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How to Protect Your Website From DDoS Attacks

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Effective Strategies to Defend Against DDoS Threats

Describe a DDoS assault and list the common forms of DDoS attacks.

1. Attack categories under DDOS

  • Infrastructure Layer Attacks
  • Application Layer Attacks

2. DDoS protection methods

  • Decrease of the attack surface:
  • Make a scale plan.
  1. Identify normal and abnormal traffic patterns.
  2. Install firewalls to protect against advanced application attacks.

    What is a DDOS attack?

    A denial-of-service (DDoS) attack is a criminal attempt to limit a targeted system's functionality to authorized end users, such as an application or a website. Hackers typically produce a lot of packages or requests, which eventually overload the target system. In the event of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, the attacker can make the attack using multiple hacked or controlled sources.

    What are the typical DDoS attack types?

    Several DDoS attack methods concentrate on various parts of a network link. Mostly on the internet, a network link is made up of numerous separate parts, or "layers." Every stage of the model has a distinct purpose, just like when building a house. A conceptual framework known as the OSI model is used to categorize network connectivity into seven different layers.

    1. Attack categories under DDOS

      When considering protection techniques for these attacks, it helps to divide them into network-level (Layers 3 or 4) and application-layer (Layers 6 or 7) attacks.

    • Infrastructure Layer Attacks
    Infrastructure layer attacks are typically described as attacks at Layers 3 or 4. They are also the most regular DDoS attack types, and they include user datagram packet (UDP) floods and other reflecting attacks like synchronized (SYN) floods. Such attacks try to overload the network's and the application servers' capabilities and are often quite large in volume. But fortunately, these are the attacks that also have clear signs and are easier to spot.
      • Application Layer Attacks
      A common classification for attacks at Layers 6 and 7 is "application layer attacks." These attacks are less frequent, but they also tend to be more advanced. Although the number of these attacks is often lower than that of attacks on the system layer, they frequently target specific expensive areas of the application, keeping them unavailable to actual users.
      For example, a barrage of HTTP requests to a login page, a costly search API, or even XML-RPC floods from WordPress (also known as WordPress pingback attacks)

      1. DDoS protection methods
      Decrease of the attack surface:
      Reducing the destroyable surface area is one of the primary strategies to reduce DDoS attacks since it gives you more room to deploy defenses in one location while also giving attackers fewer options. We must make sure that no ports, protocols, or applications are opened up for our application or resources from which they do not anticipate receiving any communication. reducing the potential attack points and enabling us to focus our mitigation actions.
      You can sometimes achieve this by routing direct Internet traffic to particular elements of your system, such as your database servers, and hiding your processing resources inside Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) or load balancers. In other situations, you can use access control lists (ACLs) or firewalls to regulate the traffic that accesses your applications.
        Make a scale plan:
        The two main factors to consider when considering them a major factor in massive DDoS attacks are server attack-absorbing capacity and connectivity (or transit) capacity.
        Capability for transit: Ensure your hosting provider offers sufficient alternative Internet connectivity so you can handle high traffic volumes when you are designing and implementing your applications.
        DDoS attacks' main goal is to reduce the accessibility of your resources and apps; therefore, you should place them near both your end users and significant Internet exchanges so that people can easily access them even when there is a lot of traffic.
        The usage of Content Distribution Networks (CDNs) and smart DNS resolution services, which add another layer of communications infrastructure for providing content and answering DNS requests from places that are frequently closer to your end customers, is another way that web applications can advance.
        The capacity of a server It is necessary that you instantly increase or decrease your computation resources because most DDoS attacks are volumetric attacks that consume a lot of resources. You can achieve this by using greater processing resources or those with capabilities like better networking or more extended network interfaces.
        To avoid overwhelming any one resource, load balancers are frequently used to continuously monitor and distribute loads among them.

        1. Identify normal and abnormal traffic patterns.

          The absolute basics are to be capable of handling only the amount of traffic our host can handle without compromising availability if we notice elevated levels of activity hitting a host. Rate limiting is the name of this idea. By examining each packet individually, more powerful protection systems can go one level beyond and intelligently admit only authorized traffic.

          To do so, you must be able to evaluate each packet based on the quality of excellent traffic that the target typically receives.

        2. Install firewalls to protect against advanced application attacks.

          Using a Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a smart idea to protect your application from attacks like SQL injection and cross-site request forgery. Moreover, given the originality of these assaults, it should be simple to develop tailored mitigations against incorrect requests that might pass as genuine traffic, originate from infected IP addresses, come from unexpected geographic locations, etc.

          The ability to study traffic patterns and develop customized defenses with the help of skilled support can occasionally be useful in preventing attacks as they occur.

         In conclusion

        protecting your website from DDoS attacks is crucial to maintaining its operation, availability, and integrity. You may strengthen your defenses against malicious traffic floods by putting proactive steps in place including using content delivery networks (CDNs), deploying DDoS mitigation solutions, and optimizing server configurations. Furthermore, you can react quickly and efficiently to possible threats by keeping up with DDoS attack trends, keeping an eye on network traffic patterns, and creating incident response plans.

        Keep in mind that preventing DDoS assaults on your website is a continuous activity that calls for planning, attentiveness, and cooperation with reliable security partners. It is possible to reduce the likelihood of DDoS assaults and guarantee that both you and your visitors will have continuous access to your website by placing a high priority on security and implementing a multi-layered defense strategy.

        FAQs

        • What is a DDoS attack, and why is it dangerous?

        A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is a malicious attempt to disrupt the normal functioning of a targeted server, network, or website by overwhelming it with a flood of illegitimate traffic. These attacks can result in downtime, loss of revenue, damage to reputation, and compromised user experience, making them a significant threat to online businesses and organizations.

        • What are some common types of DDoS attacks?

        Common types of DDoS attacks include UDP floods, SYN floods, ICMP floods, HTTP floods, and DNS amplification attacks. Each of these attacks targets different layers of the network or application stack, aiming to exhaust resources and disrupt services.

        • How can organizations defend against DDoS threats effectively?

        To effectively defend against DDoS threats, organizations can reduce the attack surface, implement scalable infrastructure, use Content Delivery Networks, deploy DDoS mitigation solutions, and monitor network traffic patterns for anomalies. Real-time response mechanisms can also be implemented to mitigate ongoing attacks.

        What role do firewalls play in DDoS protection?
        Firewalls act as a barrier between a trusted internal network and untrusted external networks, filtering incoming and outgoing traffic based on predefined rules. In the context of DDoS protection, firewalls can help block malicious traffic, such as SYN flood attacks or application-layer attacks like SQL injection attempts, before they reach the targeted servers or applications.

        Why is it important to have a multi-layered defense strategy against DDoS attacks?
        A multi-layered defense strategy combines various security measures, such as network-level protections, application-level protections, traffic monitoring, and incident response plans, to create comprehensive protection against DDoS attacks. This approach ensures that even if attackers bypass one layer of defense, other layers are in place to detect, mitigate, and respond to threats effectively. It increases the overall resilience of the system and reduces the likelihood of successful DDoS attacks.