Is your Site Under Attack? How to deal with it?
Just recently, there has been news about many large corporate websites under the Distributed Denial of Service Attack (DDOS). This is an attempt to make the website or service unavailable to its intended users. This attack occurs when a person or group signals thousands of computers to download a website’s homepage at one time, causing the website to function inadequately or not at all. No one knows the motive behind the attacks, but it can cease a website or service temporarily or indefinitely….Scary! This is where the option in choosing a shared server vs. a dedicated server can mean life or death to your business. In this article, we will discover why.
If your website sits on a shared server, you are sharing space with other websites. Any website, whether it’s a site that sells dog training gear, medical tools, or promotional gifts, can host on the same server. Let’s face it, shared servers offer the cheapest alternative in website hosting. Problem is, most hosting companies offer a certain level of security with shared servers and not the best protection. When a website undergoes an attack, like the DDOS attack, your website can become vulnerable even if it is not the intended target. You sort of “get what you pay for” in this respect.
We can argue that it is the responsibility of the service provider to protect your website and secure it from such attacks. After all, this is what you pay for, right? Well, not so right. The DDOS attack signals to thousands of computers to download the target’s home page. Service providers cannot block foreign ip addresses that are attacking the target because it can cause other websites on the same server to loose traffic. Furthermore, if the attack is massive, it can cause the server to slow down, which affects functionality of all websites on the shared server.
What to Do in Case of an Attack
Unfortunately, some attacks cannot be undone, which is the case with the DDOS attack. Once a website’s url has been chosen and compromised by the attacker, it will always be under attack until the attackers decide to stop. The only saving grace is to move your website to a dedicated server immediately. Dedicated servers are more costly, but this will allow your hosting provider to be able to block the foreign ip addresses that are attacking your website. When this is done, hopefully, the attack will subside.
Most attacks have a name with no face and cannot be traced. What was once an attack created to target large corporations (like bankcard companies, etc.) has now trickled down to small online businesses trying to stay afloat in a crippled economy.
The best thing to do is contact your host providers to see if they have security measures in place in case an attack occurs. Find out what alternatives they are offering, like dedicated servers, etc. to secure your website. Also, find out how dedicated servers can benefit your company now before an attack ensues. Should you become a victim, move quickly to secure the livelihood of your business.