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What You Need to Know About DDoS Attacks


The latest data shows that DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are getting bigger and more frequent; 2016's largest attack was 73% bigger than the largest attack in 2015. DDoS is a style of attack that involves bombarding an organization’s web presence or filling their connection to the Internet with large amounts of traffic, causing the site to become unavailable. These attacks are difficult to block, but companies that understand DDoS attacks and the potential protective measures to prevent them have a better chance of securing their websites over the long term. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about these attacks - including how to protect yourself.

Large Bandwidth Levels Offer Security

Sites with larger bandwidth levels are better able to serve larger traffic numbers. It’s important for companies to ensure they have the maximum level of bandwidth for their website to keep their site online during a DDoS attack.

Protect the System Perimeter

Companies can protect their server infrastructure from DDoS attacks by optimizing their systems to prevent an impact. For example, they can rate limit their router to prevent their web server from being overloaded. They might also add filters that tell the server to drop packets from obvious DDoS sources. Servers could also be optimized to drop spoofed or malformed packages that might be the source of a DDoS attack.

Companies can also leverage the power of the cloud by implementing cloud-based web application firewalls to redirect traffic to be scrubbed in the cloud before hitting production equipment. Think of it as a massive reverse proxy protecting all inbound connections to your web sites.

Identify the Signs of DDOS Attack Early

Companies must learn to identify the signs of a DDoS attack on their servers at the earliest available opportunity. The first sign of an attack is a significant spike in traffic levels. The impacted site might also experience significant service disruption at the start of the event. By recognizing these signs early and quickly, companies can consolidate their losses over time.

Have a incident response plan specifically for DDoS attacks and have the capability to inspect the source of that traffic using an out of band network monitoring solution, not necessarily your firewall because it may go down. Work with your Internet Service Provider ​(ISP) to determine who to contact in case of a DDoS, they may be able to help or at least escalate quickly.

Separate Web Server and Company Data

Companies are often able to weather a DDoS attack more effectively when their web server and their company data are on separate hosts. There are two benefits for separating company information in this way. Firstly, the hosting company will likely have the bandwidth to fend off a sustained DDoS​ attack. Secondly, companies will still be able to have access to their data in the event of a DDoS attack on their server. This ensures comp​​any operations aren’t severely impacted while the DDoS attack is resolved.

Through swift and responsive protective measures, companies can limit the impact of potential DDoS attack events on their organization. To learn more, contact Eugene Ng, National Leader, Cyber Security, at 905.607.9777 x223 or [email protected], or your local MNP Technology Solutions Advisor.