As technology advances and digital-based marketing and sales becomes the primary source of business for many companies, the threat of a cyber-attack is becoming an increasingly common issue. There are many different types of digital scams and attacks, but what is a DDoS attack and how does it impact your business operations? We’re sharing everything you need to know and what you can expect from your telecommunications provider.
What is A DDoS Attack?
Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, is a method of cyberattack where criminals send a large amount of data to a particular network so that it doesn’t operate the way that it should. It essentially overwhelms the target by crippling it with too much traffic, a type of internet traffic jam. The goal of the attack is to deny service to the user, which can be for a variety of reasons – revenge, control, activism, or holding onto valuable network information for ransom money. This has happened to popular websites and large corporations, like Amazon and Google, and as we witnessed recently — large telecommunication companies with thousands of customers.
Telecommunications DDoS Attack
At Rhode Island Telephone, we use several telecommunications carriers to provide services that allow our customers to make business phone calls. One of our carriers, Bandwidth, that provides us with VoIP technology for messaging and calling, was recently targeted in a DDoS attack. This led to a disruption in their services that ultimately impacted you, our customer, in addition to millions of other users within Bandwidth’s network across North America. Our customers reported calls being dropped, difficulty receiving calls, and general poor call quality issues that inhibited normal business operations.
The Impact of A DDoS Attack
Our goal at Rhode Island Telephone is to provide our customers with reliable services. A business phone number is the most important tool for marketing, selling, and customer relations. We know how frustrating communication disruptions can be and the devastating impact these issues can have on your business. Because this recent DDoS attack happened directly within the Bandwidth network, their teams worked with the FBI to get it under control, and we developed our own solution for our customers.
Preventing A DDoS Attack
Any network, no matter the location or size, can be susceptible to cyber-attacks. Companies can take steps to protect themselves, like changing passwords and adding increased bandwidth to allow for more traffic, but the threats are not completely unavoidable.
Rhode Island Telephone has a diverse group of carrier networks for when situations like this happen. It provides us with the flexibility to move our customers from network to network to mitigate outages to our customers. While this process is not always simple, and often takes time especially in the case of a backlog of requests from other telecommunications companies, it is effective.
We’re also able to alleviate some of the issues experienced in this type of attack by adding a new phone number for your business to our system, and changing the auto attendant greeting on your business line directing callers to dial your alternate number, which essentially reroutes your inbound calling. Because outbound traffic is managed differently than inbound calling, this is rarely impacted by a DDoS attack. This is why you may have noticed that you were still able to make calls to a location on the same network during this recent event.
We’re living in a time that requires preparation for cyber-attacks. When large events like this happen through a third party, we’re not able to control the situation itself but our team is prepared to support you. We have a resilient and diverse group of networks, and our goal is to help you feel confident by communicating the information you need to keep your business running with minimal interference.