What’s a DDOS attack and should I worry about it?

What’s a DDOS attack and should I worry about it?

DDOS attacks are in the news at the moment, with a recent one hitting broadband company Vocus, and another taking down a number of banks and NZ Post last week. 

So what is it? DDOS stands for Dedicated Denial of Service. That basically means the bad guys find ways to overwhelm a set of computers or servers, often by huge volumes of traffic, and bring that service to its knees. 

Should the average person be worried? While the attacks typically hit large, high-profile targets, it pays to think about the flow on effects for you. Read on for cyber expert Steve Dymond’s advice.

Most people or businesses don’t even have the servers or hardware to even be attacked. That’s the good news for many of us. 

The bad news is that it ultimately affects all of us. Because we all rely on the internet so much, even small service dropouts can cause a big inconvenience. 

While some people might think that they can just hotspot their phone, many devices aren’t built like that – things like point of sale machines, large machinery or complicated systems. Most of these rely on dedicated, wired internet and become useless the moment the internet is switched off.

What can we do about that? 

When we aren’t in a position to do much about stopping these attacks, our focus should be on what to do in the event of an attack:
Is it possible to have a secondary internet service that you can switch on in the event of such an attack? 
Are there backup devices that can be used instead of the primary devices in use at the moment?

Hackers who target businesses with DDOS attacks are trying to cause the most disruption possible. If everyone has a great contingency plan in place, that won’t be the case, and it might deter the hackers from bothering in the first place. 

When looking at the risks facing your business, consider the impact that a DDOS attack on a large supplier of yours might have (internet, phone or anything else you rely on heavily) and then work out what you can do to alleviate the impact of such an event.

Think also about the cost of insurance. Cyber insurance costs are rising as insurers grapple with the cost of claims. If large businesses keep getting hit with expensive DDOS attacks, that means increases to the cost of cyber insurance, even for small businesses. 

If you have a cyber exposure, we recommend talking to your IANZ broker to discuss the best way to obtain cover for your business.

General Advice Warning

The information provided is to be regarded as general advice. Whilst we may have collected risk information, your personal objectives, needs or financial situations were not taken into account when preparing this information. We recommend that you consider the suitability of this general advice, in respect of your objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. You should obtain and consider the relevant product disclosure statement before making any decision to purchase this financial product.

Cyber Insurance

Cyber Insurance

Technology has never been so deeply entwined in our businesses. While it delivers significant efficiencies and convenience, it also comes with significant cyber risks.

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