One of the costliest types of cyber attacks faced by businesses is the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack.  This is a two-fold attack. First, multiple computers are infected with a Trojan virus that hijacks them. These computers are then used for the second prong of the attack, being used to overwhelm a website or network system by sending it a flood of traffic that it cannot handle.  Similar to a Denial of Service (DoS) attack, the DDoS uses multiple computers to initiate the attack instead of just one computer. But the bottom line is that DDoS attacks can be expensive.

A recent survey from Corero Network Security found that DDoS attacks can cost up to $50,000 in “lost business, attack mitigation, and lost productivity.”  However, that isn’t the end of the problem. According to 78% of the surveyed IT professionals, the cost grows when you factor in “the loss of customer trust and confidence.”  This problem is huge and much more damaging to a business in the long run.

In and of itself, a single DDoS attack can be a huge cost factor, especially for a small business.  But 69% of respondents to the Corero survey state that they experience between 20 and 50 DDoS attacks every day.  This comes out to approximately one attack per day. If you take the average of these attacks and Corero’s estimated $50,000 per attack, the monthly cost rises to $1.75 million per month.

In addition to the cost of the attacks themselves, the loss of customer confidence is damaging.  If a customer visits a website and finds that it is down, they will not care if it is because of a malicious hack.  They simply think that the business is not able to meet their needs and they will move on to a competitor’s website for the same service.  Additionally, the hacks can also put a company’s intellectual property at risk, as well as its computers in danger of a malware infection. The loss of revenue from a DDoS attack is fourth on the list of most damaging consequences.

The Corero survey found that what makes these attacks so serious is the number of unsecured devices being used in homes and offices.  With smartphones, tablets, and laptops all connecting to the Internet, any one of these could be the target of a DDoS attack, heightening the difficulty of preventing such attacks.