The devastating effects of DDoS attacks on businesses

One danger every business today needs to be aware of is cyber crime. Find out the devastating effects of a DDOS attack.

Businesses must always protect their websites and other online assets from attacks. Malicious actors carry out many of these attacks to either steal data or ask for a ransom, but some do this to overwhelm host systems and take them down. One attack that does this is a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack.

What is a DDOS attack?

A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack tries to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with an excessive amount of traffic from multiple sources (usually compromised sources like computers and smart devices). The target website, network, or service can receive gigabytes or terabytes of it every second the attack goes on.

The impact of a DDoS attack can be devastating and far-reaching, which is a major reason why businesses should use hosting and cloud services that provide DDoS protection. These services either redirect the traffic to dead endpoints or stop it from reaching your hosting and domain altogether to ensure the denial-of-service attack stops.

How these attacks disrupt access to websites and other assets

The clue to what they do is right in their name. Distributed denial of service attacks disrupt access to target websites, networks and services. Visitors who attempt to access them are met with crashes, slow load times, error messages and complete outages.

Businesses that only host information can afford to have such a denial happen because they can use caches to display the information while they deal with the attack behind the scenes. Things get incredibly complicated for businesses whose products and services require user data.

For example, e-commerce and banking websites that need to save and retrieve user information can become unusable due to their inability to access the databases that store this data. 

How DDoS attacks lead to loss of productivity

Many businesses now rely on cloud infrastructure to store files, access specific software, ensure collaboration, and provide the necessary resources to remote workers. If the servers they use are a target of a DDoS attack, they will not be able to provide these resources and access. The result is lost productivity.

This loss of productivity can have secondary effects for teams like being unable to meet deadlines or losing clients due to an inability to host meetings through their video conferencing infrastructure.

Businesses with mission-critical infrastructure should invest in cloud services that provide DDoS protection. If an attack happens, they might only see disruptions for a few minutes and everything will return to normal. They might experience slow services, but that is much better than a complete loss of productivity and access to crucial resources and clients.

How DDoS attacks cause data loss

A common fear among businesses is losing sensitive company and user data. Data breaches that result in this outcome can lead to more damage like reputational damage, loss of trust by customers and clients, and additional costs to check their systems and ensure they are no longer vulnerable to these types of attacks.

While they do not typically result in data loss, DDoS attacks can be a smokescreen for something more nefarious happening in the background. Attackers can start a DDoS attack so the company focuses on that instead of the other data breach happening. At the end of the attack, the company might notice too late that it should have been focusing on two attacks instead of one.

How DDoS attacks lead to tangible financial losses

DDoS attacks can lead to obvious financial losses occasioned by a loss in productivity and loss of accounts. However, things can worsen for businesses that rely on online services and e-commerce platforms. Customers will be unable to buy products and services or complete transactions, leading to additional losses.

Companies might also have to compensate customers if the DDoS attack impacted their ability to deliver products and services they already paid for. While it is reasonable to assume the business would only be returning the money it had already received, these compensation packages cover the loss of business and raw materials, especially if it had already started producing products to deliver.

The first thing businesses do after a DDoS attack is assess the damage and find out how and why the attack happened. They then have to carry out mitigation measures, implement advanced security solutions, or increase bandwidth capacity to ensure such an attack never happens again. All these can be expensive depending on the business’s size and the solutions it implements.

How DDoS attacks increase customer churn

Customers expect smooth online experiences and businesses to protect their data using the best security practices. A DDoS disrupts online experiences and can lead to data loss as we have seen above.

A disruption in online experiences can lead to abandoned carts and frustration that causes customers to move to your competitors, which becomes a certainty when you have frequent outages.

How data loss leads to customer churn is more straightforward. No customer wants to work with a business that does not protect their data properly. No one wants to start receiving emails and phone calls from people who bought all their data from a broker on the dark web.

Once customers realise this has happened, they will leave your business and will be unlikely to return.

How DDoS attacks can cause negative publicity and reduced brand value

News of DDoS attacks spreads quickly, especially for companies and businesses that provide crucial services. The negative coverage can damage a company’s reputation so severely that it cannot recover. A company’s online presence is a crucial determinant of its brand value and perception. Frequent outages occasioned by DDO attacks can make the brand seem vulnerable and outdated, which can impact its overall value.

How DDoS attacks can make hiring more challenging

A lesser-known effect of DDoS attacks on businesses is how they impact hiring. Top talent wants stability and reliable infrastructure, especially in industries that depend on technology like banking or software development. Frequent DDoS attacks can make it harder for a company to attract and retain skilled employees.

DDoS attacks are devastating for businesses that cannot protect themselves against them or whose infrastructure makes them vulnerable. They can have far-reaching ramifications that can cause them to cease operations. Even when it remains operational, the affected business might struggle to get back to where it used to be or make up for the losses occasioned by the attack.