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Cloud Threat: Denial of Service (DoS)

By Rizwan Ahmad - 02 July 2013 No Comments
As the cloud technology develops, a growing number of users starts sending enormous amounts of data to remote servers. Enterprises of all kinds increasingly embrace cloud-based software programs, which further emphasizes the already sensitive question of online security. One of them is certainly the risk of denial of service (DoS) attacks, which have become more frequent with the rapid growth of cloud adoption.

SEE ALSO: Are Businesses Rushing into 'The Cloud'?
Cloud Threat: Denial of Service (DoS)
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What is denial of service attack?
DoS attack refers to any activity aimed at disabling online services or computer network systems. This may cause a long-term disruption of service and prevent legitimate users from accessing a website. These attacks are usually carried out for gaining profit and the typical victims are commercial websites, banks or online payment services. Hackers may request a particular amount of money to cease the attack and they may be even hired by competitor companies to bring damage to another business.

Growing threat in the cloud
Cloud market is already a subject of much exploration in terms of data security. The problem is that the amounts of data stored and transferred through cloud services grow at an amazing rate, while the providers are not always able to provide sufficient protection for their users. As much as they are working on improving their security standards, multitenant structures are increasingly becoming a key target for black-hat hackers and fraudulent activities.

Shared hosting services are particularly related to the DoS attacks, as they provide a single source of multiple users’ private data. As different clients share the same resources, it is possible to obtain the data of all users on a same platform with a single attack. This means that even if an attacked is aimed at a single client, all the other users of the same platform are equally in danger.

Protection
Banks and other commercial services have been investing a lot into protecting their systems from DoS attacks for decades, but the introduction of cloud-based applications generated new possibilities for hackers. Last year’s white paper published by Prolexic “DDoS of Service Protection and the Cloud” states that:

One startling fact is that elementary security controls and features that have been used for decades to protect secure enterprise applications against DDoS attacks and other cyber threats are just starting to be introduced to cloud-based applications.”

The paper points to the problem of fragility of cloud applications and explores the ways to improve security controls in order to enable sufficient protection from DoS attacks. Constant monitoring and increased control are the basic activities companies have to undertake in order to improve their stability against these attacks.

When it comes to SMBs, Kevin Casey from Informationweek outlined five steps that SMBs need to ensure in order to keep their data safe. Apart from data monitoring and control, these should include:

  1. Establishing baselines in order to identify unusual activities more easily
  2. Regular software updates
  3. Optimizing website performance to handle potential difficulties

Apparently, the cloud isn’t all about cost-savings and efficiency. To be able to use the applications delivered by cloud providers smartly, a company first needs to ensure its protection level meets the expectations of their users.
Rizwan Ahmad
About the Author:
This article is contributed by Melissa and posted by Rizwan Ahmad Author and founder of cyberockk.com, He is a tech blogger from India and he loves to share his thoughts by writing articles on this site to the different topics related to technology world,

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