Attackers often use multiple methods to make their impact even more severe. How to prevent, detect, and mitigate DDoS
Post-pandemic, it has been observed that DDoS attack possibilities are increasing where education, healthcare, business, and governing bodies are working online.
Regardless of the company’s size and type of business operations, DDoS attacks can be costly. Some companies experience downtime and loss of networking due to the sheer scale of the attack, while others suffer from the impact and consequences.
What is a DDoS Attack?
Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are targeted to stop or partially stop the network, disrupting its functioning capabilities.
Here are some facts about the increasing rate of DDoS attacks global projections.
How DDoS Attacks Work?
DDoS attacks typically involve three main components: the attacker, the compromised devices (often a botnet), and the target. Here’s how an attack unfolds:
1. Compromised Devices (Botnets): Attackers gain control over numerous devices, often through malware or vulnerabilities. These devices are then instructed to flood the target with traffic.
2. Traffic Flood: The compromised devices collectively send massive traffic to the target. This could involve various types of traffic, such as UDP, TCP, or HTTP requests, to consume the target’s resources.
3. Overwhelmed Resources: The target’s resources, such as bandwidth, processing power, or memory, become overwhelmed by the flood of incoming traffic. Legitimate user requests struggle to get through, leading to service disruptions or slowdowns.
Types of DDoS Attacks
There are different ways in which DDoS attacks can be launched, targeting various components of networks or systems. These attacks can take on multiple forms, each aiming to exploit specific vulnerabilities within the infrastructure.
The following are some common types of DDoS attacks that you may encounter.
1. Volumetric Attacks: Attackers flood the target’s network with User Datagram Protocol (UDP) packets to generate high traffic and saturate the network provider’s resources or the server’s hosting platform.
2) Protocol Attacks: This type of attack exhausts the functioning capabilities of the server and turns off networking systems like load balancers, routing engines, and firewalls.
3) Application Layer Attacks:
Web applications can be attacked by attackers who flood them with a large amount of traffic that slows down the website’s performance. Botnets use compromised devices to overload servers with various types of attacks.
4) Resource Depletion Attacks:
These attacks make it impossible for legitimate users to connect and access the data by hampering the transfer control protocols (TCP) and sending large amounts of data to the target, which consumes all available bandwidth consumption attacks.
5) Amplification Attacks:
DDoS assaults target network or system components, and it is prevalent that attackers employ multiple approaches to exploit infrastructure weaknesses for each attack type. A thorough process prevents, detects, and mitigates DDoS attacks.
6) Spoofed Packets:
Apart from the attacks as mentioned earlier, Spoofed IP flood attackers send packets with spoofed source IP addresses to flood the target, making it challenging to identify the trustworthy source of the attack.
7) Smurf Attacks:
In addition, Smurf attackers send ICMP echo requests to broadcast addresses using a spoofed source IP, causing multiple systems to respond to the target.
Defending Strategies to Prevent DDoS Attacks:
Preventing Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks requires a combination of proactive measures, network architecture, and mitigation strategies.
While it’s not always possible to completely eliminate the risk of a DDoS attack, you can significantly reduce its impact. Here are some steps you can take:
1. Traffic Filtering & Analysis: Employ specialized hardware or software to filter and block malicious traffic. Traffic analysis involves monitoring incoming traffic patterns to identify abnormal behavior, rate of limiting, blacklisting, and whitelisting IP addresses.
2. Content Delivery Network (CDN): Utilize CDNs to distribute traffic across multiple servers, helping to absorb and mitigate DDoS attacks by distributing the load.
3. Anomaly Detection: Implement network monitoring tools to identify unusual traffic patterns and behavior, allowing for early detection and response to potential attacks.
4. Traffic Scrubbing: Work with third-party DDoS mitigation providers that can filter out malicious traffic before it reaches your network, passing only legitimate traffic to your servers.
5. Load Balancing: Distribute incoming traffic across multiple servers, preventing any single server from becoming overwhelmed and ensuring continued service availability.
6. Rate Limiting and Throttling: Set limits on the rate of incoming requests from individual IP addresses or specific geographical regions, reducing the impact of large-scale attacks.
7. Cloud Services: Utilize cloud-based solutions that can scale resources dynamically in response to traffic spikes, minimizing the effects of DDoS attacks.
8. Web Application Firewalls (WAF): Employ WAFs to filter out malicious traffic and block known attack vectors at the application layer.
9. Network Segmentation: Divide your network into segments to contain and isolate the impact of DDoS attacks, preventing them from spreading to critical systems.
10. Incident Response Plan: Develop a comprehensive plan for responding to DDoS attacks, including steps for detection, mitigation, communication, and recovery.
Remember the risk and impact of DDoS attacks, and determined attackers can find ways to disrupt your services. Therefore, it’s essential to have a comprehensive strategy that combines prevention, detection, and response.
By implementing a combination of technical solutions and proactive strategies, your organization can effectively defend against DDoS attacks and ensure the availability and performance of your online resources.