In a statement last year, Betfair, one of Britains largest online gaming companies, admitted that it had been the victim of a major Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack. DDOS attacks are used maliciously to prevent a server from functioning properly by bombarding it with traffic.
Of course Betfair is not alone. Many online gambling companies have recently been targeted with this type of attack by criminals looking to extort money in a high-tech protection racket. These attacks are growing both in their frequency and their indiscriminate nature. The implications of such an attack can be financially catastrophic, resulting in the loss of revenue during the time that the business is out of action. Then there are the lost customers, who, because the system was down, found the competition just a mouse-click away.
Basically, we are all at risk and there is not much we can do about it, other than spend large amounts of money on massively increasing our bandwidth capacity to absorb any such attack before it kills our business.
And of course DDOS attacks are just one of a myriad of threats that IT faces today.
Lets go back to basics. Firewalls reside between the Local Area Network (LAN) and the Internet. The technology allows certain traffic through but blocks others. However, you need to set the right rules by which your Firewall should play, or it will be next to useless, or even worse, dangerous!