A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can greatly slow or even shut down a website, and hackers use this form of cyber attack to inflict massive harm. But certain tools and solutions can thwart attacks.
A DDoS attack often means thousands of unique IP addresses bombard a site with digital traffic. The effect is like a mob blocking the door of a building. About 1 Gbps of traffic can be enough to take down a website. Attacks of less than 1 Gbps can slow operations or, even worse, provide a smokescreen for hackers to install malware.
An October 2015 report by Neustar contains sobering statistics about DDoS attacks. Half of all 760 executives from around the world who responded to the survey said their organizations were attacked in 2014 or early 2015. More than 80 percent of those organizations were attacked repeatedly, and more than a third of those found malware or viruses as a result of the attacks. One in four that were attacked experienced theft of data or funds as a result of DDoS incidents.