The Dangers of DDoS Attacks for Online Businesses - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

The Dangers of DDoS Attacks for Online Businesses

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In the United States, an estimated $10 billion are lost on distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks every year. These attacks occur when a criminal targets a network with so many requests that the network cannot handle them all. As a result, the network is unable to function properly and legitimate users cannot access the network.

Unfortunately, online companies are especially at risk. Because all of your financial data and user information is stored online, attackers can derail your company’s operations. A DDoS attack can also harm your online business in a variety of other ways.

Businesses Have to Pay the Immediate Costs of an Attack

For a typical business, a DDoS attack will cost about $2.3 to $4 million. On average, it will take 7 to 12 hours of downtime before you can get your company back online. During this downtime, the attack will cost an average of $5,600 per minute.

While many organizations lose money because their company’s operations are temporarily down, some DDoS attacks are designed to be expensive. In some campaigns, cybercriminals threaten organizations with DDoS attacks if they do not receive a ransom. A report from Radware and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) recently detailed the way global businesses and financial institutions have been targeted by extortion campaigns through groups like the Armada Collective, Lazarus Group and Fancy Bear.

These groups start by sending the organization a letter that they will be targeted by a DDoS attack in several weeks if they do not pay the attacker a ransom. In one example case, victims were extorted for 20 bitcoins. This works out to about $230,000. If the victim does not pay this amount, the ransom amount increases by 10 bitcoins each day.

While Fancy Bear is a Russian cyber espionage group that targets technology and manufacturing businesses, the Lazarus Group is believed to be run by the North Korean government. Interestingly, the current incarnation of the Armada Collective seems to be sending out empty threats. By using a name that was previously associated with DDoS attacks, the collective has managed to bring in significant sums without actually launching any DDoS attacks.

DDoS Attacks Harm Your Reputation

When people shop at an online business, they want to know that their information is safe and secure. A DDoS attack destroys your reputation, and it makes clients less likely to trust your company. Unfortunately, a mid-sized DDoS attack can be purchased for $500 on the dark web. An attack like this can easily knock out an organization for a full day.

As a result of this type of attack, your company’s reputation can take a hit. Some DDoS attacks can even harm the reputation of an entire industry. If your customers think their data and security are at risk, they will shop at a different business.

DDoS Attacks Disrupt Your Operations

A DDoS attack also causes website and user disruptions. Instead of using your site to buy products or get help, your users are left stranded. Depending on your communications team, this situation can quickly devolve into chaos.

When no one can use your applications or website to communicate with you, they will try calling or emailing you instead. This will instantly slow down your entire organization because your employees will have to deal with a sudden influx of calls and emails. Before long, your customers may seek help elsewhere and start patronizing your competitors instead.

A DDoS attack harms your company’s brand and reputation. It makes your customers question whether their data is safe and if your company truly cares about protecting its clients. In addition, a DDoS attack can lead to significant financial harm through ransoms, downtime, and repair costs. By protecting your company from a DDoS attack, you can prevent these issues from happening. In addition, a DDoS mitigation plan and system backups can help you resolve an attack after it occurs.

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