DDoS attacks are back in the news, and your organization could be vulnerable to a variety of DDoS attacks from hackers across the globe. Avoiding DDoS attacks requires more than a simple firewall or antivirus program, and not being prepared could be devastating to your organization.
If you’re questioning whether or not your organization is vulnerable to a DDoS attack (hint: it is), then it’s time to take measures to prepare to fight the resulting consequences of attack.
What is DDoS?
Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attacks are a type of cyber attacked used to shut down websites and networks by overloading the systems. While there are a number of different DDoS variations including SYN Flood, UDP Flood and Smurf attacks to name a few, all rely on the same principle of using hacktivist efforts or botnets to continually ping an IP address, overwhelm it, and render it basically useless.
What make DDoS attacks different from attacks like the recent Google Docs phishing attack is that they don’t necessarily require an uneducated internet user to click a link and download malicious software. DDoS attacks instead are relatively easy to deploy, cheap to run and effective at making networks and servers virtually unusable for their victims.
Signs of DDoS
The DoS in the acronym stands for Denial of Service, which means if you’re being denied the services of your network and/or website, it may be a DDoS attack. This isn’t to be confused with a simple patch of slow internet, DDoS attacks aren’t going to slow service that fixes itself with the refresh of a web page or restart of a computer. A sure sign of a DDoS attack is watching your network and website go from perfectly capable to completely unresponsive due to overwhelming and unrealistic traffic.
Steps for Preparation
DDoS attack prevention isn’t a simple one step solution, which means for most small businesses prevention is an ominous task. Since there is no need for installed malware, DDoS attacks can happen to any organization or individual at any time, meaning anyone anywhere can become a target.
As with most hacks, the most important steps for preventing and fighting at DDoS attack are understanding the signs of a DDoS attack and identifying the attack early on. The sooner you realize an attack is underway, the sooner you can begin countering it and getting your services back online.
Once you realize a DDoS attack is underway, you can overprovision your bandwidth and try and protect your network perimeter to try and buy yourself a few precious minutes before your systems are overwhelmed, but at this point it’s time to call in the big guns.
DDoS is in full swing – now what?
If you think or are certain a DDoS attack is underway, it’s time to call in the professionals. Working with your ISP can help you understand whether or not a DDoS attack is underway, and DDoS Mitigation Specialists offer services to fight the consequences of DDoS attacks.
The best way to fight a DDoS attack is to work alongside an IT service provider who can step in to stop the attack. Partnering with a managed IT service provider means you’ll have experts on-call from the moment an attack begins to the second it’s cleared, meaning your website will be back up to speed in no time.