DDoS is Distributed Denial of Service. This is a form of attack on the websites or computer resource that cripples user access or makes it unavailable. These attacks can be launched using various means and techniques. It can affect anyone, anywhere. The motives vary as well. It may be a deliberate attack to cripple website function or performance. It may also be just a malicious attack meant to inconvenience people for the attacker’s own amusement.
These attacks are often organized attacks. Often, DDoS represents an attempt to deliberately cause a service or website not to function or to create considerable downtime either permanently or for a limited period only.
Who is attacked?
The usual DDoS targets are prominent websites and/or services. Even the less prominent ones may become targets as well. These attackers do not necessarily discriminate, as long as they cause considerable inconvenience to others. The usual website types that suffer these kinds of attacks include the following:
- E-commerce sites
- Banking and financial institutions
- Media and news sites
- Sites belonging to the public sector
- Online gaming communities
- Recently, even entire countries
Anybody is a target. It does not really matter if the website depends heavily on streams and customer accessibility, or if it is meant to provide up-to-date relevant information to the public. Any site can become a victim. Online businesses whose revenue streams heavily rely on uptime of services and their sites as a whole suffer great losses when a DDoS attack takes place. Revenue can be lost during the downtime and the inconvenience is just plain intolerable.
Attackers are well aware of the accessibility reliance of the site and their main purpose is to cut access and customer connection. This will reflect as null or lackluster service and poor site performance. In the online world, sites must be easily accessible at any time for these to prosper. If a site continually crashes or denies access, people will look elsewhere for their needs. That would mean heavy losses for the site.
Attackers can be anyone. They may be organized hackers looking for random victims. They may be competitors or ill-wishers. They may also be racketeers or just bored students or other online users wanting to have something “fun and exciting” to do.
The point is that everyone is vulnerable, and that there are so many ways that these attacks can be launched. In fact, the DDoS attack is the fastest growing threat on the internet and it causes major damages to those affected. Furthermore, launching these attacks does not incur heavy costs on the part of the attackers, making this method even more accessible and available for those who wish to ruin websites.
What can be done?
Protection is costly. It requires distributed hardware, specialized software solutions, and high capacity secure and stable internet channels. All these can result in considerable expenses that most medium-sized and small business cannot afford. These businesses are most vulnerable and would suffer the full brunt of a DDoS attack.
This is where availing of the services of companies equipped with the right tools and knowledge becomes the better option. Websites do not have to sit and wait for an attack to happen, completely vulnerable and powerless to protect themselves. There are companies solely dedicated and with core competencies of proving websites with a fully competent DDoS protection services.
These DDoS protection services may still charge a considerable amount but the protection it provides is well worth the cost. Some services even offer cost-effective options that are nonetheless effective.
How DDoS Protection Services Work
These service companies offer solutions against DDoS attacks. They have both the needed infrastructure and the technology to protect any website from malicious DDoS attacks. The customer does not need to purchase any additional hardware or install added software. The protection can be activated within minutes after an order has been placed and finalized. Availing of DDoS protection services will not affect or change the website hosting setup.
The protection service is accessed remotely. The service provider will change the DNS and point the website traffic toward their own IP. This is to hide the website’s real IP address form potential attackers. This method will also proxy the website’s traffic through their own anti-DDoS mitigation system. It’s like water passing through a filtration machine before it flows out of the tap, free of impurities.
Is it worth it?
Yes it is. Among the major benefits of using a remote DDoS protection service is that there is no need to change the current hosting format. Protection is quickly set up in a matter of minutes. There will be no major changes that may hamper normal website operations. Website owners have the choice to get a year-round protection or only at certain intervals during the year based on the usual traffic patterns they experience. Some smaller businesses would opt to employ the protection service at a time when they expect more customer visits to their sites and would willingly risk vulnerability during their slow business periods, at which point they are less likely targets anyway because not much happens.