Once your home computer, office computer or laptop has been hit by a virus, you take anti-virus programs a lot more seriously. Malware on your computer can cause big problems, and after struggling to remove a virus or losing important data, it’s only natural to make sure you’ve done everything possible to prevent future issues.

Businesses, however, can’t afford to wait for a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack against them before they learn the importance of DDoS protection.

A new study done by software security company Kaspersky Labs and market research firm B2B International shows just how costly that wait can be. The research shows that the average monetary loss suffered by a company that comes under fire from a DDoS blast is around $52,000 for a smaller company and as much as $444,000 for a large one.

These numbers only measure losses that occur as a direct result of websites being taken down by attacks, and the costs of actually fighting the problem and restoring service – they don’t take into account the potential long-term damage to a firm’s reputation after clients or potential clients can’t gain access.

If you run a business that depends on the Internet – and these days, what business doesn’t? – there’s an enormous danger in ignoring DDoS protection until it’s too late. Here’s a deeper dive into some of the Kaspersky-B2B study’s findings.

What’s At Stake in a DDoS Attack?

Survey respondents were asked to quantify the difficulties they experienced when they were hit with a DDoS attack and it’s eye-opening to see the types of problems that resulted from a blast. Nearly two-thirds say that an attack caused them to lose their ability to access information critical to the operation of their business, more than a third say interruptions in their web service stopped them from being able to run their core business during the attack, and a third report that they lost business opportunities as a result of a DDoS attack.

An attack meant racking up big bills for tech consultants and experts, too. Two-thirds of those surveyed had to pay IT security experts for advice, half reported new spending to improve their IT systems, and almost as many had to consult lawyers because of the DDoS’s effects. Even more startling are the facts that nearly 30% saw their credit rating fall because of problems caused by the attack, and nearly one-quarter ended up having to pay higher insurance premiums.

Do Companies Protect Themselves Adequately?

This study may be new, but the enormous losses that companies can suffer from a DDoS attack aren’t any secret. It’s been known for quite some time that these security issues exist and can be extremely costly.

Even so, the survey found that only half of the businesses responding understood all of the financial and reputation risks that a DDoS attack can have. And the results show that 24% of the respondents have no DDoS protection at all for their business computer systems, while another 41% have only “partial protection.”

The necessity of protecting against DDoS attacks has been made clear over the last few years – but apparently, many businesses still aren’t listening.

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