What Is a DDoS
Heard of DDoS? What risk does it pose to your business or organisation?
DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service. A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable (either temporarily or indefinitely) by overwhelming it with traffic. Essentially it's a website take-down. Wikipedia liken it to a huge crowd trying to enter a business through the same doorway and consequently blocking actually customers from entering.
DDoS attacks generally target important resources, such as banks and news websites, although attacks can be launched for blackmail (ransom money), revenge or activist reasons.
The scary thing is that DDoS attacks are easy to launch. In fact underground markets exist where anyone can pay a fee to have a website 'taken out'. Some sources state that a week-long DDoS attack, capable of taking a small organisation offline can cost as little as $US150.
What Can I Do to Reduce the Risk of an Attack?
You should make sure you have the latest versions of software installed, ensure your firewall is on and set up by your Internet Service Provider, have up-to-date antivirus software. However there is no quick fix solution available.
If you think, due to the nature of the work you do, that your organisation might be at risk then seek the help of a partner who has extensive DDoS and attack mitigation expertise.
You could also check out Google's Project Shield which is designed for those running news, human rights or election related websites to publish content through Google's DDoS mitigation infrastructure.