Can Predictive Analytics Prevent DDoS Attacks Against SME Websites?

Predictive analytics are a major key to prevent DDoS attacks against SME websites. Here's what you need to know about this correlation.

November 13, 2018
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Big data is changing the nature of cybersecurity. Many of the applications don’t receive a lot of publicity, but are still very important. Small businesses are facing many different types of cyberattacks. And in turn, it’s important to know how to prevent DDoS attacks.

They have to deal with many different types of malware, including viruses, trojans and worm attacks. Ransomware attacks have become much more prevalent over the past few years. However, there are a number of other cyberattacks that are equally serious, but have less visibility. The number of DDOS attacks is rising at an alarming rate. Fortunately, advances in predictive analytics can play a very important role in mitigating them.

The growing threat of DDOS attacks warrants more drastic solutions

DDOS attacks have become increasingly common since 2015. A recent study by Verisign found that the number of attacks increased 26% between Q2 2017 and Q2 2018. In the past, most of these attacks were conducted in Russia, China, and other countries with limited IT infrastructures. However, a growing share of these attacks have been launched against businesses in the United States and Europe in recent months.

Digital security experts around the world are scrambling to develop new protocols to respond to these new threats. The good news is that big data is helping them in many ways. According to the head of digital security from hosting.co.uk, the most obvious benefit of big data is that it enables these companies to increase their bandwidth, which makes it much more difficult to launch successful DDOS attacks.

Predictive analytics offers new solutions to the growing threat of DDOS attacks

Scaling bandwidth is an effective strategy. However, this approach is not sufficient by itself. The biggest problem is that companies usually underestimate the likelihood that their website will be the target of a DDOS attack. They usually adapt solutions after the fact, but at that point they may have already lost millions of dollars after their site has been taken off-line. Since the average website is off-line for 297 hours after a DDOS attack, the cost can be massive.

This is why predictive analytics is equally important. It doesn’t just help you after the fact. You can use predictive analytics to access the likelihood that you will be targeted by a DDoS attack in the first place.

What kinds of factors do predictive analytics algorithms take into consideration when assessing the risk that a company will be the victim of such an attack?

The size of your company

Any company could be the target of DDOS attack. However, the risk is considerably higher for larger companies. If you are the security administrator for a company with assets over $50 million, then the likelihood that an attack will be launched is very high.

Predictive analytics models recognize this risk. They warn larger organizations to take extra precautions, which include redirecting potentially harmful traffic and increasing bandwidth.

Origins of your Internet traffic

DDOS attacks are often launched from IP addresses in Russia, North Korea, sub-Saharan Africa, Serbia, Romania and other countries with lax online security laws. If you are receiving traffic from these countries, then there is a higher risk that you might be targeted by hackers. They often begin by sending small pockets of traffic to test your response. If they say that you aren’t filtering the traffic or re-directing it to another server with a CDN with one of their WordPress hosting plugins, then they will invest more resources in a full-scale attack. Predictive analytics models are developed to recognize these early warning signs and provide necessary recommendations.

The nature of your organization

Larger companies tend to be targeted more by hackers. There are a couple of reasons for this:

  • They are more lucrative targets. Hackers will often launch DDOS attacks against larger companies with more money, because they intend to extort them and exchange for calling be attacked off.
  • Larger companies obviously have more visibility.

However, the size of your company is not the only factor that determines the risk level. The nature of the company is also important. If you’re in a controversial or highly political line of work, then hackers may launch DDoS attacks against you as a matter of principle.

Predictive Analytics is Key to Stopping DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks are becoming more common than ever. You are going to need to take more serious measures to prevent them in the future. The good news is that predictive analytics is proving to be highly effective against these types of attacks. You will need to take use them to thwart hackers.