DDOS attacks and a number of other digital security threats are plaguing developers and system admins. More than ever, it's vital to take appropriate security precautions. Setting up a content delivery network (CDN) significantly minimizes many of these risks.
Since many websites have visitors from around the globe, they must tailor their content to the regions of their visitors. CDNs we developed with this issue in mind. However, they are also vital for improving network security.
3 Prime Benefits of CDNs
If you have a CDN enabled on your digital properties, you can customize content according to the geography of your visitors. CDNs were originally developed to improve engagement, but they other benefits as well.
Here are some main reasons every digital property needs a reliable CDN.
Improve Content Delivery Speed
Most content delivery networks have servers in different regions. Since the distance between the nearest server and the user is rarely more than a thousand miles, file download speeds are much faster than digital properties using their own servers.
Matthias Spörlein, Web Development and Operations Director for TuneUp told CDN Networks that CDNs are particularly important for improving the user experience for ecommerce businesses.
“For an Internet business, speed and latency issues can really damage sales to existing customers and are a barrier to attracting new ones. If pages fail to load in a few seconds or downloads become laborious, people won’t stick around and that just isn’t an option for us.”
Workfast and many other global brands use CDNs to optimize their user experience. If you use a VPN to look at these websites from different locations, you will see web copy, signup forms and images that relate to local users. CDNs are also important in the digital gaming industry, pharmaceuticals and other industries that must bar users from certain geographies to comply with laws of applicable jurisdictions.
While usability benefits are compelling, there are other reasons to use a content delivery network that receive less attention. A decent CDN is a great line of defense against many cyber-attacks.
CDNs Are a Vital Defense Against DDOS Attacks
DDOS attacks are a growing threat. Here are some frightening statistics to be aware of:
- The frequency of DDOS attack has nearly quadrupled since 2013.
- The average DDOS attack uses nearly 1 Gbps of bandwidth. This is enough to shut down most organizational websites. Hacker groups like Anonymous have even used packet flooding to take government websites such as the CIA off-line.
- Hackers employing DDOS attacks have a variety of malicious motives, such as political activism, cyber extortion and competitive manipulation.
DDOS attacks aren't going away anytime soon. Fortunately, there are ways competent IT professionals can block them. CDNs are effective but often overlooked safeguards that should be employed.
DDOS rely on packet flooding. The server is heavily inundated with millions of requests, so it cannot process legitimate traffic.
There are two common ways to prevent DDOS attacks:
- Substantially increased bandwidth capabilities
- Block or redirect hostile traffic
Since the bandwidth of DDOS attacks is rising sharply, scaling network bandwidth is a futile solution. Even if you expand your bandwidth enough to keep your site online, download speeds may plummet. Therefore, a CDN is a better defense.
You can use a CDN to block traffic from Tor nodes and other sources that are frequently used to conduct DDOS attacks. Security experts point out that blocking harmful Tor traffic is one of the most important measures IT admins can take to prevent DDOS attacks.
“What's probably most scary is that [Tor Reaper] could route them through Tor and launch attacks against normal internet sites. It leaves no logs behind, but even if it did, the true source would be unknown” Jonathan Davies, director of engineering at Pervade Software, told SCMagazineUK.com. “Detecting the source of the attack is impossible, detecting the attack is happening at all is difficult enough.”
A CDN can also block traffic from regions where DDOS attacks frequently originate. Since 29% of DDOS attacks are carried out from servers in China, it may be a good idea to use a CDN to filter traffic from Chinese IP addresses to another domain.
Provide Excellent Encryption With SSL Certificates
Most CDNs come with SSL certificates, which provide exceptional security. Many SSL certificates have 2,048 bit encryption.
While network optimization is the primary purpose of a content delivery network, there are ancillary benefits that also deserve attention. CDNs are very useful for fighting DDOS attacks and other security risks.
If securing your digital assets is important, you should look into different CDN options.