How To Know If Your Being Ddosed – A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack can cause a lot of damage. Learn how DDoS attacks work, the most common types and how your site can prevent them.
You’ve probably heard the term “DDoS attack” mentioned in online circles, especially when talking about website security, but what exactly is it? A DDoS attack, or distributed denial-of-service, is an attempt by cybercriminals to flood server traffic to overwhelm the infrastructure. This causes the site to slow to crawl or even crash so that legitimate traffic cannot reach the site. This type of attack can destroy your online business.
How To Know If Your Being Ddosed
These cyberattacks can open up a wide range of goals, from disruption and “hacktivism” to massive business losses. What makes it unique compared to other forms of hacking is motivation. While other forms of malware, such as ransomware and scareware, attempt to extort money from victims, pure DDoS attacks are designed for chaos and disruption.
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The amount of downtime and damage this can cause is often discussed. Hackers often use DDoS attacks, and you should be careful that it does not affect you too much.
Most DDoS attacks are carried out by botnets – groups of computers working together. These computers will try to access the website at the same time, overloading the server and slowing it down.
How do you get that botnet? By hijacking another machine. Often, hackers use malware or exploit unpatched vulnerabilities on other people’s servers to gain access through Command and Control (C2) software. By using these exploits, hackers can collect a large number of computers in a cheap and easy way, which they can use for their own nefarious purposes.
Once they have control over enough machines, the hacker can then issue commands to the entire botnet, which will then attempt to access the target server. When too many computers try to access the server at the same time, service outages are common. The end result is service disruption and loss of productivity.
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It can be anything from a child’s prank to a business’s revenge. And while this may sound harmless at first, it’s important to understand that the average cost of a DDoS attack for a small business operation can be as high as $120,000 – enough to wipe out many small businesses. Large companies can lose millions.
Imagine a two lane highway. Strong, safe, reliable, and you drive every day without problems because of its purpose. The city put the highway there because they had a reasonable estimate of how many cars would drive through it in a day.
Now, imagine a sudden incident that results in thousands of vehicles trying to use the road at the same time. You try to get on the onramp, but when you get to the highway, you can’t get on. The road is congested with traffic, and now you will be late to your destination – when you arrive.
These attacks take many forms and are constantly evolving. Often, without a proper monitoring system in place, you can be the victim of a silent attack without your knowledge – and by the time you know about it, your business is at a standstill. The most common types include:
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Depending on the type of DDoS attack, it can be difficult to defend against without the latest detection and mitigation tools at your disposal.
If you find yourself under a DDoS attack, time is of the essence. Continuous monitoring is a key component, and you want a reliable alert system that will give you real-time notifications. If a DDoS attack starts on your server, you need to catch it early and act quickly. If you can act quickly, hopefully it won’t affect normal users. You can block IP addresses using your firewall and prevent them from accessing your server. You can isolate the targeted system and shut down incoming traffic.
If an attack has never occurred on your website and you want to prevent this type of rare attack, consider the following.
It may be disingenuous to say that prevention begins with a response plan, because that would mean you haven’t prevented the attack.
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But before you do anything, you need to have a follow-up plan. You cannot respond to a DDoS attack on the fly. This requires preparation and planning with the ultimate goal of preventing unnecessary damage to your business.
Now, that’s for after the attack. What can you do now to prepare and prevent an attack from happening to you?
This is an important step – for DDoS mitigation but for all aspects of online security. There is no point in trying to reduce the risk of the system if it fails to update. Timely updates address vulnerabilities in your system, close any holes that hackers might exploit, and reduce your risk as much as possible right out of the gate.
If your website is running on WordPress, go to the update page and make sure everything has been recently updated. Remove old and deprecated plugins. You don’t want to take any chances.
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You can close more holes for potential attackers by taking this step than anything else. And luckily, even tech-savvy people can do it. Most updates are automatic and can be initiated with a single click.
There’s nothing fancy or complicated here – a strong (and regularly updated) password and a secure firewall will protect you.
Thanks to cloud-based service providers, it has never been easier or cheaper to provide services that can monitor your system and protect it from potential DDoS attacks.
SiteLock, pany, offers a comprehensive website security plan that automatically scans, detects and stops attack attempts before they turn into something more malicious – and more damaging. For example, one of SiteLock’s features is connecting your site to a global content delivery network (CDN) that not only speeds up your site but also adds a layer of DDoS protection. Other features include Web Application Firewall (WAF), malware removal, and backup services.
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All of these tools add a layer of protection between incoming web traffic and your server, and inspect traffic as it enters to analyze and detect DDoS attacks. Once detected, offending traffic can be isolated and dealt with – without disrupting the functionality of your site.
Having the right tools can prevent you from becoming a victim. Protect your business with one of SiteLock’s security plans today. And to ensure your company’s communications are secure, learn about automated digital certificate management solutions. Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are a problem for global companies that do much of their business online. Knowing how to stop a DDoS attack is very important, especially considering that it can cost a business in lost revenue. This may mean using a protection tool – my personal choice is Security Event Monitor.
DDoS attacks use tools, such as bots, that flood the network with repeated signals, eventually causing the network to stop processing the original requests from users or the other parts of the network. Web services and platforms are especially at risk, as hackers can target critical services by manipulating network traffic. DDoS attacks are often used against large businesses or banks; it can also cause business reputation problems if users don’t understand why the website or service is down. For these reasons, learning how to stop and prevent these attacks is critical to business operations and success.
There are many types of DDoS attacks, and they target your network or system in different ways. These include:
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In some cases, attackers use DDoS attacks of all three types at once, to complete the network and cause a crash.
You can prevent DDoS attacks with careful planning and security measures. The first thing to understand is that DDoS attacks can happen to anyone, even if your business is small or unknown. While many attacks occur for political reasons, business reputation issues (such as a fuel company’s website being attacked after an oil spill), or due to trolling, even small businesses can be targeted by DDoS hackers. There are several steps you can take to protect your business from DDoS attacks:
To track network behavior and alert threats before they become widespread, I like SolarWinds Security Event Manager (SEM).
The ability to respond quickly to threats is critical, as security initiatives can quickly become ineffective if they take too long to deploy. SEM includes an automatic response that prevents suspicious IPs or
What Is A Distributed Denial Of Service (ddos) Attack?
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