How to Prevent DDoS Attacks
In Q1 of 2022, the majority of DDoS attacks that were reported sprouted from the Russia and Ukraine war. In late February to early March, the State Service of Special Communication and Information Protection of Ukraine reported continuous attacks. During that same time frame, another wave of DDoS attacks struck Ukrainian government resources. There is a reason why cyber hackers preferred to use DDoS attacks over other methods of cyber attacks. In this article, we'll explain what they are, why they are often the cyber attack of choice, and what you can do to prevent them.
So, what exactly is a DDoS attack?
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is when a web service is intentionally overwhelmed by traffic from many sources. It is a common method for digital assaults. These attacks certainly aren't new, and they occur on a constant basis, but some attacks are more newsworthy than others. Especially when it takes down multiple popular sites.
Knowing the basics of a DDoS and being equipped to deal with a large scale attack are two very different things. When large sites are often attacked, it's important that those corporations and networks do everything they can to deflect them and remain accessible. Even if you have a smaller site, you never know when someone will decide to go after you.
are there different types of ddos attacks?
There are various ways a DDoS attack can be done. For example, there's what's called a Syn attack where an attacker can send large volumes of connection requests to overwhelm a server. It basically leaves the server waiting for a response from the originating system that never arrives. The bogus connection request will eventually time out, but in the meantime, that connection is not available to legitimate users.
Another clever way is to use DNS (Domain Name System). There are a lot of network providers who have their DNS servers configured to allow anyone to launch queries. Also, because DNS uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which is a stateless protocol, these two facts make this a potent way to create a denial of service. All the attacker has to do is find open DNS resolvers, craft a fake UDP packet that has a spoofed address, and send it to the DNS server. Albeit the request comes from the attacker (otherwise known as a botnet). The server thinks that request came from the server instead, and will send the reply to that location. So instead of having the actual botnet conduct the attack, the only thing the target site will see is a bunch of DNS replies coming from many open resolvers, all around the Internet. This is a very scalable type of attack, because you can send a single UDP packet to a DNS server asking for a full dump of a certain domain, and receive a very large reply.
how to Prevent a DDoS attack
Now that you know a DDoS can take place in multiple forms, when building a defense against them, it's important to consider these variants.
- Plan in advance
Sure, there is rarely a way to see an attack coming. However, the best defense against a DDoS attack is a strong offense. Having a solid strategy for Backup and Disaster Recovery planned and implemented before you're in the middle of trying to halt an attack and restore your services.
- Deploy Network Detection and Response (NDR) Security
It's extremely difficult for threat attackers to hide their activity on the network. NDR security solutions support rapid investigation, intelligent response, and enhanced threat detection across on-premise, cloud, and hybrid environments. Detecting attacks at the network level prevents attackers from knowing if they're being observed and you have immediate knowledge of what devices are using the network.
- Incident Response Planning
Be ready with a great customer response program as part of your Incident Response Plan (IRP) that accounts for DDoS mitigation.
- Partner with a Cloud Solutions Provider (CSP)
Such a partner should be able to provide complete solutions that include built-in protections from DDoS attacks. A CSP can distribute services through different data centers, reducing the exposure to (and impact from) DDoS attacks.
- Migrate to Public Cloud Services
One reason that public cloud services is an attractive option for many businesses is the built in DDoS protection. For example, Microsoft Azure is contains enhanced DDoS mitigation features to defend against DDoS attacks.
- Contact your ISP provider
If you suspect you're seeing the impact of a potential DDoS attack, it's likely that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is, too.
DDoS attacks are expensive problems, but expert IT partners can help you plan proactively to reduce your upfront risk. Contact Centre Technologies today for a security risk assessment for insights that help you avoid this type of headache.