Web hosting security is an extremely complex technical field, as it is constantly evolving. Every time someone finds an exploit or a security loophole, the web hosting company has to counteract that action with a security measure. Thus, what is true this year for web hosting security may not be true next year.
Hackers employ tools that are just as complex, if not more complex than the web hosting companies themselves, so it can be almost impossible to be completely immune from a highly skilled hacker. Nonetheless, the risks that are posed by security breeches are extremely serious, especially in the world of eCommerce. A compromised website could mean the loss of thousands of dollars, and several unnecessary lawsuits against the site owner. In fact, some people have even lost their online businesses due to hackers! When it comes to hacking exploits, there is one that does not appear to be going away any time soon.
What is a DDoS Attack?
A DDoS attack is a Distributed Denial of Service attack. These attacks have been known to take down entire corporations, and even entire web hosting companies in some instances. They work because they mimic realistic traffic habits to a certain extent, so there is no way to spot them until it is too late. When a hacker employs a DDoS attack they send a massive influx of artificial traffic to a site or to a web server, so rapidly that the server simply cannot handle the load and shuts itself down. The result is near instant downtime, and the loss of revenue for anyone that is hosting their site on that server. The reason why it is called Distributed Denial of Service is because the hacker is distributing a server load that causes automatic denial of services on behalf of the web server.
Who Gets Hit With DDoS Attacks?
The sad fact is, anyone can get hit with a DDoS attack, and even more alarming is that this attack is usually the direct result of the nefarious actions of a competitor. In other words, if you have a powerful competitor, then you are already at risk for a DDoS attack. Perhaps even more startling is the fact that these attacks happen all the time on sites that are not even business oriented. Hackers use smaller sites with less security to practice their skills, and send out DDoS attacks to these sites in an attempt to perfect their DDoS skills. If you are not properly protected, then you are at risk for a DDoS attack.
How to Protect Yourself form a DDoS Attack
Perhaps the best way to protect yourself from a DDoS attack is to use a web hosting company that emphasizes their ability to counteract such attacks. Some web hosting companies will offer a good price, however their security is lax. In the web hosting industry there is no room for error, especially if you own and operate a thriving online business. One mistake could result in the loss of thousands of dollars, so it is important that you seek out the most qualified web hosting companies.