While most small businesses won’t be targeted by denial-of-service attacks, or DDoS attacks, they can be an extremely disruptive attack when they do occur. Malicious actors will target a business with a DDoS attack when they want to take down a website, interrupt service for customers, or take advantage of the attack to circumvent authentication tools protecting the target’s systems. Small and medium businesses should take precautions to prevent DDoS attacks as much as they can because while they may be unlikely, a successful attack at the wrong time and easily shut down a business by disrupting its ability to sell products or serve customers.
What is a DDoS Attack?
A DDoS attack occurs when a malicious actor compromises a large number of devices that are capable of making requests to a service, server, or some network device. These devices can include desktops, laptops, IoT devices, and many other devices that have successfully been attacked and taken over. All of these devices, which can number in the thousands, are then used to repeatedly make requests to the target at the same time. Since any number of requests can be received at one time, the attacker only needs to make more requests than the target’s network or device can handle before that service is no longer available to regular uses.
Warning Signs and Planning
Legitimate users of the website or service will notice the effects of a DDoS attack as a slowdown in the information they are trying to access, and a successful DDoS attack will make it so that users are denied access to the resource completely. The business will notice a sharp increase in traffic to the website or service, which eventually spikes high enough to overload their system’s capabilities. Small businesses should work with an IT consultant to develop a plan of action for when the signs of a DDoS attack show up so that swift and immediate action can be taken to restore access to employees, customers, or whomever uses the service being attacked.
DDoS Mitigation Strategies
Businesses can help combat the effects of a DDoS attack by implementing redundancies into their environment. For example, if a server is used to manage requests to a website, a backup server can be on hand to switch to in the event of a DDoS attack so that service can be restored quickly. Next-generation firewalls, content filters, DNS-layer security, and other security services can also play a critical role in mitigating DDoS attacks. Additionally, small businesses can use cloud-based services that are already equipped with backup services and the higher bandwidth needed to prevent or mitigate the effects of these attacks.
DDoS attacks can have enormous consequences for small businesses that aren’t prepared for them, so just like with any other attack type, SMBs should defend their network as best they can. If your small or medium business needs help implementing the right mitigation tools for these attacks or any other strategy malicious actors may use to harm your network, then our security specialists are ready to provide a complimentary consultation today! We’ll work with your business to identify the best ways to prepare for DDoS attacks and provide actionable advice on how to help prevent other forms of attacks, so your business can stay running safe and secure!
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