Denial of service attacks, or DDoS for short, have become increasingly problematic for businesses in recent years. Businesses that primarily carry out their activities online suffer the most. Keeping this in mind, businesses need to know how to fight against types of DDoS attacks. To learn more about DDoS attacks, the motives behind them, and how to fight against them, read on.
Motives behind DDoS Attacks
A DDoS attack relies on a tool, like bots, to continually flood networks with signals, causing the networks to process genuine requests from other parts of the network or users. Web platforms and services are mainly at risk since hackers can overwhelm the network with traffic to target critical services. DDoS is primarily used against banks or large businesses and can significantly affect their reputation if users are unaware of what is going on.
Common Types of DDoS Attacks
There are numerous types of DDoS attacks, and they can target networks in different ways. Some common types of DDoS attacks to be wary of are as follows:
- Protocol Attacks
Protocol attacks specifically target parts of the network responsible for verifying connections. These attacks involve sending malformed or slow pings that cause networks to use additional memory to verify said pings. This type of attack is also used to target firewalls by sending huge amounts of irregular data.
- Volumetric Attacks
Volumetric attacks are the most common type of DDoS attack. Its primary purpose is to send huge numbers of fake requests to every open port to overwhelm a network’s bandwidth. Because of this, genuine requests can’t get through. There are two main types of volumetric attacks, i.e., ICMP floods and UDP floods.
UDP or User Datagram Protocol does not carry out any checks during data transmission, while ICMP or Internet Control Message Protocol is used by network devices to communicate with each other.
- Application-layer Attacks
Application-layer attacks single out applications that users interact with, interfering with web traffic by attacking SMTP, DNS, HTTPS, or HTTP protocols. This type of DDoS attack is difficult to detect and eliminate since it disguises itself as legitimate traffic with ease.
How to Prevent a DDoS Attack?
To prevent a DDoS attack, a lot of planning is required. Businesses must understand that DDoS attacks can happen to anyone, even with largely unknown or small businesses. While DDoS attacks can occur for political reasons, business reputation issues, or even trolling, smaller businesses can be targeted for no reason whatsoever. Fortunately, there are several ways businesses can protect themselves from DDoS attacks, such as:
Business VPN Integration
Businesses mostly underestimate business VPNs and their applications. Not only can they be used to monitor and give access to private networks but they can also be used to protect against DDoS attacks.
With a reliable VPN, businesses can protect their IP from being targeted. A VPN hides IP addresses by routing traffic through remote servers. If that is not enough, dedicated remote servers allow companies to choose their location virtually. By doing so, actual business servers are protected.
Use a DDoS Protection Appliance
Nowadays, security vendors offer appliances that block DDoS attacks before they do any damage. To make this possible, several techniques are used, like blocking abnormal traffic and using attack signatures to block traffic.
While basic appliances may be limited by the amount of traffic they can go through, high-end appliances can be opted for to deal with DDoS attacks of any magnitude.
Protect DNS Servers
It is possible that a DNS server can be compromised with a DDoS attack. To prevent this, DNS servers need to have redundancy and be located in different locations. Load balancers can also be used to protect DNS servers. Another good idea would be to opt for a cloud-based DNS service provider that offers multiple points of presence and high bandwidth.
Get More Bandwidth
A great way to prevent DDoS attacks involves buying more bandwidth. While the security measure is basic in nature, it is pretty effective nonetheless. How it works is that it ensures businesses have enough bandwidth to handle a spike in traffic due to malicious activities.
Integrate Anti-DDoS Hardware and Software
To protect business servers, they need to be safeguarded network firewalls. Additional web application firewalls can also be added for greater security. Numerous hardware vendors’ offerings now include DDoS protection, so they should not be ignored.
Web server software can also be upgraded with specific software modules for DDoS protection. For instance, Apache 2.2.15 comes with a module, mod_reqtimeout, that protects it from application-layer attacks.
Secure Network Infrastructure
Businesses need to focus on secure network architecture to increase security. Redundant network resources should be created; if one server is compromised, others should handle additional network traffic. Moreover, if possible, business servers should be located in different locations. Think of it this way; spread-out resources are more difficult to target by hackers.
Benefit from the Cloud
DDoS protection can be outsourced to the cloud. The cloud has a lot more bandwidth and resources than a private network. In comparison to a private network, cloud-based services can deal with any magnitude of DDoS attacks.
On the other hand, cloud-based apps can deal with malicious or harmful traffic before reaching their target. Also, software engineers manage cloud-based services, so they will be up-to-date with the latest DDoS strategies to counter them.
What is a DDoS attack?
A DDoS attack is carried out to disrupt the normal flow of traffic on a server.
How to stop a DDoS attack?
Businesses can protect themselves from all types of DDoS attacks by buying more bandwidth, using a business VPN, moving their infrastructure to the cloud, integrating anti-DDoS hardware and software, and so on.
What is the difference between a DoS and a DDoS attack?
A DoS attack involves compromising a server with UDP and TCP packets using a computer, while a DDoS attack targets a server using multiple systems.
What happens during a DDoS attack?
During a DDoS attack, a server gets a high inflow of traffic that affects its performance, leading to a system crash.
What is the purpose of Distributed Denial of Service?
The primary objective of a DDoS attack is to prevent users from accessing a website.
What is DDoS Protection?
DDoS protection is any countermeasure that could prevent a DDoS attack from doing massive damage. This could include using a business VPN or switching to the cloud.
If you have never faced a DDoS attack or have dealt with one, you should now have a better idea regarding protecting yourself against the different types of DDoS attacks. Make the most of this information to prevent your business from suffering financially or otherwise in the long run.