It’s relatively easy for hackers to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against a web hosting provider, because they have such large attack surfaces. Also, hosting providers are attractive targets because an attack on their network can cause so much collateral damage to several customers in the provider’s network. System downtime is an anathema to hosting providers; their current customers depend on service availability, and their prospective customers tend to rule out hosting providers that have poor track records of service availability. Therefore it’s not surprising that hosting providers have been among the first to adopt DDoS protection solutions; the stakes are too high for them to not be proactive.
Competition for Customers is Keen
The web hosting industry is intensely competitive; there are many competitors for customers to choose from, so the price of hosting services has remained flat or declined. To stand out from the pack and reduce price erosion, hosting providers must have competitive differentiators. One such differentiator is DDoS protection. When a hosting provider can protect both its own network from a DDoS attack, and its downstream customers, it benefits in several ways. First of all, it saves time and money by having a predictable, steady, effective and reliable form of DDoS protection. Second, it reduces operational and capex costs by not having to outsource its protection to a third party scrubbing center, or hire additional IT security staff, or purchase additional bandwidth capacity. Third, and most importantly, it improves its reputation for service availability. Some hosting providers choose to make additional revenue by charging its customers a fee for DDoS protection as a service. Other providers choose to offer DDoS protection as a value-added service for no fee.
When hosting providers deploy an inline, automatic DDoS protection solution directly on their upstream transit links, DDoS attacks are detected and mitigated at the peering edge, so that only clean traffic enters their network and subsequent data centers. They have a dedicated, always-on solution, so that there’s no need for manual intervention required to detect and mitigate attacks. More importantly, there’s no performance impact on the Provider’s customer service availability; customers are blissfully unaware that DDoS attacks are targeting the network, or that mitigation is even taking place. Read our case studies in DDoS protection to learn how Hyve, Liquid Web, Hivelocity, and other hosting providers mitigate DDoS attacks.
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