Online security continues to be a concern for all organizations. Not only is it top of mind for WebOps teams to keep their websites protected, but it’s important for their customers to feel safe as well.
A distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack can make websites unavailable triggering many additional issues. By flooding your online resources, a DDoS attack will cause site outage, ruin your brand reputation, disrupt your revenue intake, and compromise sensitive data. And, the mitigation process can also be costly.
Below are five reasons to protect your website from a DDoS attack.
Website / User Disruption
Creating the best user experience includes offering website availability and performance. However, with the proliferation of web threats no website can guarantee 100 percent uptime.
When cybercriminals target a website, they use botnets to unleash a flood of unwanted traffic and overload a site. By pounding the network with a sudden influx of traffic, many sites that cannot scale experience outages.
Being prepared for some type of downtime caused by a DDoS attack can go a long way in the event of an attack. WebOps teams deploy the following three security measures to keep their sites running smoothly.
- Load balancing – avoids overloads by optimizing resources
- Database caching – helps achieve efficient scalability and performance
- CDN – Content delivery networks provide speed and high performance to end-users
Site Scraping / Vulnerability Scanning
Bots or software programs drive the internet. The good ones are legitimate applications that perform helpful, routine internet tasks such as search engines and site health monitoring.
Malicious bots, on the other hand, can do a lot of damage such as extracting large quantities of data from unprotected sites for competitive advantage. With site scraping not only can you lose proprietary data, but the activity slows down your website to unacceptable levels.
Similarly, vulnerability probing detects security gaps in networks. The connected devices you use at home, for example, are highly susceptible to these automated scans. Vulnerability scanning will reach out and identify unsecured personal routers, TVs, DVRs and other IoT devices to infect.
You may not be the prime target for one of these scans and subsequent botnet attacks, but once your network has been compromised, it can help launch a massive DDoS attack on a high-profile target.
Revenue Loss and Reputation Damage
Cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to disrupt business and access customer data. They often use a DDoS attack or web application attack to start the attack. E-commerce and other organizations that rely on websites for revenue suffer when they are unavailable or hacked.
If your organization depends on PCI compliance, you’ll need to find a service that protects both the data and your site
Data breaches are often in the news. Users whose private and professional information are leaked are vulnerable to identity theft as it is often difficult to contain.
Data theft may begin when hackers use a structured query language (SQL) injection with malicious code to “query” and hijack databases. Once in control, a hacker has easy access to personal data never intended for public viewing. This content may include sensitive data, user lists, intellectual property and personal identifiable information (like credit reports, and social security numbers).
Distribution spam is another popular way for criminals to cast a wide net to harvest users’ personal information. These spambots collect email addresses and reach out to unsuspecting individuals hoping to receive data as a result.
Cost of Mitigation
If your website is hit with a DDoS attack, the cost of mitigation can be high. Forty-nine percent of all DDoS attacks, for example, last between 6-24 hours (many last for a week), and it costs roughly $40,000 per hour to mitigate the damage.
How to Combat DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks have a large impact on the entire company, including IT, security and risk management and customer sales groups. There are ways to protect yourself against an attack.
We recommend building a plan to determine what to do in the event of a DDoS attack. Our “Network Ops DDoS Playbook” covers the different types of attacks and helps you plan your next steps.
Test your Network
Stress testing or checking the resilience of your network can help you assess how prepared you are prior to an attack. Use our DDoS resiliency score calculator to check the health of your security.
Choose a Security Solution
Select a security solution that can detect malicious traffic, determine mitigation options and scale in case the attack persists or grows.
Incapsula offers DDoS protection and a web application firewall to protect your assets in the cloud. To find out more, check out our plans and find out what works for your organization.