Answer

Handling DoS attacks on cloud ERP systems

We're a small manufacturing company that is moving to a cloud-based ERP system. How concerned should we be about denial-of-service [DoS] attacks ever affecting our performance? Is there anything that can be on our end to combat or respond to DoS attacks?

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The best things you can do are to read the fine print and to negotiate your service-level agreement carefully. Most reputable cloud software providers will share with you their track record in terms of uptime, and some will even agree to penalties if a certain service level is not achieved. Most have much more built-in redundancy than you would ever be able to afford on your own. When it comes to protection from natural disasters and the like, you are probably much safer than if you were on your own.

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Denial-of-service attacks, however, imply that somehow the system or network is being maliciously attacked. Of course, even if you maintain your own network -- WAN or LAN -- this could happen, particularly as more and more ERP solutions are Web-based. But as a small manufacturer, you are not a likely target, unless the DoS attack is a random and capricious one. So, in some ways, being part of a larger network might make you more vulnerable to the possibility of an attack, but it's also most likely to offer you greater protection. Again, look carefully at the level of data protection and redundancy that your cloud solution provider offers and remember: They have as much to lose as you do.

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This was first published in August 2013

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