What Is Push Bombing And How Can You Prevent It?

In the fast-paced digital landscape, businesses both big and small face a multitude of challenges. One such emerging threat that has garnered significant attention is “push bombing.”

This practice involves bombarding a company’s push notification system with fraudulent or malicious requests, causing disruptions, overwhelming server capacities, and undermining user experiences.

Small companies, in particular, are vulnerable to the detrimental effects of push bombing as they often lack the resources and expertise to swiftly counteract such attacks.

Understanding push bombing

Push bombing refers to the deliberate act of flooding a company’s push notification system with an excessive number of requests, typically generated by automated scripts or bots.

These requests are intended to exhaust server resources, disrupt normal operations, and degrade the performance of legitimate notifications.

Push bombing can lead to a series of detrimental consequences for targeted businesses, including increased server costs, diminished user experience, loss of customer trust, and even reputational damage.

Small companies often face a unique set of challenges when dealing with push bombing attacks.

Limited budgets, scarce technological resources, and a lack of dedicated security personnel make it difficult for these businesses to respond effectively. Unlike larger enterprises, small companies may not have the financial means to invest in robust security systems or hire specialized personnel to address such threats.

Consequently, they become attractive targets for push bombing perpetrators seeking vulnerabilities to exploit.

Preventive measures for small businesses

While it may be challenging for small companies to completely eradicate the risk of push bombing, there are several key, low-cost preventive measures they can take to minimize the impact of such attacks:

Implement rate limiting: By setting thresholds for the number of push notifications allowed per second, small companies can regulate the flow of requests and prevent overwhelming their systems.

Rate limiting helps distinguish legitimate user requests from automated ones and ensures a more balanced distribution of server resources.

CAPTCHA implementation: Employing CAPTCHAs (Completely Automated Public Turing tests to tell Computers and Humans Apart) in push notification sign-up forms can effectively deter automated bots from inundating the system with fake requests.

CAPTCHAs require users to complete a challenge, thus confirming their human presence and preventing malicious activities.

Monitor traffic patterns: Vigilant monitoring of network traffic can help small companies identify abnormal patterns indicative of a push bombing attack.
Employing security tools that provide real-time alerts and anomaly detection capabilities can enable proactive response and mitigation.

Two-factor authentication (2FA): Implementing 2FA for push notification subscriptions can add an extra layer of security. By requiring users to verify their identities through a secondary authentication method, such as SMS codes or email confirmations, small companies can significantly reduce the risk of unauthorized subscriptions by bots.

Collaborate with security experts: Small companies can benefit from partnering with reputable cybersecurity firms or consultants.

These experts can assist in conducting security assessments, implementing protective measures, and providing guidance on responding to push bombing attacks, thus augmenting the company’s overall security posture.

As digital threats continue to evolve, it is crucial for small companies to remain proactive in safeguarding their push notification systems against push bombing attacks.

By implementing preventative measures such as rate limiting, CAPTCHAs, traffic monitoring, 2FA, and seeking professional guidance, small businesses can fortify their defenses and mitigate the risks associated with push bombing.

As technology advances, it is essential for companies of all sizes to prioritize cybersecurity to maintain the trust and confidence of their customers, ensuring smooth operations and sustained growth in an increasingly digital world.