May 22 2012

Businesses Pay Dearly for DDoS Attacks

Survey by Neustar finds that organizations can lose anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 per hour during a distributed denial-of-service attack.

The results of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have been the subject of many recent headlines. Hacktivisit organizations such as Anonymous and LulzSec have used this form of network overload to bring down the likes of visa.com, Sony’s Playstation Network, and paypal.com.

While some information security experts have written off the assaults as the amateur work of “script kiddies,” Neustar, a communications industry research and analysis organization, conducted a survey on businesses that suffer from DDoS attacks and found they can lose as much as $10,000 to $50,000 per hour during a an attack. Can your business afford that kind of downtime?

The industries that suffered the most from DDoS attacks, according to the survey, were telecommunications, travel, finance, IT and retail. The telecom industry was the hardest hit, with 45 percent of telecom businesses surveyed saying they had been the target of a DDoS attack, followed by 32 percent for businesses in finance and travel. IT businesses came in at 28 percent, and 16 percent of retail businesses said they had experienced an attack.

One interesting note: While retail businesses made up the smallest percentage of businesses targeted by DDoS attacks, they appear to have the most to lose. Sixty-seven percent of the retail businesses surveyed said that a site outage could cost their businesses over $100,000 per hour in revenue.

Obviously, businesses should be judicious about protecting their site infrastructure to avoid falling victim to a DDoS assault. Firewalls, switches and routers can help protect these business-draining schemes.