DISTRIBUTED DENIAL OF SERVICE (DDoS) cost businesses $50,000 (around £35,000) on average, according to research from Corero Network Security.
Although such a sum would likely be devastating to small and medium-sized firms, Corero said the cost of being whacked by a DDoS attack is only the "fourth most-damaging consequence".
The security firm has spent the last few months quizzing more than 300 security professionals - including biz leaders in cloud, government and online gaming -about the rise of DDoS attacks.
An "overwhelming majority" of respondents (91 per cent) said a DDoS attack could result in their organisations losing up to £35,000 of mitigation and lost productivity.
In addition, 69 per cent of those surveyed revealed that they have to deal with between 20 to 50 DDoS attack attempts on a monthly basis.
When it comes to the most damaging effects of these attacks, 78 per cent called the loss of customer trust and confidence the biggest consequence, followed by intellectual property theft and malware infection.
Ashley Stephenson, CEO at Corero Network Security, said respondents are aware that these attacks can "have an immediate and damaging impact" on their companies.
"Not all DDoS attacks will cost an organisation $50,000, but having your website taken offline can damage customer trust and confidence," he said.
"It will also impact the ability of sales teams to acquire new customers in increasingly competitive markets. These attacks cause lasting damage to a company's reputation and could have negative consequences for customer loyalty, churn and corporate profits."
The report also considered the rising complexity of DDoS attacks, with 85 per cent of respondents believing that crooks use them as "as a precursor or smokescreen for data breach activity".
71 per cent of surveyed decision-makers said their firm has been hit by a ransom-driven DDoS attack in the past, while 83 per cent blamed insecure IoT devices for causing these attacks.
Stephenson added: "A DDoS attack can often be a sign that an organisation's data is also being targeted by cyber criminals.
"As demonstrated by the infamous Carphone Warehouse attack, DDoS attacks can be used as a smokescreen for non-DDoS hacking attempts on the network.
"Hackers will gladly take advantage of distracted IT teams and degraded network security defences to exploit other vulnerabilities for financial gain.
"Considering the huge liability that organisations can face in the event of a data breach, IT teams must be proactive in defending against the DDoS threat, and monitor closely for malicious activity on their networks." µ
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