When it comes to business grade internet security, it can seem like the majority of products are focused towards large enterprises with deep budgets and large bank accounts.
And while there are often the companies which are at risk the most, there is a different type of Internet-based threat which affects businesses of all sizes.
It’s called a DDoS attack, and this article will explain more about it.
It Starts With Your Office Computers and Network
If you can remember a time where you received an email which asked you to download a file, install a patch, or simply just click on a link, and when you did absolutely nothing happened, the chances are that your computer has been infected with malicious code or programs.
The purpose of this isn’t to gain access to your business systems, but to use the resources of your computer to perform malicious acts on other businesses. Many of which you could have relations with.
How Does a Website Work?
When you visit sites like the Groupon Coupons page for Oakley, your computer sends a request to a server, the site finds you the best deals, and then you are presented with a website. When it comes to online shopping at stores like this, it’s all pretty seamless.
However, have ever visited a local news website when there has been a big breaking story only to find that the website was either really slow or it just wouldn’t load? This is a general flaw in the design of the internet, in which too many people attempting to access a single page can cause the site to crash.
When this happens to you, you likely just navigate to another news site to get the information you are looking for.
How Does It All Come Together?
If you clicked on the link in the malicious email or installed a file then a small piece of code was placed on your computer. This code sits idly until it is connected by the hacker who send you the email.
Once a hacker has chosen their target, they contact all of the small pieces of code inside your office computers and take over their internet connection. As part of this attack, they command each of the computers they control to access a single website at the same time. This can meal tens of millions of devices requesting the same web page simultaneously.
As you can remember from the news story example, this will quickly cause the website to crash. However, unlike a regular news page, these computer bots aren’t being told to stop and look for a new page. Instead, they are told to continue attempting to access the site.
The outcome of such an attack is a complete outage of the website targeted.
How can you stop your computers from being used?
The best way to prevent your business network from being used in this way is to educate your staff members about internet security and the importance of only opening emails and attachments from senders they trust.