Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks

A Growing Threat to Local Government Websites

(But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!)

We all remember what is now being called the largest DDoS attack in history. That fateful day in October 2016 when a massive DDoS attack shut down Twitter, Etsy, Github, Spotify, Airbnb, Netflix and Reddit. Most of us felt the effects and hence the big take away is that we are all targets. And DDoS attacks are on the rise, including on government websites. There are even increasing concerns about the use of DDoS attacks for government protests.

Recently, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) was overloaded and shut down for 40 hours after a DDoS attack simulated many, many users trying to access an online census form. This effectively shut down the service altogether and millions of Australians were blocked from completing the online form. As it turns out, the ABS was not prepared for such an attack and paid dearly. Another lesson learned.

DDoS Attack Illustration
A little closer to home, an international activist hacker group claimed responsibility for a DDoS attack that brought down the Minnesota Courts website for 10 days.

Local governments must ensure that their websites are secure and are able to withstand a DDoS attack. This article, 9 Ways to Protect Your Technology Company from DDoS Attacks, published in Forbes magazine, offers excellent do-it-yourself security options which are applicable to local governments.

However, many of them require a dedicated IT staff, preferably with security expertise, to review and implement. For many local governments, such specialized staff is just not possible. So what can you do? Focus on the worry-free option, “Choose the Right Hosting Partners”. In other words, make sure your website is hosted by a company which provides DDoS protection as a standard service.

GovOffice regularly monitors for DDoS attacks and we’ve successfully defended attacks directed at specific local government sites on our platform. This January, we implemented a major security and infrastructure upgrade to provide even greater, system-wide, DDoS protection to address this growing threat.

The really good news is, all GovOffice sites are covered by this upgrade and no action is required on your part. For our clients interested in more detailed information, we now utilize an enterprise level DDoS solution for the GovOffice platform developed by a leading DDoS security company, Corero. The key benefit of the Corero solution is that it automatically mitigates DDoS attack traffic before it impacts our customers, enabling us to keep our networks clean of attack traffic.

While no one can guarantee 100% prevention, we make it a priority to ensure your website is accessible to citizens 24/7/365. A state-of-the-art, worry-free hosting infrastructure with robust security solutions is increasingly critical to local governments, and we want you to know we’ve got you covered!

Contact us today to learn more.