DoS stands for Denial of Service. It is a common method used today by cyber criminals because they are easy to run and highly effective even against the biggest of companies.

It’s important for companies to be prepared for a DoS attack and when one begins companies must act quickly.

There are three steps to go through:

  1. Systems – what assets and systems do you have in play that are at risk
  2. Solutions – what solutions can be put in place now to minimise the risk
  3. Monitoring – continue to monitor so that when an attack takes place you are ready to act quickly

What happens in a DoS?

Denial of Services attack websites or any web-based applications that can be used for control systems.

When a website experiences a DoS attack it will appear that you can not access the website. For a business, this can stop the flow of customers or vitally important sales revenue so it’s important that websites are monitored for these attacks and responded to quickly.

The results of an attack could be that you can no longer access critical data or that you have lost control of certain processes within the website. These attacks could last a few minutes or they could go on for days.

However, DoS may not always occur maliciously. For example, during sales events, or Black Friday, thousands of people may try to access the content at the same time which causes overload and therefore a DoS.

The reason denials of service occur is because websites are functioned using servers, and servers like humans can only process a finite amount of work at the same time. So, if too many users are trying to access the same content, website or server at the same time, this will cause overload and make it appear to other users that it is not working and inaccessible.

Difference between DoS and DDoS?

DoS have been occurring since the infancy of the internet, with hackers using one machine creating an overload on the target website to create a denial of service. Nowadays these types of attacks are relatively easy to defend, particularly websites, however some web-based control systems are still susceptible. 

Nowadays it is common for attacks to be Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). This is a concerted effect across hundreds or thousands of users and devices to access the same website or application at the same time, thus leading to a denial and overloading the system.

Results of an Attack?

Any attack that is malicious will have motivation to do so, either to bring down an information site, to hack competitors, to bring down businesses, political reasons, etc etc.

The most common results of cyber attacks are:

  1. Physical equipment is destroyed.
  2. The equipment can’t be managed, controlled or fixed.
  3. Data has been stolen.