The Evolution Of DDoS Attacks

17 Jul

Cyber attacks are becoming more common as data and infrastructure are becoming more and more digitized. Gone are the days where you keep all your important files in a cabinet with a lock and key. No longer do you simply look up a customer’s record on paper when they call for service. Everything has moved to digital databases, whether in-house or in the cloud, and computers are now the method of choice to allow workers and users access to this data. With this comes the fear that your data be stolen or your servers may be attacked. It’s important to know what a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack can do to your organization if you’re not taking the proper measures to protect your business.

A DDoS attack is defined as an “attempt to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users”. Oftentimes this consists of efforts to disrupt (whether temporarily or indefinitely) services of a host connected to a network or the Internet. As more and more organizations are turning to the cloud to better collaborate and store data they are also putting themselves at a greater risk of an attack. In 2013, on Columbian Independence Day, 30+ government websites were attacked and brought down in what was considered one of the largest single day DDoS cyber attacks in history. Also, since 2012 many of the major U.S. banking institutions have been dealing with DDoS attacks.

According to Neustar, twice as many companies reported a DDoS attack in 2013 than the previous year, and for those attacked almost 90% reported another attack. This means if you are hit, chances are you’ll be hit again if you don’t take the proper precautions. With this in mind, larger attacks are also taking place. In 2013 attacks from 1-5Gbps nearly tripled, and attacks of 100+ Gbps were not out of the realm of possibility or uncommon. When it comes to losses incurred from an attack, some companies reported losses of over $1M per day, with about 40% reporting a loss of more than $50K an hour – while half of the targets suffered a theft of some sort whether it be funds, intellectual property, or other data.

Of course, this is not meant to scare you or deter you from using the great technology we have today. It simply shows you that even the seemingly secure like a government or financial institution can be vulnerable if using less secure solutions such as a simple firewall, and you can be sure they’ve since taken the necessary steps to make sure a data breach doesn’t happen again. As can you. With the proper guidance and collaboration from a top IT organization you can assure that your data and infrastructure is safe and secure and less vulnerable to an attack. Taking into account things like security, backup & disaster recovery, as well as business continuity can ensure that your business is protected – and prepared if something actually does occur. There is always risk out there when storing your data digitally, but it doesn’t have to stop you from taking advantage of the latest technology.