the last few years, the sizes and amounts of DDoS attacks have constantly increased. Unfortunately the available bandwidth available has not been able to keep up, which results in the situation, that depending on the size of a DDoS attack, there might not be a solution available other than to wait and hope for the best.
The most logical way to get this issue under control again is taking away the resources that the criminals have at hand to drive those attacks as fast as possible. This can be done by finding and identifying bots and hope that the responsible network operator takes fast action to fix it.
If you manage a service provider, your central role is to protect customers from spam and potential cyber attacks, but also make sure that you take care of customers within your environment that are compromised. With AbuseHQ, we provide a new standard that helps combat network abuse.
At the core of this is a dedicated team watching out for you and giving you the tools necessary to efficiently take care of problems on your own.
Contact us to find out more about how AbuseHQ works to fight today's most concerning cyber issues.