If you’ve ever experienced sudden sluggish speeds while browsing or streaming on your favorite website while other websites load instantly, you may be facing a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.
What is a DDoS Attack?
DDoS attacks utilize an extensive network of remote PCs called a botnet to overwhelm another system’s connection or processor, causing it to deny service to the legitimate traffic it’s receiving.
Essentially, a DDoS attack is a form of a cyber-attack on a specific network or a server with the intended purpose of disrupting normal operation. The attack floods the target with constant traffic flow, such as fraudulent requests and corrupt data packets.
Put another way, imagine hundreds of people trying to exit a tiny auditorium at exactly the same time. There is only enough room for a handful of people to exit at any given time. Computer systems work in the same way. Too much too fast can cripple systems and prevent them from working properly.
DDoS Attacks – Affordable for Attackers
Cybersecurity analysts have observed that DDoS attacks are increasingly becoming affordable for attackers. You might find this hard to believe, but these days, cybercrime and online fraud are incredibly cheap commodities.
Over the years, cybersecurity analysts have conducted multiple surveys of the Deep and Dark Web. The primary purpose is to find out how much cyber criminals charge for their various illicit services.
— Ruksana Siledar (@RuksanaSiledar) August 17, 2020
This immoral and unethical service includes selling lists of social security numbers, fake passports, and other personally-identifying information to DDoS-for-hire services, which can be used to easily launch Distributed Denial of Service attacks that could cost a lot to the victims.
As a cybersecurity advocate and professional, the results of the survey are shocking. It’s come to light that cyberattacks are fairly cheap to carry out and don’t require much effort. All you have to do is hire a cyber attacker and they’ll take care of it for a nominal charge.
Learn about application-level DDoS attacks.
How Much Does a DDoS Attack Cost?
According to the Flashpoint report, DDoS-for-hire services typically cost as little as $10-25 per hour, but “The most expensive per hour DDoS attack rates include attacks on government, military, or bank websites; the costs for such services typically range from $100 to $150 USD per hour.”
Knowing what that entails, even that is cheap!
The price of renting a DDoS botnet “ranges from $1 to $100 USD and varies upon bandwidth and duration.
See? It’s pretty accessible to, well, a big chunk of people who surf the Internet. This means nearly anyone with the money and access to such attackers can get this done to any server or network.
Although the prices for carrying out such an attack have risen slightly over the years, it’s still much too easy and inexpensive for anyone with the motivation to launch a damaging DDoS attack at a target of their choice.
This has made cyber attacks relatively common and easier to carry out. The fact that such attacks come at a low cost doesn’t mean they’re not sophisticated and increasingly difficult to mitigate; they absolutely are and can take hours to quell.
That’s right, over the years, cyberattacks have increasingly become much more advanced and utilize the use of automated and multi-vector attacks. This makes cyberattacks nearly impossible to prevent with just human observation. This calls for robust AI-powered machines that help detect DDoS attacks and prevent a server or a network from getting crippled.
DDoS attacks are mostly stealthy and complex in nature, making them extremely difficult to differentiate from a regular increase in traffic. For ultimate security against DDoS attacks, you need DDoS protection.
The High Costs of a DDoS Attack
While launching a DDoS attack is reasonably easy and inexpensive, its impact on the victims is costly. If a website or a network suffers a DDoS attack, it could lead to downtime, or at the very least, reduced responsiveness of the targeted applications and services.
For an online business or a reputable brand that falls victim to a DDoS attack, the downsides are detrimental. Such companies not only suffer damage to their brand reputation, but the loss of customer trust and revenue. That’s not all, as these companies then have to incur additional costs to mitigate and recover from such an attack.
Furthermore, for countries with strict laws and GDPR in place, companies risk facing huge fines for not having security measures in place to safeguard themselves and the data of users.
How to Stay Secure from a DDoS Attack
It’s important for online enterprises to realize that the risks of a DDoS attack are very real. And while not all online servers or networks are at risk, some are more likely than others to be attacked. For instance, gaming sites, financial services, hosting providers, and Internet service providers are usually victims of such cyberattacks.
Learn more about how to protect yourself from a DDoS attack.
Organizations should invest in tools for better visibility and protection in case of a DDoS attack. For an organization, DDoS protection is an investment to manage their risk, to maintain uninterrupted business continuity, and to protect their brand reputation.
To successfully detect and mitigate DDoS attacks, large and small, it’s necessary to have an automated, always-on DDoS mitigation solution.