How to Protect Yourself From DDoS Attacks

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How to Protect Yourself From DDoS Attacks

Businesses can no longer rely solely on their ISPs to protect themselves. Check out this post to learn more on how you can protect yourself from DDoS attacks.

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What Is a DDOS Attack?

The principle of a DDOS attack is to send a very large number of requests from several points in a short period of time. This results in an overload of the server since its resources are exhausted. As a result, the server will fail during this period, or, even worse, it may even be inaccessible. However, the main problem is not the fact that the server is unavailable; it is the security of the information contained in this server. Indeed, during a DDOS attack, hackers can penetrate the information system and, thus, benefit at the expense of the company.

There are usually three categories of motivations behind DDoS attacks: political, retaliation and financial. Political attackers target those who disagree with their political, social, or religious beliefs. When a botnet or a large cybercriminal network is dismantled, it can trigger retaliatory attacks against those who have aided or abetted the authorities. Money-driven attacks follow a "pay-to-play" scheme in which hackers are compensated by a third party who asks them to lead the attack for it. Whatever the motivation, the result is the same — your network and online services become unavailable and can stay that way for a long time.

How to Protect Yourself From a DDOS Attack?

Most ISPs offer layer 3 and 4 DDoS protection to prevent organizations from being inundated during mass volumetric attacks. However, they do not have the ability to detect the smallest layer 7 attacks. Data centers should not rely solely on their ISPs for a complete DDoS solution, including application layer protection. Instead, they should consider implementing one of the following measures:

1. DDoS Service Providers

There are many cloud-based DDoS hosted solutions that provide Layer 3, 4, and 7 protection services. These range from low-cost projects for small websites to those for large enterprises that require multiple coverages. Websites, in general, are very easy to set up and are strongly encouraged by small and medium-sized enterprises. Most offer custom pricing options, and many have advanced layer 7 discovery services available to large organizations that require sensors to be installed in the data center. Many companies choose this option, but some companies face significant and unexpected overhead costs when they are hit by mass DDoS attacks.

2. Firewall or IPS

Almost all modern firewalls and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) claim a certain level of DDoS defense. New Generation Advanced Firewalls (NGFW) offer DDoS and IPS services and can protect against many DDoS attacks. Having a device for the firewall, IPS, and DDoS is easier to manage, but it can be overwhelmed by DDoS volumetric attacks and may not have the sophisticated detection mechanisms for layer 7 that other solutions have. Another caveat to consider is that enabling DDoS protection on the firewall or IPS can impact the overall performance of the single device, resulting in reduced throughput and increased latency for end users.

3. Appliances Dedicated to the Protection of DDoS Attacks

These are hardware devices that are deployed in a data center and used to detect and stop basic (layer 3 and 4) and advanced (layer 7) DDoS attacks. Deployed at the main point of entry for all web traffic, these appliances can both block mass volumetric attacks and monitor all incoming and outgoing network traffic to detect suspicious Layer 7 threat behaviors. A dedicated device and expenses are predictable because the cost is fixed regardless of the frequency of attacks. So, it doesn't matter if the company is attacked once in six months or every day. The negative aspects of this option are that these devices are additional hardware parts to manage,

DDoS hardware dedicated hardware protection solutions exist in two main versions — one for telecom operators and one for enterprises. The former offers complete solutions designed for global ISP networks and are very expensive. Most organizations that want to protect their private data centers usually opt for business models that offer cost-effective DDoS detection and protection. Today's models can handle mass volumetric attacks and provide 100 percent protection for layers 3, 4, and 7 or can be used to supplement ISP-provided protection against mass DDoS attacks, provide detection. and protection for layer 7, even though these devices require an initial investment.

Organizations should consider DDoS attack protection appliances that use behavior-based adaptation methods to identify threats. These appliances learn the basics of normal application activity and then monitor their traffic against these databases. This adaptation/learning approach has the advantage of protecting users from unknown zero-day attacks since the device does not need to wait for the signature files to be updated.

DDoS attacks are on the rise for almost any organization, big or small. Potential threats and volumes increase as more and more devices, including mobile phones, access the Internet. If your organization has a Web property, the probability of being attacked has never been higher.

The scalable nature of DDoS attacks means that businesses can no longer rely solely on their ISPs to protect themselves. Organizations need to start making changes for greater foresight and more proactive defenses for application and network-level services.

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