It’s one of the most frustrating interruptions to a workday when your website or service crashes right at peak traffic times. This can be as simply solved as restarting its power source, or as sinister as a denial-of-service attack that’s targeting your business.
DoS attacks, and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks wherein the threat comes from multiple, connected remote sources, are have become more dangerous in recent years. Your business is at risk of becoming a target.
What is a DDoS Attack?
Distributed denial-of-service threats occur when bad actors connect machines from many remote locations, like they could with an AI botnet, and force them to overload your servers and crash the site. The head conspirator spams the server with HTTP requests or high volumes of traffic to prevent actual customers from coming online, thereby effectively halting the use of your site or sale of your service.
Over the years, DDoS attacks have evolved and thus become a more serious threat to businesses. They became 31% more prevalent in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the year prior and appear to be continuing this upward trend into 2022.
Why Do DDoS Attacks Happen?
You may be wondering what cybercriminals have to gain from halting legitimate traffic to your website. They might use this distraction to steal private files from the organization, or it could be purely out of retaliation that they try to cause financial or reputational damage. They might also request money outright in exchange for stopping the attack, which – if it’s comparatively less than recuperation costs – might seem worth the trade in that current state of panic.
Now that you understand why and how these attacks happen, how can you prevent these threats from affecting your workflow, reputation and organization as a whole?
Domain name systems, or DNS, change website domains into IP addresses that the computer can understand and redirect to. For example, Google is the name of the website domain – but the IP is a series of numbers that is much harder to remember and search for, which is why we use customized and memorable names instead. 126.96.36.199 wouldn’t have become a household name, but Google is a marketable title.
DNS monitoring assesses the connection between visitors and your website to guarantee that these processes go uninterrupted. This is what keeps the site accessible and functional for legitimate browsers.
Case Study in DDoS Protection
Toward the end of 2021, the powerhouse Microsoft reported that it fought off several large denial-of-service attacks throughout the year, much more serious than threats of the same nature that they’ve faced in the past. In fact, November and December uncovered a whopping 10K international sources used in just one of the attempts.
From this one company’s reports of their battles against DDoS attacks this year, we can see the difficulties that are likely to reach a more widespread basis as the hackers’ technology advances as quickly as we invent tools to thwart them. It’s also important to remember that Microsoft, given its audience, most likely has more resources at their disposal for handling cyber-threats than most small- to medium-sized businesses. How will you strengthen your security posture?
With rates of distributed denial-of-service attacks still rising as we progress into the year, proactive response plans are your best defense. DNS monitoring services are one way prepare, as they combat these types of threats before they occur. It comes down to guaranteeing the safety, and therefore the continued loyalty, of your most-frequent visitors.
Keep up to date with the latest news in cybersecurity to stay on top of the modern solutions available to protect your business from cyber-threats.