At a time when we’re all caught up in ghosts and ghouls, it’s easy to forget about some of the things that are so scary that even werewolves will run away screaming.
So ask yourself this: while you may well be prepared to fight off zombies, are you prepared to handle REAL Halloween threats… like DDoS attacks?
WHAT IS A DDOS ATTACK?
A distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS attack, is one of the scariest things that could happen to your business this Halloween, and, if we’re being completely honest, it’s a little bit more likely to happen than the zombie apocalypse (although it certainly doesn’t hurt to be prepared for both possibilities!).
A DDoS attack occurs when lots and lots of spam requests are sent to your website, overloading the server to a point where it simply can’t cope with the amount of traffic and gives up.
The problem with this, of course, is that legitimate requests are denied, meaning your customers can’t access your site.
What’s really scary is that it can happen to the best of them, including GitHub and even the BBC!
While DDoS attacks can happen at any time of the year, Halloween sparks the ‘peak season’ of attacks. Why?
Because in the weeks and months following this spooky holiday, we have all sorts of major shopping events — Black Friday, Sofa Sunday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and holiday sales — all of which increase demand for online shopping and give a DDoS attack greater impact.
Research shows that attacks are more common in the days leading up to Black Friday, with increased risk lasting until the end of the year.
PROTECTING YOUR BUSINESS
There are two ways that you can help to protect your business from spooky happenings this Halloween: by understanding the best ways to recover from an attack, and how to minimize your risk.
Do you know how to overcome DDoS attacks? The truth is that doing it on your own can be tricky.
In fact, it’s much easier to stop an attack in its tracks if your server is in a data center, rather than onsite. Your hosting provider can step in and divert all traffic to a ‘scrubber’. The scrubber acts as a filter, identifying and removing the spam traffic and sending your legitimate traffic on its merry way to your website.
Perhaps even more importantly, do you know how to avoid DDoS attacks?
Understanding your own business is key here, as learning more about your typical traffic trends can help make you more aware of anomalies, giving you an opportunity to act before your business suffers significant damage.
Additionally, over-provisioning when it comes to bandwidth can be helpful. It certainly won’t be enough to completely prevent an attack, but once again it does provide you with a ‘buffer’ to act before major damage is done.
ZOMBIE VS. DDOS ATTACKS
This Halloween, it’s important to think about what’s scarier: zombie attacks or DDoS attacks (let’s not even consider the spine-tingling possibility of zombie DDoS attacks!).
If you feel more prepared to deal with the walking dead during this spooky period than you do for cyber risks, now is the time to act.