Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have been happening for years, but have become steadily more prominent among enterprise IT considerations. This is in large part due to the increasing amount of damage inflicted by DDoS attacks, which is caused by both the increasing power and sophistication of the attacks, and also the critical importance of IT systems availability to enterprises.
A DDoS attack is a coordinated flood of traffic or data sent from many computers and internet connections to a single destination system in order to overwhelm it. The attack can be made against different parts or “levels” of the network, taking up all of the connections, bandwidth, or processing power available. DDoS attacks can cause a general system failure or take down a certain application or service.
There are approximately 2,000 DDoS attacks every day, according to Arbor Networks, and research suggests that roughly one in three downtime incidents are caused by them. The cost of that downtime is severe, but the cost of restoring system functionality can be even higher. Additionally, there are indirect costs, such as to reputation, and lost staff time. The Ponemon Institute estimates that the average cost per incident, not including reputational damage, is over $125,000.