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Cyber SecurityWe all know, not being able to get on the WiFi is annoying. But worse still, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks can impact  your business and even interfere with vital infrastructure such as electrical grids. According to Forbes’s Michael Krancer, an attack in 2015 knocked 80,000 electrical customers offline for three hours. Other recent attacks put several eCommerce and Internet Server Providers out for hours. In a world where people are always connected to computers, such an attack is becoming all the more common.

What is Distributed Denial of Service?

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack occurs when devices connected to the Internet are used to flood a business’s server with data, and make it unavailable to customers (and potential customers). Unlike a simple Denial of Service, a Distributed Denial of Service is an attack on a large, perhaps global, scale. Botnets, networks of devices controlled remotely, are used by malware authors to send huge amounts of junk data to servers. Devices can include cameras, smartphones, or PCs—any device connected to the Internet. Internet of Things (IoT) and other IT trends will fuel the expansion of connected devices. The effect is to exhaust server resources with fake or incomplete information requests, and render the business’s website unavailable to legitimate customers. Attacks can happen on the bandwidth or application layer, or from sheer volume.

What Does a Distributed Denial of Service Mean to You and Your Business?

First, it means loss of legitimate traffic. Your customers can’t access your website, and of course can’t buy products and services from you, costing your company revenue. According to a report by Incapsula cited in a Security Week post, a typical attack lasting 6 – 24 hours can result in a loss of half a million dollars. Second, non-financial costs–loss of trust from customers, loss of intellectual property, and exposure of confidential data–also result.

What Can You Do to Be Prepared for a DDOS Attack?

The primary purpose of protection is to detect and mitigate attacks. As DDoS attacks target multiple systems, be sure to protect on multiple fronts. Be sure to monitor call centers and other customer-facing systems. Mission-critical systems should have redundancy and failover. All of these defenses should be part of your business continuity plan, in the event of a natural—or man-made—disaster.

If you are unsure about your readiness to survive a DDOS or need assistance in protecting yourself, contact your trusted technology advisor today.