While the recent WannaCry attacks have kept ransomware front-and-center in the news, businesses can’t forget about protecting themselves from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. According to ZDNet, Ransomware and DDoS are the top digital security threats the public faces today. While ransomware holds data hostage on one side, Internet of Things-based botnets create DDoS attacks on previously unimaginable scales on the other. DDoS protection should still be an IT security concern for your business while you’re busy protecting systems from ransomware.
DDoS attacks received substantial attention in late 2016 following a major attack on domain manager and traffic router Dyn, which prevented people across the globe from being able to access many popular websites. While coverage has focused on WannaCry and its relatives in 2017, hackers have kept busy launching major DDoS attacks:
- Hosting provider 123-Reg got hit with a massive DDoS attack in January
- Hackers hit Australian domain name registrar Melbourne IT in April, which prevented half a million customers from accessing sites and services
- The FCC experienced a site outage in May over a DDoS attack
These attacks are popular because they tend to be the most profitable for hackers.
Malicious DDoS is still a threat
Unfortunately, WannaCry and similar ransomware attacks are an additional threat, not one that replaces DDoS. In fact, DDoS attack frequencies increased more than 125 percent and jumped 73 percent in peak attack size to 578Gbps in 2016 over 2015. According to Securelist, Q1 2017 trends indicate that DDoS attacks are moving away from being focused on China and shifting to the rest of the world.
You may not be able to avoid DDoS attacks, but you can prepare your platforms to better handle attacks and minimize damage. As has always been the case, website monitoring and load testing are two excellent tools for helping your business protect itself against DDoS attacks. Proper preparation can turn a long-term outage into a brief one if the right defenses and contingency plans are in place.
Protection from Unintentional DDoS
Not all DDoS conditions are malicious attacks: they can arise when your business successfully entices so many people to visit your site at once it gets overloaded and goes offline. Viral content, extremely successful social media campaigns and sales/promotions are often responsible for the massive traffic influx. Fortunately, load testing can help your business with capacity planning and scaling to actually handle the massive amount of traffic that comes in from a social DDoS. Being prepared to handle a social DDoS attack can be a great boost to brand awareness and sales.
However, it’s not all bad news: according to Tech Pro Research, more than half of surveyed companies say they’ve improved cybersecurity readiness over the last year. Your business can take advantage of load testing and monitoring tools from Apica to add another layer of protection against DDoS attacks. Contact us today!