Imagine this – you own a small business with a handful of employees, a website, a company email, etc. You juggle clients and vendors every day while running to and from meeting, participating in video conferences and taking more calls than you can count. You wake up one morning and head into the office, settle in at your desk, and boot up your computer. You try to connect to the Internet as usual and you get an inexplicable error message on your screen. Oh no! Come to find out your businesses website is down as well. What do you do now? The problem here is that you are probably not a technology expert. You likely don’t know what the cause could be or how to fix it. And the other problem is that with your Internet down and your website malfunctioning your employees can’t work productively and your customers can’t interact with you site. All of this amounts to money lost.
In this article we would like to discuss a common cause of website malfunctions and suspended Internet service – Denial of Services attacks. We will then go on to introduce a proactive approach that your business can take to prevent these attacks.
First of all, Denial of Services Attacks occur when a hacker machine attempts to negatively affect your machine in an effort to disrupt your service. The most common method of attack is by flooding your machine with an overload of illegitimate communication requests. This insignificant data essentially clogs your machine and prevents legitimate data from flowing through. One thing that is important to note when considering Denial of Services attack is that they are VERY difficult to rectify after they occur. Restoring your system is extremely costly and time consuming. For this reason it is wise to take preventative measures against Denial of Services attacks.
Luckily there a plethora of defenses that you can use in combination to prevent Denial of Services attacks. One that you may be familiar with are firewall. A firewall can be put up to recognize incoming communication from unusual IP addresses. These communication requests will simply be dropped before ever reaching your server. Unfortunately firewalls can sometimes be too far deep in the system and they can also be overwhelmed by more severe attacks. In these cases switches can be helpful here as they divide potentially harmful data, scrub it to check for an attack, and then allow it to pass through if it is marked safe. This technique employs the use of scrubbing or cleaning centers where material is painstakingly filtered before being allowed to pass through. Other techniques for preventing Denial of Services attacks include black holing, sink holing, front-end hardware and intrusion based prevention.
As a business owner you need to take measures to protect your business from Denial of Services attacks. There are a wide variety of tactics that you can employ to protect your business.
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