DDoS attacks have been around ever since the mid-nineties, yet they still continue to intimidate business owners to this day. Although they’re changing tactics all the time, these botnet attacks are as effective and popular as they’ve ever been. The latest emerging trend we’ve seen is the sudden rise of long and exhausting DDoS attacks. Companies are starting to pay attention to this issue and take it seriously, finally investing in proper cyber-protection.
Nonetheless, we have reason to believe that DDoS attacks will soon grow to be even more dangerous. After all, most people had to transfer their businesses online due to the global pandemic. What’s more, there are new technological advancements being made every day, and hackers will certainly take advantage of that.
Here are some reasons why DDoS attacks still remain an ongoing threat for business owners 20 years later:
1. They’re Relatively Simple to Execute
Nowadays, it seems as though nothing is unfeasible if you have money. Anyone can hire a booter or stresser and carry out a devastating DDoS attack, without any programming knowledge whatsoever. The worst part is — it takes just a few dozen dollars to cause a major hiccup. So, imagine what one could do with a few hundreds or thousands.
Fun fact — one of the largest botnets the history’s ever seen, Mirai, was actually started by three college students in a dorm trying to mess with Minecraft’s servers.
On the other hand, a skilled and experienced hacker will know how to easily detect inadequately secured IoT devices and recruit them to join their botnet. They also know how to utilize the latest technology for personal gain. Unfortunately, most IoT devices have weak protection and passwords, if any, which makes the hacker’s job easier. Besides that, the number of IoT devices that could become potential bots is rising rapidly every day.
2. They’re Devastating for the Victim
We don’t have too much recent data about the average cost of a DDoS attack, but the figures from the 2017 Kaspersky research should give you an idea. It suggests that an attack costs small to medium businesses around $120K and enterprises around $2M on average. Being that these numbers were higher than in the 2016 report, the figure would most likely be significantly higher today, in 2021. After all, DDoS attacks are getting more exhaustive and resistant, and thus more costly, too.
In addition, serious data breaches also come with various legal consequences. After an attack, you’ll most likely have a number of lawsuits on your hands. And as you may know, hiring a good attorney is crucial in such cases, but it does cost an arm and a leg.
Still, the biggest repercussion isn’t even the loss of revenue or the legal issues — it’s the loss of credibility. A DDoS attack will undoubtedly cause distrust among your clients and partners.
3. They’re Highly Profitable for the Hacker
DDoS attacks are one of the most popular weapons, and they can serve many purposes. For one, many hackers take it as an opportunity to extort the target for money. Therefore, the targeted business has to pay the ransom in order to prevent or stop the botnet attack. One of the most recent examples of such a threat happened to Radware just a month ago. Each of their clients had to pay a ransom of 5 to 10 Bitcoins (around $150K to $300K).
As we mentioned already, it doesn’t take too much money or effort to carry out a DDoS attack. However, it is quite effective, no matter what the hacker is trying to achieve — money, plain disruption, or competitive gain. Basically, with a bit of help and resources, anyone can sabotage and cause a financial blow to their competitors, political or ideological opponents.
4. They’re Constantly Evolving
Technology has advanced rapidly over the past 20 years and it’s expected to do so even more in the future. With the rise of 5G and Wi-Fi 6, connection and communication between devices have become incredibly fast.
Naturally, DDoS attacks have evolved accordingly, becoming much more difficult to stop and prevent. These attacks can now cause more downtime and steal more data than they ever have. What’s more, hackers are starting to use machine learning to search for weak passwords and locate thousands of suitable IoT devices in just minutes. Thus, it’s no wonder that some of the world’s biggest botnets, such as Mirai, are still expanding to this day. They will most likely keep doing so, as the number of IoT devices is increasing each day.
On the upside, we might finally see regulations being made regarding the security of IoT devices. Tech manufacturers might have to address this issue and provide proper protection for their users in the near future.
DDoS attacks are not only still ubiquitous but also more vicious than ever. However, with adequate preparation, you might be able to avoid such an incident and save your precious business. For one, you should invest in a complex but organized multi-layer security solution, as well as backup servers. In addition, it’s also good to have an emergency response plan in case you ever encounter a DDoS attack.
All in all, instead of fretting about the market exposure and risks all the time, business owners should put more of their focus on other crucial issues, such as cybersecurity risks. After all, what good is a billion-dollar enterprise without the trust of its customers?