What are DDoS Attacks and How do They Affect Your Business?

DDoS attacks can take down your website at any time. From big brands to small portfolio websites, no one is safe from it. In 2015, even the BBC suffered from DDoS attacks. The attack made the official website unavailable for almost three hours. 

It is an attack that makes the network crash by overwhelming it with more requests than its capacity allows. The word distributed in the term shows that multiple devices contribute to launching the attack. 

Consequences Of The Attack

  • The website goes down

It shuts down your website and makes it unavailable for your visitors. They cannot access it. It is not difficult to imagine the terrible consequences for an eCommerce store that is there to make a profit. 

Financial losses would be unbearable if the downtime lasted for hours. Dyn was an internet performance management company that operated between 1998 and 2017. It experienced a DDoS attack in 2015 that took down many big eCommerce players. The list includes prominent names such as Amazon, Etsy, Paypal, and Shopify. Of course, all of them went through heavy financial losses. Surveys reveal that Shopify lost $12,000 per hour, and Amazon lost $50 million daily. 

  • Productivity Plunges

Even if your website does not crash after a DDoS attack, it will still run very slowly. This is because the heavy volume of requests congests your system's channels. So, they need much more time to receive and respond to requests than usual.

  • It Damages Your Brand Reputation 

BBC faced massive criticism from its website viewers after the attack. It was the apparent result of the DDoS attack. The level of damage would be the same even if you are a small business owner. Customers buy from the companies they trust. They will never trust you if they feel you are not serious about cybersecurity. 

And when someone does not trust you, the implications are much more than just not buying from you. They will also not be willing to do business with you or share personal information.

  • Your SEO Rankings Will Hurt

Google cares about its clients and always works hard to provide them with safe websites. However, even if your pages take time to load, you will not be in their good books. They will not rank you, and your pages will become less visible to your potential customers. 

Google won't know that the DDoS attack is behind the slow speed or unavailability. The DDoS attack is your issue, and you have to resolve it. Then, search engines will reevaluate your rank. The high ranking could result from years of hard work, and you will lose it in seconds. 

  • Data Loss

In most cases, DDoS attacks lead to data breaches. It takes down a company's firewalls or may try to distract your IT teams from incoming data theft. One of the relevant examples is the Sony incident. In 2011, a planned DDoS attack distracted the company and stole information from almost 77 million users.

How Can You Protect Your Business?

You must be able to identify the DDoS attack. Moreover, it would help if you got to know your system's typical inbound traffic profile. Then, you will be able to foresee the DDoS attack. 

Experts recommend creating a complete denial-of-service response plan. The plan should be comprehensive and solid. It should guide you throughout the process from detection to resolution. It should clarify which persons will be involved in the process and what roles they would have during the attack. 

Companies must have dedicated IT experts available 24/7. Their job description should include continuous network monitoring and resolving issues proactively. For example, experts can help with the tool section, content filters, firewalls, and VPNs. Also, they can help you develop a response plan which is actionable and practical.

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How Much a DDoS Attack May Cost You?

Lost revenue is just one side of the picture. You have to bear the cost of DDoS attacks as well. You may have to spend $120,000 per attack for a small to medium size business. It accounts for the restoring of the services and managing the operations. 

The cost would further escalate, of course, when you add up the opportunities you lost during the procedure. In addition, you suffer more when the attack is a smokescreen for a data breach. So, companies must invest in DDoS protection.

The total cost is the sum of two prices. First is the cost of restoring services, and the other is the cost of managing operations offline. 

Cost of Managing Operations Offline

Often DDoS takes a long time to resolve, and you have to manage operations offline during the restoring operations. In most cases, it takes one full day. One in every four SMBs maintains that the cost of an offline or backup system was the most considerable expense of the attack. 

Small businesses may generally lose from $8000 to $74000 for every downtime hour. We have already discussed how these attacks scare away your customers and damage your brand reputation. 

Data Breach Costs

Cybercriminals often use DDoS attacks as a smokescreen for more dangerous attacks. They overwhelm the business servers with decoy traffic from DDoS attacks. The combined financial and reputational costs can be devastating if a small to medium-sized business suffers a data breach on top of a DDoS attack.

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