DDoS Protection: How To Protect Your Systems Against DDoS Attacks?

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With the cyber world ever-evolving, there are new threats that companies have to face every day.
One of the major cyber threats that businesses of all sizes face is – DDoS Attacks

Want to know what is DDoS?
Wondering what security measures you require against DDoS?
Looking for a deeper understanding of DDoS attacks?

Then this blog is for you. With the help of our IT experts, we have created a detailed explanation about DDoS attacks and why you need to have DDoS protection in place. First, let’s start with what is DDoS exactly.

What is DDoS?

DDoS stands for distributed denial of Service. Do you want to know what does it?

A DDoS attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service, or network by overwhelming the target or its surrounding infrastructure with a flood of internet traffic.

This type of virus targets the compromised system of a computer as a source of an attack. So what is the solution? The solution needs to be focused on a broad set of possible attack vectors which is called DDoS protection.

Consequences Of Lack Of DDoS Protection

Customer Experience

If a website is not according to the experience of the customer and provides them with a bad experience then the customer would move to another website for better service. In this case, a DDoS-protected system would help in customer retention. Thus to ensure customer loyalty, serious thought must be given to how to protect one’s business from DDoS attacks.

Reputation

An attack on one customer could ruin the reputation that a business has built over its years of existence. As a result, it takes a lot of time and effort for the business to gain back its customer’s trust. Hence without any protection software, the brand name of the targeted company would be severely affected.

Financial Value

Lack of protection from DDoS attacks would lead to the loss of important data and other resources. Repairing and rebuilding those attacked networks would take a lot of money.

Repair and Rebuild

Repairing the attacked node before repairing other parts of the network involves a lot of overhead costs such as labor, equipment, and other resources.

5 Recent DDoS Attacks

The AWS DDoS Attack In 2020

Amazon Web Services(AWS) were hit by a gigantic DDoS attack in February 2020. This was the most extreme DDoS attack that happened recently. And it targeted an unidentified AWS customer using a technique called connectionless lightweight directory access protocol reflection.

This technique takes advantage of vulnerable third-party servers and amplifies the data sent to IP addresses by 56 to 70 times. The attack peaked at an astounding 2.3 terabytes per second and lasted for three days.

While the disruption caused by the virus was far less severe than it could have been, the sheer scale of the attack and the implications for AWS hosting customers potentially losing revenue and suffering brand damage was significant.

The Mirai Krebs DDoS Attack In 2016

On September 20, 2016, the blog of cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs came under a massive DDoS attack of over 620 Gbps, which at the time was the largest attack ever seen.

Krebs had recorded 269 DDoS attacks since July 2012, but this attack became three times bigger than anything his blog site has seen before.

The attack came from a Mirai botnet, which at its peak contains about 600,000 compromised Internet of things (IoT) devices such as IP cameras, home routers, and video players.

Mirai was discovered in august of that same year but the attack on Kreb’s blog was its first big outing.

The Mir Aidyn DDoS Attack 2016

On October 21, 2016, Dyn, a major domain name service provider, was assaulted by a one-terabit-per-second traffic flood that then became the new record for a DDoS attack.

The traffic tsunami knocked Dyn’s services offline, rendering many high-profile websites including GitHub, HBO, Twitter, Reddit, PayPal, Netflix, and Airbnb inaccessible.

The Six Bank DDoS Attack in 2012

On March 12, 2012, six U.S. banks were targeted by a wave of DDoS attacks. They were Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and PNC Bank.

The attacks were carried out by hundreds of hijacked servers from a botnet called Brobot, with each attack generating over 60 gigabits of DDoS attack traffic per second.

The uniqueness of those attacks was that the perpetrators carried out a multitude of attacks to find the one that worked.
So, even if a bank was equipped to deal with a few types of DDoS attacks, they were helpless against other types of attacks.

The GitHub Attack In 2018

A platform for developers known as GitHub was hit with a DDoS attack that clocked in at 1.35 terabits per second and lasted for about 20 minutes on Feb 18, 2018.

The attackers penetrated Github’s defenses even though they were prepared. The GitHub DDoS attack was notable for its scale. In addition to the fact that the attack was staged by exploiting a standard command of Memcached, a database caching system for speeding up websites and networks.

The Memcached DDoS attack technique is particularly effective as it provides an amplification factor—the ratio of the attacker’s request size to the amount of DDoS attack traffic generated—of up to a staggering 51,200 times.

Five Ways To Deploy DDoS Threat Mitigation Tools

On-Premises

It consists of a dedicated hardware appliance or an on-premise web application firewall installed in the data center.

These protect our organization from layer 3 and layer 4 attacks and against application-level attacks. Between the internet router and network firewall, the protective gear is installed.

Now the drawback of on-premises protection includes the inability to block DDoS attacks which are larger than the internet pipes.

Also, it lacks scalability to block large-scale network and application-level attacks. This is the reason this strategy has become less popular in recent years, with most organizations transitioning to cloud-based solutions.

ISPs

Many internet service providers provide DDoS protection solutions. The solutions are maintenance-free and very easy to implement.

The major disadvantage is that this strategy only covers network layer vulnerabilities and does not protect against application-level attacks. Also, the large volumetric attacks can penetrate the small and medium-level ISPs.

Cloud WAFs

Under cloud-based DDoS protection is based on companies offering CDN and cloud WAF solutions, including a DDoS mitigation layer.

Here a large amount of volumetric attacks is handled as the traffic is diverted using DNS to the cloud provider. It also protects against both static and dynamic application attacks.

The disadvantage includes providing your organization’s private keys to web providers. This requirement may result in some insurmountable issues in the case of government entities.

Scrubbing Centers

Large network attacks are scrubbed through DDoS scrubbing centers. Here the attacking traffic is diverted to the closest center and analyzed.

Malicious traffic is removed and legitimate traffic is given to the company’s network. Both web and non-web and direct-to-origin attacks can be stopped by scrubbing centers.

But, implementing a scrubbing center solution is more complicated than cloud WAF protection due to the need for BGP traffic diversion and GRE tunneling.

You also have to own an autonomous system and network classes, but, on the other hand, private keys are not necessary.

Public CSPs

The CSP takes responsibility for the protection of your network and provides you with the inherent scalability of cloud data service.

The CSP provides a built-in cloud WAF solution but the configuration and the ongoing management are the consumer’s responsibility.

However, CSP-based protection is less mature and sophisticated than other WAF vendors.

Conclusion

In conclusion, with increased usage of the Internet, DDoS protection firewalls are a necessity. Your system is always vulnerable to falling fall prey to such viruses.

But with advancements in technology, several cyber security firms are providing DDoS-protected servers to companies.

Some companies are also creating their DDoS protection websites to prevent any attacks. Moreover by implementing the defense strategies that we have mentioned above you can easily create a DDoS-protected system and keep your flow of traffic smooth and safe from the virus.

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Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel
Hitesh Patel is an engineer turned business owner of WPG Consulting. He is a techie enthusiast who believes in finding creative IT solutions to solve consumer problems.

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