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What Is A DDoS Attack And How Can You Protect Your Data?

The Headlines

The internet’s first major denial-of-service (DDoS) attack was reported in September of 1996. A major New York-based internet service provider was brought down by a flood of connection requests. Hackers were sending over 150 requests per SECOND, much more volume than the provider system could handle. Unfortunately, over twenty years later, we’re seeing more DDoS attacks than ever with little chance of them slowing down.

When an organization undergoes a DDoS attack, it means hackers from anywhere in the world send huge amounts of data, essentially garbage data, to their intended target. This large amount of data overwhelms the networks and server (s), to the point where the targets can no longer accept new, incoming connection requests. The end result is the networks and servers slow down exponentially or even shut down completely.

A recent, high-level example of such an attack was one you likely remember from October of 2016. In a single morning, major websites such as Spotify and Twitter were unreachable because of a DDoS attack on major DNS provider, Dyn. Over 100,000 devices, many of which were infected by malware, caused a major internet disruption. Dyn may or may not have had advanced systems in place to mitigate these types of attacks, but ultimately it is the responsibility of each individual company to ensure that they are protecting themselves.  It is critical as attacks and hackers become more sophisticated that companies avail themselves of the latest and strongest protection against such events - something we at LightBound provide to our clients upon request. Of course, there’s a cost to it, the same as there would be for insurance against any risk you wish to mitigate against.

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How Can LightBound Help?

At LightBound, we have seen our customers targeted by this sort of attack in the past. As such, some of our clients have chosen to subscribe to our Advanced Network Services DDoS mitigation services, while others have opted not to. It’s a choice, as with any business decision, but when your business is at risk, it’s an important one. LightBound’s clients are in a unique position to take advantage of these DDoS mitigation services because LightBound is the ISP and we provide the IP space that our Internet transit clients depend on for their production systems in most cases. There are options, but essentially these services need to be put in place BEFORE an event happens. There’s no such thing as simply turning on the service to protect your IP space after an attack in underway. At LightBound, we know IP. It’s one of our core areas of expertise. So, if we provide Internet transit/bandwidth/IP space to your organization, we can likely help. To be clear, it’s your IP address space that is under attack when we talk about DDoS. Only the provider/owner of that address space and the associated ISP networks can help you mitigate an attack.

So why is LightBound in a unique position to help?

The last significant example of a DDoS attack felt by our clients here at LightBound was 40Gbps, the largest we’ve seen in our 25-year history. Since LightBound has 100Gbps of upstream Internet transit available, we would have been able to redirect this traffic to global scrubbing centers so the bad traffic did not reach its intended destination. That is because we have headroom in our upstream transit and we also have ten different upstream providers to direct traffic to – many more than you will find at most co-location datacenters. In fact, most co-location providers don’t actually manage and maintain a BGP core network like LightBound. In other words, when the single Internet carrier you pick when you co-lo is down, you’re down. Period.

Cyber criminals are only getting better and smarter. The potential for an adverse economic impact because of a cyber attack on your business will only increase as our dependence on technology grows. We must work together to keep your data safe going forward.

Protection from DDoS and other cyber-attacks is certainly something to consider when choosing the best data center for your needs. Download our free e-book for more aspects to consider in the data center selection process.

 

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