This week, ransomware has taken the spotlight. And with good reason. But let’s take a break from the fever of WannaCry, which shook the world of cybersecurity last Friday, to remind ourselves that there are plenty of other threats on the horizon that we would do well to keep in mind. One of which, still dangerous as ever, is the famous DDoS attack.

Late last year, a DDoS attack temporarily crippled major websites like Netflix, Twitter, Amazon, and PayPal. More than a billion users were unable to access their favorite websites because of the attack, which targeted DYN, one of the world’s biggest DNS providers.

DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks have been on the rise in recent times. Usually orchestrated using botnets (a legion of zombie computers doing the bidding of a hacker or group of hackers), these attacks can cause some serious damage to a company’s operability. To combat this problem, many companies are beginning to rely on the power of Big Data.

How Can You Protect Your Business from a DDoS Attack?

There has been a lot of talk about how big data can help a company better understand the profile of its customers by capitalizing on the large quantities of data it stores on them. Some companies are beginning to emerge that transform large volumes of data into useful information for businesses, using big data techniques to reinforce protection and even mitigate DDoS.

Instead of trying unsuccessfully to use a server to track large volumes of traffic across the network, cloud-based big data systems enable a more intelligent distribution.

Tracking millions of IP addresses of all network traffic, monitoring abnormal traffic (analyzing the geolocalization of traffic, IP destination, and common attack ports,) and applying learning algorithms to automatically detect relevant destination IPs, these types of systems can successfully detect these attacks in a more efficient way.

The DDoS Attacks of the Future, More Dangerous than Ever

Much remains to be done in this area. The Business Application Research Center, a business software analytics consultancy, claims that only one in five companies are using big data based security such as Panda’s Adaptive Defense to detect cyberattacks. However, among those organizations that do use security based in big data and contextual intelligence, 53% report getting a “high business benefit” thanks to this approach.

Given the challenges that lie ahead with the never-ending growth of the Internet of Things, we can expect that more businesses will begin to rely on advanced protection to combat DDoS attacks. Cyberattackers used thousands of malware-infected security cameras to divert web traffic to Dyn, causing their servers to collapse. As more and more everyday objects become reliant on an internet connection to operate (smart meters, smart TVs, smart cars, etc.), hackers will have more resources for their DDoS botnet armies. An increase in the number of DDoS threats is expected in the future. Next-generation security based in big data is our best shot at defending against them.