Evaluating the Cost of a DDoS Attack

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3 of 5 Evaluating The Cost Of A DDoS Attack INTERNET PERFORMANCE. DELIVERED. WHITEPAPER Revenue is just one aspect of dollars lost. The Ponemon study stated the average cost for each minute of downtime was about $22,000, which recognizes not only lost revenue but also lost traffic and diminished end user productivity. 5 Hard-To-Measure Costs Revenue losses due to downtime can be fairly predictable. As shown in the aforementioned statistic from Ponemon, dollar values can be assigned to productivity as well, but it's more difficult to measure. You need to think about the IT operations, security, help desk, and business continuity professionals who would be consumed by trying to manage the downtime and get operations back online. Depending on the DDoS target, line-of-business productivity can be immobilized as well. Outside the walls of a business is no prettier. Sales and transactions cannot be processed during downtime, but the damage doesn't stop there. First time visitors are unlikely to return to a site that is down. Existing customers can be turned off and could look to a competitor for immediate needs, never to return. With social media as the immediate medium in which people report and engage about news, share high profile site outages, and air general unhappiness about service providers, your reputation and brand value can be damaged before you even know what's happening. Plus if you're a business that has service level agreements for uptime, you may be subject to penalties. But wait, there's more! A DDoS attack may be used to misdirect attention and IT staff from a more serious security breach, such as the stealing of intellectual property, sensitive business information or customer data. These data leakages carry their own hefty tangible and intangible price tags. Weighing The Cost Of Mitigation Based on your potential damage, some level of protection is a must, but security requires some planning and investment. If you worry because your security budget is a bit snug, you're in good company; only 44 percent of survey respondents believe that their security budget is sufficient for mitigating most cyber attacks. 6 Think about approaching security by weighing proactive cost against potential loss and decide how much you're willing to risk. Doing nothing is not an option. Otherwise, the risk of a DDoS attack becomes a guarantee. 1 minute of downtime costs $22,000 when factoring in lost revenue, lost traffic, and diminished end user productivity. "Cyber Security on the Offense: A Study of IT Security Experts," Ponemon Institute and Radware, November 2012.

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