Fending Off Denial-of-Service Attacks

Any time an Internet thief, or Net-thief, can prevent you or your customers from accessing Web sites and other online information or applications, it's a denial-of-service (DoS) attack. Okay, maybe you don't think that your Web site is large enough or popular enough to interest someone in disrupting your site. Previous DoS attacks have gone after major sites (including Yahoo!, Microsoft, and Amazon) and government Web sites, but that doesn't mean your business can't be affected by this type of malicious action. Some research indicates a growing trend of targeting smaller businesses (Web sites) because they have less sophisticated online security and are easier to breach.

Even if your site is fairly secure, consider this: What if the company your business uses for online payment transactions is attacked? Or maybe your online banking site is hit? Worse, what if the company that hosts your Web site falls prey to a DoS attack? You and hundreds of other small sites can be wiped out for several hours — or an entire day or more. Each of these is a real possibility and is an example of how easily a DoS attack can prevent you from being productive or possibly even hurt your company financially.

The hard truth is that your small or midsize business is more likely to experience a DoS attack these days because it is most vulnerable. As we mentioned, the Net-thief knows that online security is often at the bottom of a long list of concerns for smaller e-commerce ...

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