Research has shown that 20% of hospitality cyber-attacks are Dos attacks. With one-in-five of all cyber security situations involving DoS attacks, they are clearly something with which you should become familiar, so read through this quick and easy guide to understand what DoS attacks are, the risks that they present, and how you can work against them.
What Are DoS Attacks?
DoS stands for Denial of Service. Essentially, a DoS attack floods a network with useless traffic. When your network is flooded with all that pointless traffic it becomes almost impossible to use it. At best, the speed at which the network can be used will fall dramatically; at worst, the entire thing can come to a grinding halt. Several well-known hotel chains, including Holiday Inn, Hyatt, Hilton, and Trump Hotels have acknowledged DoS attacks.
Why Are DoS Attacks a Problem?
DoS attacks are launched for many reasons. In some cases, the attackers will demand payment from their victims, but this is relatively rare. Instead, attacks are often carried out simply to cause harm. Alternatively, a DoS attack may be designed to swamp your network as a diversion to distract you from other attacks, such as data hacking.
Even if no money is demanded or data stolen, businesses in the hospitality industry can suffer from a DoS attack simply because such businesses must be in full control of their systems at all times. If, for example, your hotel’s network goes down you will not be able to process payments or check reservations, which can seriously erode the trust guests are willing to place in you.
How Can You Protect Against DoS Attacks?
DoS attacks are relatively hard to prevent, but there are things you can do to make yourself less vulnerable and mitigate the effects if an attack ever takes place.
- Deploy an Antivirus Program and Firewall to restrict bandwidth use to authenticated users.
- Configure your server to block out unauthenticated users.
- Use multiple points of failure to create a more robust network.
- Monitor your network for signs of erratic traffic.
Ultimately, such tasks are best undertaken by an IT service provider, so it might be time you sought one out.