How To Combat DDoS Attacks


Cyber-attacks are happening at an alarming rate and are increasing with the use of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks which make online services unavailable by driving increased traffic to the service from a variety of sources. DDoS attacks are targeted toward making your website unavailable, rather than gaining access to proprietary information like most cyber-attacks. Using multiple people and multiple connected devices DDoS attacks are harder to anticipate. There are four types of DDoS attack methods including:

  • TCP Connection Attacks – occupy any and all available connections to infrastructure devices
  • Volumetric Attacks – congest the internet by using up as much bandwidth streams by flooding the servers as much as possible
  • Fragmentation Attacks – reduce performance and make it difficult to fix the streams by flooding TCP fragments to the victim
  • Application Attacks – target specific services and are difficult to detect and stop once discovered

Recent DDoS Attacks 

DDoS attacks can be launched by individuals or businesses motivated by extortion, cyber vandalism, personal agendas or cyber warfare. According to The Guardian, the largest DDoS attack was a cyber-attack against Dyn’s servers that involved nearly 100,000 malicious endpoints caused by the Mirai botnet (made up of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices infected with special malware). In a Mirai botnet, there are much more devices to choose from making it a larger attack than your typical DDoS attack. The Mirai botnet strained the Dyn servers so much the result was a complete collapse. 

Another DDoS attack was on Brian Krebs, a journalist who reports on internet criminals, DDoS hiring services, and identity thefts. Unfortunately, this time around Krebs was the one being reported on for being the victim of one of the largest DDoS attacks. According to The Economist, his network mitigation provider could handle the attack at first, but the 600 to 700 billion bits per second attack ultimately made him shut down his website. 

These two attacks are just a few of the many that continuously happen. To help prevent DDoS attacks from occurring both the government and businesses need to invest more money and more effort. The government can assist by requiring security standards and businesses can assist by building better security into devices and networks they are connected to. There is no one answer to protecting against DDoS attacks, but there are measures both businesses and individuals can take to lessen the burden of an attack.

How businesses and individuals can protect themselves from DDoS attacks

DDoS attacks can happen at any time to any business which is it is suggested that businesses plan for DDoS attacks before they become victims to them. There is no one foolproof way to avoid DDoS attacks, but according to the Software Engineering Institute of Carnegie Melon University there are steps that can be taken to mitigate the risk including:

  • Resilient architecture – resources should be geographically dispersed, data centers should not be connected to the same internet providers and data centers should not have one single point of failure
  • Hardware – use hardware meant to handle DDoS attacks and use the hardware’s options to protect network resources
  • Bandwidth – scale bandwidth to handle a large volume of traffic
  • Outsource – find service providers that offer mitigation services for DDoS attacks

Individuals and their sites are in just as much risk. If you have your own website, you are in just as much risk, perhaps even more so as individuals will not have the same amount of resources to help deter and prevent attacks. It is important to understand how and why you must protect yourself from a DDoS attack. Take into consideration how you will block malicious traffic such as:

  • Discuss DDoS protection with your hosting provider 
  • Route website traffic through a third-party that filters out malicious traffic
  • Look into Project Shield, launched by Google Ideas, which helps individuals protect their website against DDoS attacks

The more businesses and the government work together the quicker a solution can be found to lessen the impact of DDoS attacks. Until security standards are set, it is encouraged that businesses and individuals prepare for a DDoS attack using the options mentioned above before becoming a victim.

There are many benefits to the company of using a ‘white label’ provider to offer additional services to its customers.  Working with a partner to develop or deliver additional services includes:

·         Reduced costs (or none) of development

·         Speed-to-market

·         Learning new skill sets and market knowledge

·         Keeping focus on core offerings

·         Adding value to the customer

A ‘white label’ partner is often smaller, more nimble, and/or has a different core focus than the primary company.  If the company would like to deliver Security Services, but their core offering is around networks, they won’t already have security experts.  Some might argue that they need to build the offering themselves, but the go-to-market process for an in-house offering, often due to red tape and budgets, would likely be months if not over a year.  Another argument is that the service offering is already a proven commodity to the provider, with existing staff, who have the technical experience and the marketing knowledge to deliver effectively. 

Get in Touch!

Telephone: (919) 439-5000
1150 SE Maynard Rd
Cary, NC 27511
263 13th Ave S, Suite 340
St Petersburg, FL 33701

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