SME’s Increasingly At Risk From DDoS Attacks Says Email Systems

Email management specialist Email Systems has identified the SME sector as being one of the worst hit by DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks in recent months, with a recent 45% increase in the frequency of attacks on businesses of ten users or less.

The most probable explanation for DDoS attacks on small business is that the attackers incorrectly believe the target domain belongs to an ISP and consequently bombard the domain with innumerate combinations of email addresses in an attempt to ascertain actual addresses. Specifically this type of attack is known as a Directory Harvest Attack (DHA).

As a result of this misapprehension, the attacks are not specific to businesses in any specific industry or sector. Many Email Systems’ smaller clients in the transport, manufacturing, education and even catering sectors have each been targeted in the last two months with DDoS attacks comprising many millions of incoming emails, sometimes on a single day.

Unfortunately, given the size of the companies involved, the attacks have the potential to affect smaller organisations’ business in an immediate and tangible way. Potentially removing email and the internet as business tools from the small business user for a week or more has the potential to spell disaster for the SME.

Neil Hammerton, CEO of Email Systems said:
“A great number of our clients are SMEs and the sad reality is that the size of this type of organisation has the potential to leave the business exposed if they are unfortunate enough to be targeted and are unprotected.”

Email Systems’ client AlphaQuad, an Internet marketing specialist, is a small company of less than ten users, which currently experiences between one and one and a half million incoming emails a day.

Jon Fletcher, Director at AlphaQuad, commented:
“Having experienced first hand what can happen when an organisation is targeted seemingly randomly with a denial of service attack before we turned to Email Systems, it’s definitely the case that loss of access is potentially disastrous for a company of our size. Since having implemented the managed service we have been able to literally reclaim email as an effective business tool.”

Email Systems manages and monitors the flow of spam and virus infected email messages on behalf of millions of corporate, public sector and domestic users across the UK. For more information, visit or call 0870 141 7070.

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About Email Systems:
Email Systems offers a comprehensive range of best-of-breed email management and protection services that are available either individually or as a modular package for Enterprise, ISP and OEM customers. These include archiving, image scanning and encryption, in addition to core anti-spam and anti-virus services. Email Systems’ web-based solutions ensure that clients need not download or manage software on their PC or server, offering complete peace of mind with no effort required. Email Systems is continually developing technical partnerships with global market leaders, such as Commtouch, which offers unique Recurrent Pattern Detection (RPD) technology to analyse large volumes of Internet traffic in real time, protecting customers from the first seconds of a spam or virus outbreak. Email Systems has offices in the United Kingdom, France and Sweden.

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