Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are malicious attempts to prevent others from visiting a particular web page or domain.
They typically involve thousands of computers whose owners are naive to the presence of malware. Together, these botnets disrupt economic activity for businesses and organizations that rely on the Internet – a fair share of all entities.
Throughout the history of the Internet, DDoS attacks have been directed primarily towards enterprises and corporations. However, small businesses are particularly shallow in DDoS protection, setting themselves up for being victimized.
According to Kaspersky Lab, 53% of all victims of DDoS threats were small businesses.
Why Are Small Businesses Targeted So Frequently?
Crime inherently involves risk. If persons engage in criminal activity, they risk being fined, or even going to jail. As such, it is logical to believe large corporations are targeted by cyber criminals more often than small businesses.
As indicated above, small businesses are often targeted by cyber crime, rather than large companies that potentially yield more return.
Small businesses have fewer resources to allocate to cyber security. Enterprises companies, on the other hand, typically can always afford sufficient protection against digital crime.
Smaller entities often don’t report cyber crime directed towards them. If a business does, in fact, disclose such information, partners and customers are less likely to trust its security.
Also, hackers are less likely to be discovered and apprehended when attacking small business entities. The juxtaposition of these three characteristics results in SMBs being targeted at a disproportionate rate when compared to large organizations.
Fortunately, there are several safeguards business owners can take to beef up cyber security and DDoS protection.
Build A Multi-Layered Security Network
Disruptive denial of service attacks essentially clogs servers so nobody can access domains being disrupted.
Planning is crucial in building a multi-layered network of servers and information technology infrastructure. Failing to appropriately plan such infrastructure makes small businesses untenable to cyber security threats.
Your business should invest in several servers, all operating on independent networks. Never trust only one domain name system to provide your company the ability to maintain a connection to the World Wide Web.
As seen just last year, DDoS attacks targeted at DNS hosts can cause tens, if not hundreds of businesses to be forcefully disconnected from the Internet.
Evenly distributing servers will increase productivity during DDoS attacks, and certainly contribute positively to business continuity.
Secure Hardware Can Prove Effective Against Digital Threats
DDoS attacks have been in hackers’ and criminals’ arsenals for over forty years. The first denial of service attack occurred in 1974. Ever since DDoS strikes have happened on a regular basis.
Despite these activities existing for such lengthy periods of time, there are only a handful of types of DDoS strategies. While innovative criminals almost always use advanced techniques to leave servers offline, some are lazy.
As such, improve your focus on hardware that can disrupt primary DDoS threats. Even though such hardware might cost several hundred or thousand dollars, DDoS attacks can result in lack of business continuity.
Unfortunately, such hardware must be updated on a consistent basis. Failing to update these devices each day could result in widespread business failure, especially in small businesses. They also don’t guard against volumetric strikes, or those utilizing the brute force of thousands, if not millions of hacked computers.
Internet Service Providers Often Provide Protection
Keep in mind that the most effective means of protecting against disruptive denial of service attacks is planning. Such strategies inherently involve allocating your business’ funds over several layers of protection.
One such layer of protection is contracting the services of your Internet service provider. Such security should never be relied on with complete certainty, although it can be pretty cheap.
ISPs, like all businesses, exist to generate profit. They do so by generating bandwidth and selling it for more than it costs.
As DDoS threats are more common than ever before, ISPs have sought to decrease costs of DDoS attacks. Most major Internet service providers offer such protection. Consider switching over if you have contracted the services of a small, local provider.
Cloud Storage Systems Effectively Fend Off Cyber Attacks
Storing data in the cloud helps your employees stay productive. Programs do not take as long to load, and the information is readily available. If you are not familiar with the cloud, this article on cloud computing basics is a good start.
According to Gartner, the world’s cloud storage system is expected to bring in nearly $35 billion in revenue in 2017.
With so much money involved in the field, service providers must safeguard their clients’ information. One such manifestation of guarding against hackers is fending off DDoS threats.
Cloud security providers hire loads of computer science experts to guard against digital threats. Just one data breach could result in millions of dollars in lost revenue for that provider. As such, it is typically safe to assume cloud providers store data safely almost all of the time..
Never Assume Your Business Is Too Small To Be Targeted
Let’s imagine you are a criminal who makes her livelihood by burglarizing houses. To earn a substantial profit from illicit activities, you’d likely target an upper-class subdivision, rather than a trailer park.
However, because wealthier families can afford protection against burglars, the likelihood of getting caught is high. Even though trailer parks likely have less valuable assets, the chance of being apprehended is relatively low.
This analogy does not translate detail-for-detail into cyber crime, although one aspect rings true – small entities are inherently less secure. As detailed in the introduction, small businesses are often prone to cyber crime.
You should never assume your entity is too small to be targeted. Cyber criminals target SMBs for this exact reason – protect your business at all costs, as thousands of entities are attacked each year.
Protecting your business against digital crime is a requirement in 2018
Not being able to conduct business over the Internet can send clients elsewhere, not to mention damage your reputation.
ABP: Always Be Prepared
Stay current in planning against threats channeled through digital means.
Never think you’re too small to be put out of business by rogue hackers.