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Hackers and Internet trolls are unpredictable lot. More often than not, their only goal is to sew chaos by disrupting normal business operations. To achieve this, they use a method known as a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS. DDoS attacks in general have one focus – to slow down and ultimately stop your servers so that no business operations can proceed. DDoS attacks can take many forms and occur for multiple reasons, but we’re going to focus on the old axiom: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
While DDoS can be specifically targeted at an entity or website, it can also inadvertently affect those who run their website off a host that’s under attack. One Website Please recently suffered such a secondary attack, when our host was taken down – luckily, our intrepid founder was on the watch and quickly had us up and running due to his precautions.

Photo: Security Newspaper

Photo: noticlas seguridad

OWP was able to be up and running again in short order, but that’s not always the case for companies who are far less prepared for such attacks. Some businesses that have to contend with these attacks can never fully prepare – Sony’s PlayStation Network has been compromised by these attacks multiple times, even going so far as losing their service for a full month in 2011. Microsoft’s Xbox Live has suffered similar attacks, usually around Christmas, but they only last for several hours at most.

According to data gathered from several sources regarding all manner of DDoS attacks, 2015 has been a record year so far – attacks rose an estimated 180% over the same time period as last year, and 23% since early August. As shocking as that increase is, it’s only expected to get higher, with the focus remaining on the gaming industry and financial institutions.

The most important question raised by all of this is, how do you protect yourself? Being prepared for any situation when it comes to your online presence is a sound strategy, but making sure to especially prepare for any malicious attacks is a wise course to pursue. The level at which you can protect yourself will directly relate to your technological savvy, but at the very least, make backups! Always make sure your website is backing itself up – you never know when you’ll need an emergency restoration.

Photo: Jason Goto

Photo: Tayla Lyell

If you decide you’d like more comprehensive care that you’re not sure you’re capable of, we’re here to help! One Website Please offers several care plans for your website that include security monitoring – that way, if you’re ever exposed to an attack, we’ll be on top of it. You can check out our plans by clicking here.

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