It is safe to say that we rely on our business websites for almost everything these days. Websites are the new phonebooks – potential customers are constantly navigating to our sites to quickly find our phone number and address so that they can reach out to our staff. Websites also take the place of customer service representatives. Customers use our websites to find out the specifics about the services or merchandise every company provides. Potential customers often use websites to compare prices, view menus and check business hours. This means that our sites are clearly great business assets, however, just like customer service representatives, our websites need to be reliable and available.
When websites go down, business owners not only face great headaches but can also incur great financial losses and decreased customer satisfaction. For this reason it is important to identify preventable and curable causes for these outages. Today we will be discussing a major cause of website errors – Denial of Service attacks.
Denial of Services attacks are attacks that hackers make on your system by bombarding your site with an excess of communication requests. These requests overload your network and clog up you communication pathways so that genuine non-hacker, normal business communication can’t get through. This means that when you or your customers try to use your site in an appropriate way an error message will pop up preventing you from accessing the site.
How do we fight against these Denial of Service Attacks? As with most things, it is best to prevent these attacks rather than recover from them once they happen. Detection and prevention is more cost effective and time efficient than recovery after an attack. All it takes is a bit of foresight to look into in a detection plan.
There are a variety of providers offering detection services that support businesses with Denial of Service detection solutions. These services set up firewalls that put in place rules that keep out known attackers. When requests come in from unusual and illegitimate IP addresses those requests are denied and dropped before they can affect your system. Unfortunately, firewalls do have limitations. For instance, if you are receiving an ongoing illegitimate attack on a port, it is often impossible and illogical to drop all of the traffic coming into that port because doing so would drop off all legitimate requests as well. Luckily, Denial of Services attack prevention providers have other tools to use in prevention. Switches and routers are employed for their ACL and their rate limiting abilities. Additional hardware can be installed on the network far in the front end to halt attacks before they even have the chance to reach the server.
Prevention is key. Please contact us at Fastblue.com to find out more about Distributed Denial of Service detection and prevention.
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