Chances are good that you’ve heard about many of the recent DDoS attacks on a variety of different websites over the past few months. Some of the most popular gaming sites and platforms, including the Playstation Network, have had to deal with denial of service attacks on their systems. Some of the most common targets for those who use these types of attacks include banks, credit card companies, and other high profile servers.
This type of an attack can cause serious damage to a business, and anyone who has a website today should consider working with servers that can help protect them from it.
What Is a DDoS Attack?
A DDoS, or distributed denial of service attack, strives to make a resource, in this case, your website, unavailable to those who want to access it. The goal of the attacker is to suspend access to the site, thus causing the owners lost visitors and lost dollars, potentially.
The attack often stems from a group of people, or bots, that flood the site and server with requests, making it impossible for the site to run properly when legitimate users are trying to visit. This server overload is a huge problem, and it causes many to grow angry at the site they are trying to visit rather than casting their blame onto the real culprits – the DDos hackers. This is only one method of DDos attack though. Other techniques, including “teardrop attacks”, “peer-to-peer attacks”, and “nuke” attacks happen as well.
As you can imagine, if people are unable to access your site, it can cause serious damage to your revenue stream. Even if the site is down for only a few hours, companies can lose many thousands of dollars. Larger companies that have more traffic – the type of companies that DDoS hackers tend to target the most – have even more to lose.
Therefore, you need to make sure that you have a quality server for your site. Choosing a dedicated server capable of offering protection for your site is vital. Having a dedicated server, rather than a shared server is always a good idea for those who are able to afford it. The reason is simple. With a shared server, even if your company is not the target, a DDoS to that particular server could cause your site to go inactive for the same reasons. When you have a dedicated server, you do not have to worry about other companies raising the ire of a hacker.
Let’s examine some of the things that you will want to look for with the server companies you are choosing.
Does the company you are considering have adequate resources necessary to protect your site from a large DDoS attack? What’s their capacity, and what type of experience do the engineers creating the backend of the server have? Even if a company is relatively new, it does not mean they don’t have experience with these attacks. Look at the qualifications of the engineers, and the history of the company. Have they dealt with DDoS attacks before, or are they brand new to the field? A company with experience will know what to expect, and this leads into the next thing you need to look for in a company offering a dedicated server.
If they detect the possibility of an attack, how fast are they able to respond? The best companies will be able to notice one of these attacks, and mitigate the issue quickly. They will have backups available so that any of your visitors who try to visit the site during the attack will still be able to have access.
It’s important to have a company that is able to offer a team that can respond quickly to these attacks to ensure that your site does not have any downtime, or that the downtime you do suffer is minimal.
This leads to the next thing that you need with your dedicated server – dedicated support. Always check to see what type of support the company offers, and if you will be able to get help when you need it. If you have an issue with your server at one in the morning, knowing someone will be there to help you with getting the site up and running and to help resolve the DDoS attack right away will give you the peace of mind that all site owners deserve.
Your dedicated server needs to have quality security all around. It’s vital that the company limits the number of people who are able to access the server to their own engineers as well as you and your employees who need to have access. For the most part, you want to keep the number of people who have access to the server limited. Some DDoS attacks could actually come from within the company itself in the case of a disgruntled worker, or even someone who is helping your competition.
While those instances are rare, they are something to consider when you are looking at the security the company can offer, such as encryption keys that help to keep your server safer.
When choosing your dedicated server, look at all of the options the company is able to offer as well. While it is typically larger companies that suffer from these types of attacks, small and mid-sized businesses could become victims as well. Some companies are able to offer services for those smaller companies to keep them just as safe, even though they may not need to have the same level of protection as the larger companies need. Many times, these smaller options and packages are cost friendly, which is always important to businesses, as you will see in the next section.
Finally, you will want to look at the cost when you are choosing a company for your dedicated server. Cost is important, but you have to weigh the need for protection against DDoS attacks when you are thinking about the cost. Even if the costs seem higher than some of the other servers you may have been considering, having the added peace of mind that a company offering real protection can provide is well worth the cost. It’s far better than facing a throng of angry customers who were upset that they couldn’t go onto your site.
If you don’t take measures to protect your site against these types of attacks now, you could come to regret it in time. These attacks are relatively simple to carry out and they are becoming more common. Even one hacker or a small group can lay waste to a company that they don’t like or have targeted for some reason. Having a better server that keeps your site up and running no matter what happens is indispensable for your business.