What is a Botnet, and Why Is It Dangerous?
Have you ever wondered how hackers manage to pull off incredible feats like bombarding networks and servers with so much traffic that they simply cannot function? None of this would be possible if not for botnets. But what is a botnet, and why is it important for your organization to understand? Let’s dive into the details.
A botnet is essentially a network of connected devices that have been infected and taken over by a host. Each device on this botnet can be called a “bot.” The host can then direct these bots to perform various tasks. It should be noted here that the bots on these networks do not have to be computers, like desktops or laptops. They can be smartphones or just about any other connected device. And what is another network that includes all of the above, plus all of those odd devices that don’t normally connect to the Internet? That's right--the Internet of Things--and it’s a network of devices that is increasing in size every day. In essence, the Internet of Things represents endless possibilities for hackers who want to leverage botnets to their advantage.
Botnets are frequently used by hackers to perform Denial-of-Service attacks in which the host directs all devices on the botnet to repeatedly launch attacks at the victim’s network in an attempt to make the service or resources on said network unavailable. Botnets can also be used to perform other attacks, though, and they are incredibly dangerous. Some of the other uses of botnets include stealing data, sending spam, and even allowing for remote access to devices. Like many other types of cybercriminal activity, botnets can even be rented out or purchased in much the same way that other high-profile threats, like ransomware, can.
Navigating network security can be confusing due to the many complexities involved, but don’t worry—you’re not expected to know how to protect your company from every single type of threat out there. All you need to do is know when it’s time to admit that you don’t have to go at it alone anymore. There are so many valuable resources out there that you can leverage to take the fight back to hackers, or at the very least prevent yourself from becoming another statistic in the headlines of news articles following the latest security breaches or data privacy violations.
In times like these, relying on cybersecurity professionals to shore up weaknesses in your network’s defenses can be an incredibly valuable resource. Unfortunately, some organizations see the price tag associated with cybersecurity professionals’ salaries and see them as inaccessible or downright expensive. While it’s true that you do not want to skimp on security, small businesses can outsource this responsibility to a managed service provider like Directive. You might be surprised by how affordable it truly can be with a managed services approach!
Don’t let your devices become just another cog in the machinations of some hacker seeking to build their own botnet. Directive can equip your company with the tools necessary to protect itself from the threats associated with botnets. To find out more about what we can do for your business, reach out to us at 607.433.2200.
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