How To Safeguard Your Server From Deadly DDoS Attack

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack is a common & fatal cyber threat to all active websites, network, application, web servers. Evidently, so far DDoS is the deadliest & difficult threat faced by system administrators and operators across the globe. This threat surpasses the limit of most service providers by attacking them with multiple attack sources, more than thousands of unique IP addresses, which temporarily (in few severe cases permanently) shut down the website or its source. Majorly targeted resources include sites of Banks, News, E-commerce, etc.

DDos

DDoS attacks require expert mitigation support as it is quite difficult to manage by it through conventional rescue measures.

Why DDoS Is Vulnerable For Your Website?

DDoS attacks are majorly an attempt by malicious hackers to overload network and servers with enormous malicious requests. This will increase your system’s downtime which, in turn, will make your website unavailable on web.

Consequences Of DDoS

Financial Losses: E-businesses suffers the most! The site gets unavailable, expired, or will not load. This delays the downtime which means that the users can no longer access your site content which deliberately reduces traffic, productivity, revenues, as well as ranking.

Credibility Loss: Cyber intrusion is always a bad news leading to reputational damage. Such a bad user experience affects future sales, which may lead to business downfall if not fixed properly.

Decrease in Organic Traffic: A slow performing website is always overlooked by an e-user. An unsatisfied customer will demand more financial restitution or worst s/he could switch to another website.

Legal Complications: Frequent unavailability of online services leads to recurring reimbursement requests by customers which in some cases may be done through filing lawsuits.

How To Identify A DDoS Attack?

Here are some indications which may help you to identify a pro-DDoS attack

  1. Abnormal slow performance of network
  2. Frequently unavailable website
  3. Number of inaccessible websites increases
  4. Intrusion of heavy spam mails
  5. Abrupt disconnection of wireless/wired internet network
  6. Different Types Of DDoS Attacks?

There are many types of DDoS attacks. Depending on their scale, they target different network components such as applications, routers, ISPs, data centers, etc. You need a mitigation expert to combat this attack.

Not just 10 or 100, but there are 1000 of ways wherein a DDoS attack affects your system. Each of these attacks specifically affects your server in one or the other way, which might halt or crash the functioning of your web server/website resources.

Based on the scale of attack, it can be broadly categorized in three main categories:

1. Volume Based DDoS Attacks

1 Clear with its name, this type of attack depends on the volume. A huge volume of inorganic traffic TCP, UDP, and ICPM packets target the host. It can also be called as Traffic attacks/traffic flooding. The attackers use a basic tactic of overloading the resources, which directly affects the functioning of websites. Websites on shared hosts, VPS environments are more vulnerable to such attacks.

2. Protocol Based DDoS Attacks

Even if you have a system, capable of maintaining millions of connections, beware you are at risk too!

This attack can also be referred as bandwidth attack as it overloads a massive amount of malicious data on the target that leads to the complete or temporary loss of bandwidth connection resulting in frequent site crashes and halts. This Protocol based attack is supported by other network-layer Dos attacks including MAC Flood, Ping of Death, SYN Flood, TCP RST attacks, and many more.

3. Application Layer Attacks

Besides these network-layer attacks, there are few that directly affect the application layer. Application-layer attacks add malicious elements to the operating system and other web applications. Not only applications but web development platforms like WordPress, Joomla, etc. are also prone to be affected.

These attacks can be detected easily but if not fixed or ignored may deliberately cost your website a heavy downtime.

DDoS Prevention, Detection and Mitigation

No worries, there are number of ways to effectively prevent, detect, and mitigate the adverse effects of a DDoS attack.

1. Pro-Identification a DDoS Attack

Detect a DDoS attack as early as possible to safeguard your web resources. You need to be familiar with the regular inbound traffic profile so that any change in the profile can be identified easily. If you get familiar with this, it would be easy to distinguish the difference between sudden traffic intrusion and a DDoS attack

2. Over Provision Bandwidth

To take in rapid traffic flooding, you must have an over provision bandwidth so as to prevent abrupt web server crashes. This added bandwidth would not only prevent a pro-DDoS attack but can also accommodate unexpected traffic that results due to some promotional campaigns or special offers by your company.

Getting an over provision bandwidth will not only prevent a DDoS attack but it gives you some extra minutes to rescue your resources.

3. Technical Measures ( Only if you own a web server)

In case you have your own Web Server, you can go for these technical measures to perform the rescue operation.

  • Set the limit of your router to prevent overloading
  • Integrate filters to drop packets that could be sources of malicious attack
  • Lower the SYN, ICMP, and UDP flood drop thresholds
  • Deny access to malformed packages

These measures could buy you some time to be prepare for a DDoS attack as it is quite difficult now to prevent this attack due to its increasing impact.

4. Get Assistance from Your ISP or Hosting Provider

If you do not host your own web server then it is advised to get in touch with your ISP or Host provider to get started with the rescue operation. Always keep emergency ISP or Host provider number to ask for a quick help.

If a web server is located in the hosting center instead, then it will have higher bandwidth and limit which is not possible in case of private hosting.

Conclusion:

Lastly, you should empower your mitigation system such that it can prevent not only DDoS attacks but other usual cyber threats too. No wonder, exclusivity is in demand and to meet this demand, individuals opt for more dynamic resources for their websites. Undoubtedly, these dynamic resources provide efficiency to the website but, on the other hand, make it prone to malicious vulnerabilities. So it’s better to avoid the overuse of dynamic resources in a website. Always keep your security & detection system active so that you can start with your preventive strategies as early as possible.

As a website owner, you would never want your website to go down or unavailable, so it’s better to be preventive to nullify the consequences. Mitigating a DDoS attack is difficult but you can set up an organized system endowed with advanced security to reduce the scale of casualties. Get associated with an apt DDoS mitigation service to plan & prepare preventive strategies to diminish a probable DDoS attack

Comments

  1. Patrik

    I was trying to secure my server, but was unable to do it properly. I love this post because all the mentioned steps are practically correct. Thanks for the information as it helped me a lot.

  2. John

    Nicely presented article. All the information are worthy and meant to be known to all website owner. I will recommend this informative article to my friends.

  3. Dennis

    Hey Atif, this is such an important post for businesses that operate online. A DDOS attack can be extremely expensive for new companies with internet startup ideas and could cause damage to finances or branding. Thanks for sharing how to protect ourselves.

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