Posted by: Heather Shy on March 5, 2021 at 1:00 pm
From time to time, we hear about a “DDoS attack” in the news. What does DDoS mean? And, how can it affect your small business?
While we’ve talked about DDoS attacks in the past, there are new threat tactics on the rise that you need to know about. We’ve updated this post from August 2019 with some of these new threats and how to protect your business.
What is a DDoS Attack?
“DDoS” stands for Distributed Denial of Service. In a DDos attack, thousands of requests per second overwhelm your network, depriving legitimate requests from getting through. Your network slows drastically — or completely stops.
You can think of it this way: Imagine your front door. Normally, your sister knocks on it; you answer the door. No problem.
Now, imagine your entire city is knocking on your door. Tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, all knocking at the same time. You can’t answer them all. You can’t get that package you were expecting. Your sister, the one person you wanted to knock, can’t even get close to your house.
That’s kind of what a DDoS attack is like. Instead of the usual traffic to a web site, the site is overwhelmed by a massive amount of data transmissions.
Usually, the DDoS attacks that make the news are huge, affecting hundreds of popular web sites across the internet. Even power players like The New York Times, Amazon, and Twitter can be affected by these.
However, a recent study indicates that these massive DDoS attacks may be on the decline. Instead, hackers are using smaller, more targeted attacks to take down specific targets.
These smaller attacks are on the rise, and can devastate a small business.
DDos Attacks As A Service On the Rise
While we’ve talked in the past about hackers using wirelessly-controlled devices (IoT) to launce massive DDoS attacks, a new threat is on the rise.
Over the past few years, hackers have started offering their services for hire. This means that any tech-savvy ex-employee with a grudge can attack a former employer. And a 16-year-old student took down the Miami-Dade school district 8 times just a few months ago. DDoS-as-a-service means more of these attacks in the future.
(Note: you should still change the default password on wireless devices.)
How Can a DDoS Attack Affect My Business?
There are three main ways a DDoS attack can affect your business:
- As a ransomware threat. This is a new tactic. Hackers demand a ransom, with the threat of launching a DDoS attack if the target doesn’t pay. As with other ransomware attacks, you must have reliable backups, and do not pay.
- As a direct victim. If your web site, ordering system, or other online system is targeted, legitimate customers may not be able to place orders or get the information they need until the attack is mitigated.
- Your own server may run slowly and/or sporadically. If your vendors are crippled by a DDoS attack, it may be harder for you to place orders or get other work done.
How Can I Protect My Business from DDoS Attacks?
A proactive managed service provider that handles your computer network is one of the best ways to defend against a DDoS attack. When one of our clients was targeted this way, we were able to track down the problem and coordinate with their internet provider to defeat the attack. TAZ Security Care — Advanced includes Endpoint Protection and Response to detect an attack in progress and shut it down fast. Click over to our Services tab to learn more about how TAZ Networks can take care of your computer network, so you can take care of your business.