Neustar, Inc. (NYSE: NSR) – Businesses that protect their websites with a professional DDoS mitigation service are better prepared to defend against DDoS attacks. DDOS defence preparedness alleviates the fear, stress and worry caused by being on the receiving end of an extortion or ransom note. This is one of the findings from an internal survey by Neustar, which examined the impact of ransom-type attacks on 157 of its EMEA customers.
“The best defence against extortion attempts is planning. Receiving a threat demanding payment when your business is at stake can cause fear and confusion about how to handle it. We are proud that our Neustar SiteProtect customers can confidently get focus on their core business and let Neustar handle DDOS defense if and when it’s needed,” said Margee Abrams, Director of IT Security Services Product Marketing for Neustar. “However, it’s a different case for companies without professional DDoS protection – they must be very careful not to be drawn in to an ongoing extortion scenario. Experienced DDoS defenders can be mobilised within hours. It is this experience that counts when attack methods change during a DDOS crisis.”
DDoS stands for distributed denial of service and an attack of this kind denies use of a website, server, network or other internet service to its users. When these users are customers who are unable to access a website to browse, buy or compare prices, significant damage is done to the business, not only in terms of sales revenue but also to reputation – according to a recent Ponemon Institute study, 88 percent of consumers lose trust in a brand when the website is off-line or unavailable.
First seen in late 1990s, DDoS attacks have traditionally been big enough to take websites down for several hours if not days. However, the past ten years has seen the rise of the extortion-type DDoS attack where a relatively small but noticeable attack is quickly followed by an email ransom note claiming responsibility and threatening more to come unless money is paid. Often not much money, but there’s the trap – if a susceptible a business is tempted to pay a small sum thinking the attacks will stop, all they have actually done is identified your website as one without professional DDoS protection and the attacks and requests for more and more money will continue.
When Team Internet, a leading provider of services in the direct navigation search market, experienced its first (and only) targeted attack, it was disconcerting.
“When the note came, I went straight to my Neustar account manager who was unfazed and assured me that SiteProtect could handle the mitigation. This meant I could ignore the ransom note and sure enough, after the first attack there was nothing more. It was the best possible outcome and without Neustar, I would probably have paid,” says Mario Witte, Founder and CTO at Team Internet.