On Friday, a large-scale Distributed Denial of Services (DDoS) attack caused a massive Internet outage on the east coast. The attack took down a number of sites including Twitter, Netflix and Amazon for a large part of the day. DDoS attacks are nothing new, and we’ll likely continue to see these attacks.

What is a DDoS attack? This type of attack occurs when a website’s services are flooded with illegitimate page requests, preventing legitimate requests from getting through. This can often cause a website to crash. In Friday’s latest incident, the Internet outage was caused by a DDoS attack on Dyn, a company that monitors and routes Internet traffic. USA Today provides a great summary of the details we know to date.

Friday’s attack left many of us with a newfound sense of how much we rely on web-based services in our day-to-day lives and a growing unease about how vulnerable these services are. For consumers, it important to stay informed about the threats facing our identities. It’s equally important for businesses to keep security top of mind, and strengthen security on their sites.