What is DDoS?

Distributed Denial of Service attacks or DDoS attacks can often be intense as it may indirectly involve hundreds of thousands of computers all over the world and huge amounts of traffic. The attacks can last for hours or days depending upon the intent of the attacker, rendering a website, server or entire network useless for the duration of the attack.

For financial institutions they can be extremely problematic as it may prevent customers from completing transactions, or even impact bank-to-bank transactions.

A DDoS attack is a type of cyber attack that uses large numbers of computers and huge volumes of traffic to overwhelm a server or network, slowing it or rendering it completely unresponsive.

DDoS attacks generally require that the attacker control thousands, tens of thousands, or hundreds of thousands of computers. These computers are usually owned by normal and unsuspecting consumers all over the world. Cybercriminals can then create their own network by taking control of these “zombie computers.”

That large network of computers is then used to focus traffic, such as a simple request to view a web page or something more malicious, on a single target or group of targets. The targeted servers or networks – not designed to handle simultaneous requests from such large numbers of systems – then get bogged down or stop responding completely due to the abnormally large volume of incoming traffic.

Defending Against DDoS Attacks

Recognize the signs of an attack – The first and best defense against a DDoS attack is to recognize it early. Unfortunately, not all DDoS attacks are easy to distinguish from normal spikes in network or web traffic. You need to invest in the right technology, training, and the right people to help you tell the difference.

Incident response planning – Be ready with a great incident response program and include in it a DDoS mitigation plan.

Contact your ISP provider – If you think that your website or company is coming under DDoS attack, it is also likely affecting your ISP provider. Call your ISP provider to see if they can detect DDoS attacks and re-route your traffic in the event of an attack rather than have you call for support. When choosing an ISP, inquire whether any DDoS protective services are available in protection of your business.

Have intelligence handy – Half the battle in today’s environment is knowing what to look for. What are the potential indicators that an attack is underway? What threat vectors are the most obvious? How are others responding to those attacks? This is why you need to invest in the right people who will protect you.

Other Mitigation Defenses and Tools – There are two tools that businesses should consider in addition to standard signature-based firewalls and routers to reject known bad traffic and when formulating mitigation strategies such as Load Balancers to balance traffic across multiple servers within a defined network with the goal of creating additional network availability. Another is using a Cloud-based Anti-DDoS Solution to filter or divert malicious DDoS traffic.

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This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Friday, May 25, 2018 at 6:18:32 AM and is filed under Computer Security & Data Protection.

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