As more and more businesses move their main infrastructure online, they find that there are a new set of realities that they have to deal with.
When they dealt with security in their offline business, it would pretty much entail a security guard and a burglar alarm.
That is the most that any company would need to be keep their valuables safe if they weren’t a major corporation.
Now when a company conducts business online it is a different beast all together.
They have to worry about hackers getting into their systems and phishers duplicating their company’s content with the purpose of duping their customers to be able to get personal data from them.
Another threat that a company has to worry about is a DDOS attack.
This type of attack is as old as the Internet itself but the way that it is used these days can be a problem.
Distributed Denial Of Service
The letters DDOS stand for Distributed Denial of Service.
The purpose of this attack is to not allow the visitors of a web site to be able to gather any data from the site itself.
This is accomplished by using a bunch of hijacked computers to request a piece of data from the servers of the company’s web site at one time.
Once all of these request start flooding in, then other users of the web site can no longer get any data off of the site themselves.
It is pretty much similar to a pipe that has water flowing through it but at the last minute someone decides to pour mud in that same pipe.
Now the water can not reach its destination since the pipes are already full.
Yes, I see the irony of using pipes as a description of this technique, especially when former senator Ted Stevens was chastised for using the word tubes to explain the Internet.
Attackers have found that they can bully companies online by using a DDOS attack.
Most web hosting companies have a hard time stopping a DDOS attack.
There are effective ways to be able to stop this but they often take some time to implement.
So an attacker will start a DDOS attack and then send an email to the company, telling them that they will stop the attack for a certain amount of money.
For some companies it is cheaper to pay the attacker off than it is to let their web site be down for the entire day.
There is one problem with that line of thinking.
What is to stop the attacker from attacking the company’s site again?
Now that they know that you are willing to pay, they will wait until a future date and try to attack you again.
There is no honor amongst thieves.
A DDOS attack, even though it is old school, can be a very effective way to disrupting someones online business.
When you run a business online, you must accept the fact that it can happen to you.
Ask your web hosting company what their procedures are when a DDOS attack occurs.
If the answers are not satisfactory then seek another web hosting company.