“The amount of DDoS activity in 2022 was higher than in previous years. Not only that but attacks are lasting longer too. In Q2 of 2021, the average DDoS attack lasted 30 minutes; a year later, they average 50 hours.” – Comparitech.com
In our fast-paced, digital world, cybersecurity threats are the unseen enemies lurking in the shadows. These threats have levelled up, growing in complexity and sophistication, with the power to wreck even the most fortified infrastructures. One such hidden yet potent danger is the Distributed Denial of Service, aka DDoS, attack.
Think of a DDoS attack as a super-traffic jam on the digital highway. A huge surge of data from many sources floods a network, service, or website, blocking access for legitimate users. That's a DDoS attack in a nutshell. The many sources of these attacks make them difficult to defend against and almost impossible to trace - a real needle in a haystack situation.
When a DDoS attack hits, the plug has been pulled from a brand or business. It's lights out, and the fallout can be pretty severe. Besides the direct hit on finances due to disrupted operations and recovery costs, a DDoS attack can shake a brand's reputation. Customers start questioning the brand's reliability and ability to protect their data, which can lead to trust issues.
Worse still, while a business is caught up dealing with a DDoS attack, cybercriminals might seize the chance to sneak in and steal sensitive data, doubling the damage. In the following sections, we'll explore DDoS attacks in more detail, look at how to guard against them and learn from real-world examples. Remember, being in the know is your best defence against cybersecurity threats.
DDoS attacks come in various shapes and sizes, each unique and sinister. Some are carried out for the thrill, others for revenge, and some are driven by competitive rivalry. DDoS attacks have also been used as decoys to distract from other malicious activities like data theft.
There are different types of DDoS attacks, but let's look at the big three: volumetric attacks, application layer attacks, and protocol attacks. From flooding a network with bogus data (volumetric attacks) to targeting the server processes that generate web pages (application layer attacks), or exploiting weaknesses in server protocols (protocol attacks) – DDoS attacks can strike in many ways. And dealing with them requires deep understanding and robust countermeasures.
DDoS attacks can wreak havoc on businesses in multiple ways. The consequences can be far-reaching, from service unavailability that directly hits operations, revenue loss due to disruption, damage to brand reputation, and customer dissatisfaction. Let's look at a timeline of some big names on the receiving end of prolific DDoS attacks
2023 Activision Blizzard, Fans of popular gaming giant Activision Blizzard, popular titles such as "World of Warcraft," "Call of Duty," “Diablo 4,” and "Overwatch" found they were unable to log in. Activision Blizzard promptly took to social media, confirming that a DDoS attack had brought their servers to a standstill.
2022 Congress.gov, a temporary interruption in service was observed on the U.S. Congress's web domain due to a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack executed by the hacking group known as Killnet. Access to Congress.gov was momentarily impacted.
2020, Amazon Web Services (AWS), a cloud service platform catering to over a million entities, including corporations, governments, and individual users, encountered an intense cyber onslaught. It was hit with a whopping 2.3 terabits per second of data - a flood of information so intense, it was like trying to drink from a fire hose.
2018 - GitHub experienced one of the largest DDoS attacks recorded in 2018. Attackers used a "memcached" attack, which reached a peak of 1.35 terabits per second of traffic, causing service disruption. Fortunately, GitHub was back online after about 10 minutes, thanks to their DDoS mitigation services.
2016 - Dyn, a major DNS provider, suffered a massive DDoS attack in 2016 that affected many of its clients, including Spotify, Twitter, and Reddit. The attack, caused by a botnet called Mirai, resulted in widespread internet disruption and highlighted the potential vulnerability of critical internet infrastructure.
2015 - BBC's entire domain, including its on-demand television and radio player, was knocked offline for several hours in 2015 due to a DDoS attack. It was one of the largest attacks in history, peaking at over 600 gigabits per second.
These examples show the severity of DDoS attacks and their potential to cause significant disruption. It underlines the need for businesses to stay on their toes and take proactive measures to fend off these threats.
When it comes to combating DDoS attacks, your people are your power. An informed team can be an effective shield against cyber threats. Here are some ways businesses can empower their team:
Empowering with Knowledge: Equip your employees with knowledge about DDoS attacks. Explain the what, how, and why in simple, jargon-free language so everyone's on the same page.
Keeping Cybersecurity in the Limelight: Regularly remind your team about the importance of staying vigilant about DDoS threats. Share updates on the latest trends, tell them what to watch out for, and how to report potential threats.
Fostering a Security-First Culture: Establish and regularly update clear security policies and procedures to promote a culture of security within your organisation. When your team knows their stuff and stays alert, it boosts your defence against DDoS attacks. By combining people’s and technology’s power, we can build stronger defences against these disruptive threats.
In the age of increasing digital threats, businesses of all sizes can become victims of crippling DDoS attacks, leading to significant disruptions and damages. However, by partnering with us, you can turn the tide.
We provide exceptional protection against DDoS attacks thanks to our collaboration with leading cybersecurity providers. Our comprehensive defensive strategy uses the most advanced technologies to proactively detect and mitigate these threats before they impact your business.
Our partnership goes further by fostering a security-first mindset within your organisation. We pride ourselves on our commitment to your long-term cybersecurity health rather than providing temporary solutions. Our team continuously updates their knowledge and adapts to the changing cybersecurity environment.
When you partner with us, you become part of a dedicated community committed to preserving your business's digital security and integrity.
In essence, connecting with us equips your brand or business with a strong defence against DDoS attacks, mitigating the risk of unseen and potentially catastrophic consequences. Are you prepared to fortify your business with superior DDoS defence? Join us, and let's shape a secure path for your business. Contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at +44 (0) 1908200022
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