Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks aren’t infamous for their sophistication; however, they’re increasing adaptability warrants a fresh look at the evolving anatomy of these dynamic threats.
What is a DDoS attack?
A DDoS attack is an attempt to consume one or more finite resources on a target computer or network of computers. These attack vectors block genuine users from accessing the network, application, or service and exploit detectable vulnerabilities.
What are the types of DDoS attacks?
Although there is a broad spectrum of types of DDoS attacks, they can typically be categorized into one of the following:
The intent of these attacks is to cause congestion by consuming the bandwidth either within or between the target network/service and the rest of the Internet.
- TCP state-exhaustion
These attacks target web servers, firewalls, and load balancers in an attempt to disrupt their connections, consuming the finite number of concurrent connections the device can support.
- Application layer
Also known as Layer-7 attacks, these threats target vulnerabilities in an application or server with the intent of establishing a connection and exhausting it by monopolizing processes and transactions. They are difficult to detect because it takes very few machines to carry out the attack, generating deceptively low traffic rates, making them the most serious type of DDoS attacks.
The sophisticated attackers of today blend all three DDoS attack types, creating a formidable threat that is even more challenging for businesses to combat.
How could DDoS attacks impact my business?
The modern business landscape all but requires a(n) website/application(s) with uninterrupted performance. DDoS attacks pose a serious threat to maintaining business continuity in today’s web-based world. From “Mafiaboy’s” notorious “Project Rivolta” that brought down the websites of Amazon, CNN, Dell, E*Trade, eBay, and Yahoo! in 2000, to the recent server attack on game developer and publisher Blizzard, the storied history of DDoS attacks speaks for themselves.
DDoS: Next Gen Defense
When it comes to addressing DDoS threats, prevention is key (see Cybersecurity: 5-Step Plan to Address Threats & Prevent Liability for detailed tips). Here are the most beneficial DDoS prevention tools:
Train staff to recognize the signs of an attack is essential, vendors advise. They should know what DDoS patterns look like, as well as how to respond if they’re alerted to the website or application being down.
Regularly update and proactively patch servers and other network elements to mitigate potential threats.
- Choose a provider with 24/7 DDoS prevention at the network connection layer– this can be detection and human mitigation, network defense systems (advanced, enterprise level threat protection solutions), or often both.
- A website firewall (or web application firewall) secures connections and maintains data integrity.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN)-based DDoS protection adds another layer of critical defense for websites at the point of contact.
Stay tuned for upcoming DDoSand security features on the Codero Blog, and subscribe to the Codero blog for other helpful tips from our team of hosting experts.