Setting a Plan: How to Prevent DDoS Attacks & Detect a Possible Event
Protect Your Site By Taking These Important Cyber Security Steps
While cyber attacks related to ransomware and social engineering make headlines more frequently, Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks wreak havoc on businesses of all sizes, across a spectrum of industries.
With the average financial impact of a DDoS attack on small-to-medium-sized businesses reaching $138,000 in 2019, it’s time you prepare your clients to face the risks.
Business owners must know how to detect and how to prevent DDoS attacks, and learn how to mitigate the damage they cause if and when they do occur.
What Is a DDoS Attack?
A DDoS attack occurs when multiple malicious sources flood one targeted victim’s network with extensive traffic from different locations. This overwhelming activity causes the network to crash, barring legitimate users’ access.
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For example, a DDoS attack launched at an online retailer will make the website inaccessible to customers. The attacked retailer may not even realize what’s happening until customers notice the issue and voice their concerns.
At that point, business owners must rule out what’s causing the outage and go through a process of elimination before they discover the source is a DDoS attack. By then, the website may have been down for an extended period of time, resulting in substantial lost revenue.
A DDoS attack can also cause serious damage to the website itself, plus other digital assets, that can be costly to fix or rebuild. Here, business interruption coverage is crucial.
These cyber attacks are launched at organizations of all sizes—from small businesses to multibillion dollar corporations—and can cause serious financial and reputational damages.
Unlike other types of cyber attacks, the motive for a DDoS hacker isn’t as clear. This type of attack isn’t always carried out for financial gain, but instead may seek to do political or reputational damage.
Regardless of motives, these attacks will continue to evolve towards seeking monetary gain in the future and lead to significant lost income for victims.
What Your Clients Can Do to Stop and Prevent DDoS Attacks
Experts anticipate DDoS attacks will double from 7.9 million in 2018 to 15.4 million by 2023. With these attacks ready to launch at your clients’ businesses at any moment, it’s important to help your clients understand how to stop and prevent DDoS attacks, and detect them once they are already underway.
Business owners who take a proactive approach to their cyber security posture will face significantly less risk than their counterparts.
Consider these DDoS prevention tools and techniques:
- Detect Traffic Flow
A DDoS protection service can monitor traffic flow in and out of your clients’ networks to make sure clean traffic can pass through and notify them if unusual activity is detected.
- Utilize the Latest Antivirus Software
While those update notifications can be pesky, they’re important. All devices that connect to the internet and all networks should be updated with the latest software update as soon as it’s available.
- Install a Firewall
A firewall provides protection against outside cyber attacks and is useful in preventing multiple kinds of cyber attacks.
While these measures can help your clients prevent outgoing DDoS attacks, it’s important to note there is no way to completely avoid such attacks altogether. But with a cyber insurance policy and a proactive plan in place, your clients will ensure they’re as prepared and protected as they can be when an attack takes place.
It can be a major challenge to detect and mitigate DDoS attacks while one is underway. Most organizations don’t browse their own website regularly so may not realize they’re under attack until their customers notify them.
Understanding how to mitigate a DDoS attack revolves around early detection. The faster the attack is detected, the faster your clients can respond and get their network or website back up and running.
These are key red flags to look for:
- Unusual Network Speed
If your clients’ networks are running abnormally slow, they may be facing an abnormal amount of traffic—potentially DDoS bots—visiting the site.
- Inability to Access Website
If a website isn’t responsive at all, this lack of functionality is a strong indication your client has already fallen victim to a DDoS attack. The 503 “Service Unavailable Error” code may be the telltale sign of an attack.
When in doubt, your clients should always check with their network administrator to identify and diagnose whatever issue is causing an irregularity.
Protect Your Clients from DDoS Attacks With Cyber Insurance
While DDoS attacks pose a challenge, solutions do exist. A cyber insurance policy with business interruption insurance coverage is an absolute necessity for businesses at risk of a DDoS attack.
A cyber insurance policy can offer your clients broad coverage for protection from DDoS attack and many other cyber events, including social engineering, ransomware, and more.
To help you find your clients the most comprehensive coverage available, ProWriters helps you buy and sell insurance as efficiently as possible. Our Cyber IQ Comparative Rate Platform lets you quote and compare multiple cyber insurance policies from various carriers in just minutes.
Get started today in finding your clients the best possible coverage. Have questions? Contact us or call 484-321-2335 to speak with a ProWriters expert.
And to find out more about the potential risks, as well as what you and your clients can do about them, download our free ebook, Cyber Exposure: What’s the Real Cost?