3 Ways To Protect Your Business From DDoS Attacks
Help prevent DDoS attacks with a secure network and servers.
Articles published June 16, 2021 by Steve Simpson
Instances of cybercrime have climbed significantly in recent months. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Internet Crime Center (IC3), there was an increase of 300,000 reports of cybercrime from 2019 to 2020. In that same time span, instances of malware grew 358 percent. Additionally, we have seen some of the largest players of multiple industries fall victim to ransomware and other attacks, including Colonial Pipeline, JBS Foods, Kaseya, and others.
A similar story played out at the end of September 2021, when a major telecommunications provider announced they had been the victim of a series of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Bandwidth, a large voice service provider with national reach, battled for days to stabilize its network and return inbound, outbound, and other voice services to normal operation. Most notably, the attack to their voice services intermittently impacted 911 services – creating an even more critical situation for organizations and providers around the U.S.
So, what is a DDoS attack and what steps can your organization take to effectively protect your business and Customers? Let’s take a closer look.
What is a DDoS attack?
A DDoS attack is when an attacker uses a bot to flood a system with traffic signals rendering it inaccessible. There are different types of DDoS attacks, which target your system in different ways, but the goal of them remains the same.
- Application layer attacks send signals to the server that mimic valid user traffic, making them especially hard to catch.
- Similarly, volumetric attacks send false requests, but instead of just looking like traditional server requests, these requests tie up the system by attacking every open port.
- The third type of DDoS attack is protocol attacks. Protocol attacks overwhelm the system with data which render the server inaccessible.
These attacks come from many sources, which makes it extremely difficult to stop, since it’s attacking from many different addresses.
Effects of a DDoS Attack
Popular websites, such as Netflix, the New York Times, and Reddit have all been susceptible to DDoS attacks in the past, and were inaccessible while the attack was happening.
Having your servers go down isn’t the only outcome of a DDoS attack. Sometimes it serves as a distraction, so that hackers can install malicious software or steal your data.
These attacks are serious, and immediately impact your ability to do business and serve customers. They also cost your organization money. Bulletproof’s Annual Cyber Security Report found that on average, the cost of a DDoS attack to a small business was $120,000 while the amount was nearly $2 million for enterprises.
According to Kapersky Lab’s Global IT Survey, nearly half of all organizations see cyber threats as one of the biggest risks to their business, yet many are unprepared for such a disaster. In fact, the same survey reveals that 45 percent of businesses say they are not well prepared for cyber attacks.
How to Prevent DDOS Attacks
To help your organization combat being a DDoS attack target or source, there are some best practices to follow.
Spread out Your Servers
Since DDoS attacks target your servers, one way to help avoid being rendered inaccessible is to have multiple servers in different locations. With your data and servers housed in different data centers on different networks, you are less likely to be a major target for DDoS attacks, since it is easier to attack organizations that have a single source.
Conduct an Audit
Ensure your organization is not the source of DDoS attacks by running a comprehensive security audit and identifying any potential vulnerabilities. If you haven’t already done so, be sure anti-virus software is installed, up-to-date, and running regular system updates, and that firewalls and network devices are properly configured.
Have the Right Hardware
Another way to help mitigate DDoS attacks is by having the appropriate hardware. Managed firewall solutions can defend your organization against many different kinds of DDoS attacks by securing your networks and servers and providing you with peace of mind.
Enabling DDoS protection is best done before an attack happens. By securing your network and systems now, your business will be better prepared to mitigate and minimize the effects of DDoS attacks if and when they arise.
Is your business prepared to ward off cyber threats?