Why are DDoS attacks a Goldmine for Cybercriminals?
Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are nothing new, but they are increasingly more popular among cyber-criminals looking to monetize their malware strategies. Ransomware has been a long-term monetary reward for malware authors, but the second most increasingly popular cyber threat is a well-crafted DDoS. DDoS can be set up as a third-party service and purchased by people looking to harm an organization, leaving the target organization responsible for thwarting thousands of requests simultaneously. If targeted organizations aren't ready for the flood of requests, it's likely that they will no longer be able to provide web services for their customers.
Monetary Impact from DDoS Threats
DDoS threats are usually seen as a nuisance, but they are much more than insignificant attacks. A long-lasting DDoS targeted attack can keep web services down for weeks. Without the right staff onsite to immediately deal with a threat, a DDoS attack can confuse users and administrators responsible for network productivity and uptime.
The extent of monetary damage depends on the sophistication of the DDoS attack and the length of time it continues. DDoS threats start with malware injection into network hardware, mainly infrastructure, personal computers, and IoT devices. The malware automatically connects to a centralized server called a command-and-control (C2) center. With enough malware spread across thousands of devices, cyber-criminals send signals to compromised systems to send requests to a targeted organization's web service.
Added to DDoS popularity is the newer form of "DDoS as a Service" availability. Anyone without technical skills can hire cyber-criminals to send a flood of traffic to a specific domain of their choice. Larger businesses with mitigation infrastructure protection can generally absorb such a threat. Still, smaller businesses without the technical know-how cannot protect against a DDoS, especially those with thousands of devices under cyber-criminal control.
Downtime from DDoS threats can cost organizations millions. Some cyber-criminals might ask for money in exchange for stopping the flood of traffic from a DDoS. Customers might switch services to a competitor, or customers looking for products might buy from another competitor's store. Any sites hosting third-party services for business-to-business offers would be unable to support their customers, and it could lead to a significant loss in customer loyalty and continued subscriptions. The costs of a DDoS add up to more than the costs from downtime.
Being Proactive with DDoS Attacks
It's expensive to have onsite cybersecurity staff, so some corporations outsource their Security Operation Center (SOC) so that they have 24/7 monitoring. Monitoring is critical in DDoS mitigation because the attack happens almost instantly, and infrastructure must be in place to stop it immediately. Mitigation services are also an option, but best practices call for layered security. Having layered security avoids having a single source of failure, which is a common mistake in many organizations with poor cybersecurity standards.
A common oversight is stopping a compromise of internal infrastructure and user devices. Most organizations rely on antivirus and anti-malware software, but again this strategy leaves every hardware device open to false negative results from a single defense source. Instead of relying on a single defense, organizations should stop the compromise at the source – email messages.
Malware used to take control of various network infrastructures, IoT, and user devices starts with a malicious email message. In a malicious email message, users are convinced to open an attacker-controlled web page with malware downloads, or a sender might attach a malicious file that downloads malware after a user opens it. The attack strategy is incredibly effective; even technically savvy people fall for the scam.
Organizations can stop email-based threats using email filtering services. The service can run in the cloud and connect directly to the email service – both on-premises or in the cloud – and work instantaneously with few configurations causing downtime during installation and deployment. Another benefit of cloud-based services is that the software can maintain updates continuously without overhead from administrators so that the email filters stop the latest threats and zero-days.
Artificial intelligence in email security also helps stop zero-day threats and sophisticated attacks built to bypass filters. Even though false negatives are low with good email filtering software, users should still have security awareness training to recognize phishing and social engineering instead of having a false sense of security. The security awareness training can be used as a failsafe in case of false negative results. With antivirus software, anti-malware software, email filters, and security awareness training, organizations have several layers of defenses against email-based threats reducing their risks to a tiny percentage with no single point of failure.
False positives should also be few with a good email filtering service. Too many false positives interfere with corporate communications between vendors and customers, and it can cause monetary damage. Administrators must be able to configure email filtering software to block attachments for some users and allow additional communications for others. For example, a cybersecurity staff member might be more vulnerable to phishing, but staff members should receive employee email messages to report suspicious activity.
Stopping Your Corporation from Being Compromised with DDoS Malware
With the proliferation of sophisticated attacks on businesses worldwide, it's crucial to have comprehensive, multi-layered security. SpamTitan and WebTitan are products of TitanHQ; they embody the same philosophy and commitment to robust, up-to-date protection. This ensures a consistent approach to security that works harmoniously rather than disparate systems attempting to cover the same ground. Using a combination of TitanHQ security solutions creates a multi-layered defense system. This method minimizes potential weaknesses and enhances the overall strength of your cybersecurity infrastructure, ensuring all fronts are fortified.
Businesses can use the right cyber security strategies to protect their data and users from new and current threats. If you have the right cyber security strategies and solutions, you significantly reduce your risk of becoming the next victim of a DDOS attack.
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