What is a DDoS Attack?
A DDoS attack (Distributed Denial of Service Attack) is a malicious attempt to make a server, service, or network unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources. DDoS attacks are often compared to traffic jams on a highway, as they can prevent legitimate traffic from getting through to the targeted system. This attack can devastate a business, bringing down an entire network and resulting in massive economic consequences. Usually, the traffic in a DDoS attack comes from infected devices, known as botnets, and contains malware. We end up asking ourselves: How Can Your Business Avoid DDOS Attacks? With more and more devices connecting to the internet, your business could be in danger of DDoS attacks as the process has become easier to launch.
Types of DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks come in various forms and frequently change how some are used. Some of the most common types of DDoS attacks are:
- Application layer attacks
- An Application layer attack is a type of cyber attack that targets a specific application or service running on a network. Application layer attacks are often used to exploit vulnerabilities in web applications, such as SQL injection or cross-site scripting (XSS). Application layer attacks focus on the topmost layer in the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model, which handles web traffic. These attacks exploit vulnerabilities in the application to prevent it from delivering content to the user. Application layer attacks are challenging to defend against because they use fewer resources, making them appear legitimate traffic. Hackers can also combine different attacks to launch a multi-pronged attack on a target.
- Protocol attacks
- A protocol attack is a cyber attack that overloads server resources by sending slow pings, malformed pings, and partial packets. This attack can also compromise web application firewalls, making them unable to stop the attack. The most common type of protocol attack is an SYN flood attack, which initiates a TCP/IP connection without finalizing it. The client sends an SYN (synchronize) packet, and the server responds with an ACK (acknowledge) packet. The client is supposed to react with another ACK packet, but it can overload the server’s resources if it doesn’t.
- Volume-based attacks
- A volumetric attack is a DDoS attack where the attacker tries to overload the machine’s network by sending many false data requests. This can make it hard for legitimate traffic to get through. UDP floods and ICMP floods are two common types of volumetric attacks. The attacks consist of sending many false requests to overwhelm the target; when this attack is initiated, it is difficult to stop until the attacker has finished, as the proposals appear legitimate. These false error requests can come from a botnet, a computer network that has been infected with malware and is under the attacker’s control.
How to Minimize and Prevent DDoS Attacks Against Your Business
There are several ways to prevent and avoid DDoS attacks against your business. Attackers are always trying to make their DDoS attacks more complicated, so it’s essential to know how to stop them from happening and how to lessen the damage if they do happen. Some of these include:
Use a DDoS protection service: Monmouth Computer Associates offers DDoS protection services. These services can help to identify and block DDoS attacks before they cause any damage.
Implement proper security measures: Having adequate security measures in place can help to prevent DDoS attacks from happening in the first place. These steps include firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems, and proper access control measures.
Be prepared: Having a plan for dealing with a DDoS attack can help ensure that you are prepared if one does occur. This plan should include having extra bandwidth available, a way to identify and block malicious traffic quickly, and a way to communicate with your users in the event of an attack.
Monitor your network: Regularly monitoring your network for unusual activity can help to quickly identify a DDoS attack in progress and take action to mitigate it.
What To Do If Your Business Has Suffered a DDoS Attack
If a DDoS attack has hit you, you should take the following steps:
- Contacting your hosting provider is the most effective way to stop a DDoS attack. From there, your hosting provider will be able to isolate the attacked server and stop the attack.
- Disconnecting your server from the internet will stop the attack from continuing and will give you time to investigate the source of the attack and take steps to prevent it from happening again.
- Implement a DDoS protection solution: These are usually implemented through a security device, dedicated server, or cloud-based solution. DDoS protection solutions can provide you with the ability to detect and block DDoS attacks. They can also help you identify the attack’s source and take steps to prevent future episodes.
- Keep an eye on your server’s logs and apps: If any apps start acting up, you’ll want to check the records to see any anomalies. Also, if your server’s CPU or memory usage spikes, that could indicate that you’re under attack. We also recommend blocking the IP addresses attacking you, and you can create a firewall rule that blocks traffic from those IPs.
- Contact the authorities if necessary: Many law enforcement agencies can help you report a DDoS attack, depending on where the attacker lives and where the server is located. In most cases, contact your national web crime unit. In the U.S., file a complaint online with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Protect Your Business With Monmouth Computer Associates
DDoS attacks are becoming more dangerous and increasing in number, and following these steps is how your business can avoid DDOS attacks. The average number of annual DDoS attempts is predicted to rise to 15.4 million by 2023, which means that nearly every business will face a DDoS at some point.
Preparing for this attack type should be a top priority on your security to-do list, and the professionals at Monmouth Computer Associates can help you get started. Our team of cybersecurity experts is available to help you develop a comprehensive plan to avoid DDoS attacks and protect your business from other digital threats. Contact us today to learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation.