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The Hidden Dangers of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

Cristina Pizzagalli

March 09, 2016

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Despite being some of the oldest threats on the Internet, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are still creating havoc for Canadian businesses today.

A report from the Ponemon Institute on ‘The Cost of Denial-of-Service Attacks’, shows the average total cost per year of DDoS attacks to a Canadian organisation is $5.32 million. And according to the State of the Internet Q2 2015 Security Report from Akaimai, the number of DDoS attacks witnessed in quarter two of 2015 hit record highs.

Why are they so effective?

DDoS attacks aim to take websites offline by inundating them with illegitimate connections, requests and traffic, carried out by multiple attackers, targeting a single source at the same time.

A group of hackers or a single entity with a network of bots can wage a successful DDoS attack. These types of attacks are increasing in frequency because they are easy to accomplish, difficult to prevent, cheap to carry out and hard to trace.

How does this impact my online business?

Financial institutions typically top the list of targets for hackers, but in fact,all businesses and organisations need to plan for the possibility of a DDoS attacks, because it’s no longer a matter of “if”, but “when”.

The downtime caused by the disruptive nature of these attacks can have a significant impact on the user experience and therefore the bottom line for online organisations.

And businesses should be mindful of the harm that a DDoS attack can have on all areas of the organisation, not just sales.

For example, when a business’ systems are down it immediately impacts productivity, this can be even more impactful if the business relies on an e-commerce platform.

The hit a business’ reputation can take from a DDoS attack can be huge and much more difficult to measure in terms of financial loss. Nevertheless, is it the number one consequence of a DDoS attack, according to 64% of the respondents of the global Ponemon study.

How can I protect my ecommerce site from a potential DDoS attack?

With so much competition online, brands can’t afford to have their reputation damaged from the fallout of DDoS attacks.

And with the increasingly sophisticated nature and frequency of these attacks, the importance of having a precise DDoS protection plan in place has never been greater.

Download the Cogeco Peer 1 white paper, DDoS Protection: Keeping Your Business Safe, for a seven-point strategy on how to improve your organisation’s DDoS defence, and minimise the risk of downtime and revenue loss.


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