7 ways small businesses can protect themselves against DDoS attacks

RapidVPN/ March 7, 2019/ Blog/

Small business companies often assume that they are not the targets for Internet attacks or online frauds or the most dangerous DDoS attacks. But nearly half of cybercriminals target exactly small businesses. So, cybersecurity should also be the main concern for small companies and it’s something business owners should pay attention to.

What lulls the small company owners into the piece is that they often hear about a major company being hacked, like Sony or some other. Just because you don’t hear about hacker’s target to small businesses doesn’t mean that they are not under the attack.

Most small companies don’t take protecting their companies seriously. As mentioned, they simply think that they are too small for hacker’s attention or that they do not have anything worth stealing. But, consider it more appropriately: they do. They have customer payment information. And that is where the problem begins.

DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service, as we already know. This type of cyberattack targets critical systems to disrupt either network service or connectivity and then it causes a denial of service for users. This attack combines the huge power of multiple malware-infected computers to target one system. Many small companies are not even aware of the severity of DDoS attack and how serious they should take the defense of their systems. DDoS attacks in 2018 grew in force and variability.

First of all, companies should know about various types of DDoS attacks, so here is the list of most common ones:

Volumetric Attack – attacks and overwhelms a machine’s network by flooding it with false data requests. The machine that continually has to deal with those requests and thus has no room to accept the traffic.

Application-Layer Attack – focuses directly on Web traffic and avenues include HTTP, HTTPS, DNS, and SMTP.

Protocol Attack – damages connection tables that deal directly with verifying connections. It can also target a company’s firewalls.

DDoS attacks show no signs of slowing or growing weaker. Nowadays, they include the so-called “blended” approach – and sometimes it’s even not possible to discover that the attack has been launched.

In order for companies to fight those malicious threats, there are steps that they can take precautiously. Because when the DDoS hits, there is really no time to think about the best steps to take.

First of all, companies should consider carrying certain insurance. Just as the insurance can cover other parts of a company’s life, so it can consider getting cybersecurity insurance and in case the cyber criminals decide to attack – insurance got them covered.

Secondly, developing a denial of service response plan is a great thing to do. In order to fight DDoS attack properly, the company should make its data center well prepared and the team aware of the responsibilities they are to take. The key elements of this plan would include: systems checklist, a definition of notifications and escalation procedures, including the list of both internal and external contacts, forming a response team. 

Thirdly, a company should secure its network infrastructure. Making a multi-level advanced intrusion prevention systems, with combined effects of – VPN, firewalls, spam, content filtering, and other techniques. Also, including cloud-based solution should be an option, and this is a great option for small businesses to keep their security budgets within their limits. Furthermore, keeping the system up-to-date should is a must, because those out-of-date are usually the ones with the most loopholes.

On the fourth place – engaging in strong network security can efficiently keep the business networks from being compromised. The things such as including secure passwords which should be changed on regular basis, many anti-phishing methods, and above all secure firewalls – will provide protection. They won’t stop DDoS, but they at least form a solid protection security foundation.

Fifthly – consider maintaining a strong network architecture. It may be vital to security – if one server is attacked, the other can manage the extra network traffic. If the company have spread-out resources, it may be more difficult to target and attack.

On the six place – outsourcing the cloud-based provider may offer several benefits. It has more bandwidth, to begin with, but more importantly: cloud-based apps can manage to absorb harmful or potentially malicious traffic before it reaches the attacked destination. Furthermore, cloud engineers monitor the Web for the tactics and thus are ready to intervene if it would be necessary.

Last way to protect the small business from DDoS attack may sound a bit less important than the previous ones but is also very useful. One should above all understand the warning signs of DDoS attack because some symptoms of it may be naive but are actually the signs that attack occurred. They include spotty connectivity on a company intranet, website shutdowns or a slow network. In these cases, experts should be aware that the company is maybe under the attack and should take certain steps.

DDoS attacks are painfully real and definitely no longer the problem of only big companies, but as we’ve seen – the small companies may be potential targets. Developing multi-layered security solutions to provide protection is a must – no matter the size of one’s company!