In recent years, businesses in many sectors have been subject to a consistent rise in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. In the past, these sorts of attacks were thought of as minor disturbances carried out by amateurs who were doing it for amusement and they could be quickly handled. Sadly, that is no longer the case, as DDoS attacks are becoming more prolific and far more sophisticated.
What is a DDoS attack?
A distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a common and effective technique used by cybercriminals to overwhelm a target’s network, servers, or websites to disrupt service. The attackers will send a huge amount of internet traffic requests to the victim, causing the infrastructure to become overloaded and unable to respond to legitimate requests, resulting in slow or no access to the service.
The effects of a successful attack can be devastating, resulting in downtime, data loss, and negative publicity. Ideally, it is important to prevent a DDoS attack but in the event of one occurring, it is vital to know what steps to take to respond quickly and effectively to ensure the safety of your network or website.
1. Identify the attack
The first step in responding to a DDoS attack is to identify whether or not you are being attacked. This is important because not every increase in traffic or increasing service issues is caused by an attack. A sudden increase in traffic could come from several different sources, including malicious traffic, legitimate traffic, or a naturally occurring event. It is important to be able to distinguish between each of these scenarios to be able to respond appropriately. There are several factors that you need to consider when trying to identify if you are being targeted by an attack. These factors include the source of your traffic, the types of devices sending traffic, anomalies in the traffic, and the amount of traffic being sent.
2. Contain the attack
Once you have determined that you are being targeted by an attack, the next step is to contain the attack. Containment is an important step in responding to a DDoS attack because it allows you to better manage the situation by restricting malicious traffic to a specific area. This allows you to limit the damage caused by the attack and prioritise the areas affected.
There are many ways that you can contain a DDoS attack. First, you can block all incoming traffic from the source of the attack. This will prevent the traffic from reaching your network or website and limit the amount of damage caused by the attack. Another way to contain the attack is to use a DDoS protection service. These services act as a buffer between your network and the source of the attack. They can identify malicious traffic and filter it out, preventing it from reaching your network.
3. Mitigate the attack
The final step in responding to a DDoS attack is to mitigate the attack. Mitigation refers to a controlled reduction of the malicious traffic sent to your network. There are several ways that you can mitigate a DDoS attack, including changing your DNS configuration, upgrading your network infrastructure, or using an attack mitigation service. If the attack is originating from a small number of devices, such as a botnet, you can try to shut down the command and control server (C&C) to stop the attack. However, this is only effective if the attack is originating from a small number of devices. If the attack is originating from a large number of devices, such as a DNS amplification attack, shutting down the C&C server will have little to no effect. In this scenario, it is better to upgrade your network infrastructure to a higher-capacity solution with a higher availability rating.
Managed detection and response for your business
A DDoS attack can be devastating for a business. It can cause significant downtime, data loss, and negative publicity. It is important to be prepared for and know how to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a DDoS attack. As the leading provider of cybersecurity services INTELLIWORX can ensure your business is well-prepared to respond to a DDoS attack and ensure the safety of your network or website.