A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is a coordinated attempt to disable your website by multiple connected online devices. It can happen to any unprotected website online. The aim of the attack is to overwhelm a target website with fake traffic. The excessive amount of traffic will cause the website servers to crash making it unavailable to intended users.
How Do DDoS Attacks Happen?
A device can become contaminated with a bot from a malware (malicious software) distribution, like a spam email. The device will then play host to one or more bots and they create fake traffic to the target website. The botnet controller (bot herder) can direct the army of compromised devices from a remote location, making it hard to trace their traffic and catch the culprit.
DDoS attacks are hard to intercept and detect because of the sheer volume of incoming traffic from the devices involved. DDoS attacks don’t typically breach your security perimeter, such as your firewall. At the beginning it just appears to be an unexplained spike in traffic. As it persists, you realise there is a bigger issue and at this stage your website and servers are unavailable to legitimate users. While this is a massive inconvenience and potentially costly, the DDoS may just be distraction for more sinister activity. While you scramble to get your website live again, the real attack is happening to your security applications to allow cyber vandals to go after a bigger prize, like customer data.
In some cases, the attack may have been carried out by legitimate businesses on websites infringing on copyright or intellectual property. In the majority of cases, the motives are more sinister. It could be a show of force by a group of ‘hacktivists’ or an attempt to bring attention to their cause. In some cases, it could be a deliberate attempt to extort money from a SME or large multinational. Once the attack is in place, the attackers will send a ransom note outlining what it will cost to remove the DDoS. Companies such as e-commerce retailers or financial institutions are particularly vulnerable. The attackers will know that these companies’ business models and revenue streams are web dependent.
How Can I Protect My Business Against DDoS Attacks?
The only way you can prevent a DDoS attack is by having protection in place to deal with it.
Virgin Media Business’ DDoS Protection Service stops DDoS attacks against your business. The DDoS Protection Service is an ‘add-on’ service to the Virgin Media Business Internet and IP Transit Services. It ensures that your Internet connection remains in service to your customers even if an attack is underway. Once the protection is activated, the system constantly analyses the data stream for anomalies. When an attack is detected at the early stages, the data stream of fake traffic is diverted by the Threat Management System (TMS).
The Customer Benefit of Our DDoS Protection Service
Virgin Media Business customers that avail of the Protection service can be safe in the knowledge that:
- They have a comprehensive protection against DDoS attacks via the Business Internet or IP Transit connection
- They have options around the level of cost and types of protection by opting for permanent protection or activation of protection whenever desired by the customer
- Your business processes and availability of services to your customers will be continuous and safeguarded
To learn more about DDoS Attacks and Cyber Security for business, download our free eBook here. If you want to seek more advice on how to protect your business from DDoS or similar online threats contact us today at 1800 941 114 or visit www.virginmedia.ie/business/security-services/