What is a DDoS Attack, and Why Do I Need to Know Right Now?

A DDoS attack is always bad news, and terrifyingly commonplace in our current world. In Q1 of 2022 alone, the Kaspersky DDoS Intelligence system reported approximately 91,052 global DDoS attacks have been launched so far. To make matters worse, Kaspersky also reports 44.34% of all DDoS attacks had their sights set on US-sourced organizations, which is a heavy target to have on your back when taking the rest of the world into account.

DDoS attacks don’t hold back from targeting anyone or anything, especially as we move towards a world of remote work.

On February 23rd, 2022, a massive DDoS attack wiped out the entire Ukranian government’s websites. They couldn’t be accessed by civilians, concerned citizens from other countries, or the government officials themselves.

Post COVID-19, it’s imperative to be aware of the increasing threat of cybersecurity breaches, and taking all steps necessary to keep your business safe.

Unless you want your clients and customers to be denied the ability to reach you or any of the information in your database, it’s best to understand what exactly DDoS is so you can take the necessary steps to prevent the likelihood of one targeting you. 

What is a DDOS attack? 

A distributed denial-of-service, or a DDoS attack, is an intentional disruption of a server, service, or network’s availability by completely flooding the target or its surrounding infrastructure with high Internet traffic, surpassing its capabilities, and essentially “crashing” it.t.

Imagine you’re commuting to work in the morning. The flow of traffic may slow or halt for a moment, but you always know you’re going to get to your destination as long as the conditions surrounding the road and everyone on it stay consistent. As you change the radio station, you see a sudden stream of new cars peeling onto the road, completely horizontal to the flow of traffic. It’s difficult, if not impossible to get past them because they’re lined up so tightly. 

You’re not going to get to work as long as those cars are there, directly impeding your progress. 

The same can be said about your website, your service, your entire business– when the DDoS attack is overwhelming your servers, the customer’s flow of traffic is being blocked off by an overwhelming number of “cars” blocking them from getting to you. 

How does a DDoS attack work?

To carry out a DDoS attack, the cybercriminal in question needs a vast amount of Internet-connected machines on multiple, hard-to-identify networks. These networks consist of intentionally malware-infected devices, free for the attacker to use at their disposal to target specific servers. 

Networks full of these infected devices are called botnets, and each device in the botnet is called a bot.

If your business the server hosting your business is targeted by a cybercriminal, each bot in a botnet will send bulks of requests to your IP address to overwhelm your usual internet traffic. Because your website will be so busy trying to process those requests despite how many there are, your organic web traffic won’t be able to reach you, resulting in a denial-of-service. Even worse– because everyone or everything trying to reach you use using an internet-connected device, it’s hard to distinguish the humans from the bots if you were to get IT involved.

How do I prevent a DDoS attack from targeting my business next?  

Keeping your business safe from cyberattacks like a DDoS is not something that can be one-size-fits-all. Every business is unique, needs different tactics that fit their infrastructure, and the right strategy to create a comprehensive, multi-layered protection plan. Knowing about what types of cyberattacks are the most common is one thing, but taking action to prevent attackers from finding you next is another.

You need complex, extensive coverage, but the best part is you don’t have to do it all yourself.

At Coopertive Systems, we go the extra mile when it comes to cybersecurity.  

We prioritize additional cybersecurity training and certifications for our company and team. We sought out and completed multiple CompTIA Security+ global certifications, which requires companies to fully demonstrate the following industry-based knowledge and practical skillsets: 

  • A foundational understanding of cyberattacks, threats, vulnerabilities, and incident response scenarios 
  • An expanded knowledge of governance risk and federal compliance regulations 
  • A comprehensive intelligence on the latest cybersecurity trends and techniques 
  • Extensive effective problem-solving methods across a wide virtual landscape

If you’re interested in protecting your small or mid-sized business from the next DDoS attack targeting the US, click here to learn more.