Cyber crime is a growth industry. According to a PwC study, there was a 38% rise in the number of cyber attacks between 2014 and 2015. One of the most prevalent attacks is DDoS – distributed denial of service – which has grown exceptionally in sophistication and scope over the last years. Attackers use various advanced methods, like hijacking computers via malware and using them to stage an attack or using public cloud resources to power an event. The reasons behind these attacks range from hacktivism and causing disruption, to stealing valuable data, financial information, and demanding ransom.
One of the reasons for the increase in cyber crime, especially DDoS attacks, can be attributed to technology. As cloud and digital currencies have matured, they can be used by cyber criminals to enable their activities, with detrimental effects. The result – it’s not only easier to organise an attack, it is also much easier to pay for an attack.
Now, anyone with money and malicious intent can commission a DDoS event simply by using the internet. A company called vDOS recently made news headlines – the reason? The cyber attack company, led by two Israeli teenagers who were arrested, reportedly made £465,000 in two years from carrying out various DDoS attacks.
What this really serves to demonstrate is the likelihood of this happening to your business; whether it’s an employee with a grudge, a competitor trying to one-up your organisation, or a sophisticated syndicate that’s after a ransom.
So what can you do? Start by changing your mindset; the reality is that it’s not a question of if an attack with happen, but rather, when. Then look at reinforcing defences, something more and more companies are doing. According to Neustar research, more than three quarters of companies invested more money in DDoS protection 2015 than they did the previous year. Critically, work with service providers that understand the threat landscape and have the skills and technologies that supplement your own. Overall, you’ll be better prepared for an attack and have a process and partner in place to help.