Every day of our lives now there are twice as many websites that are hacked than babies that are born. According to an article from Rival Host, if your website goes down due to an overload of website traffic, you’re probably a victim of the notorious distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
DDoS attacks have become a nightmare for companies with an active online presence. From BBC to Twitter and from Donald Trump’s website to Netflix, 2016 saw some of the most unprecedented cyberattacks in the history of the internet. DDoS attacks have increased 2.5 times over the last 3 years, and are believed to become increasingly frequent in the coming years.
Furthermore, according to a report by Cisco in 2016, the average size of DDoS is accelerating and approaching 1Gbps, which is enough to bring large business offline. Globally, the DDoS attacks grew by 25% in 2015 and are likely to increase by 260% by 2020. From monetary to brand value, DDoS attacks drastically affect every part of the business. The cost a business can incur from a DDoS attack range up to $20,000. The airline Virgin Blue lost $20 million in an IT outage that lasted for 11 days in 2010.
Here are eight unique ways to protect yourself from DDoS attacks.
Create an Action Plan in Advance
Why wait for a DDoS attack to ruin your business? Intelligence is in responding to the potential attacks before they happen.
Focus on creating a system that absorbs a potential DDoS attack. Though creating an action plan in advance is not 100% foolproof way of DDoS protection, it does help in mitigating the risk to a great extent.
An action plan might consist of the following items:
Use sensors that send an alert whenever the website is down.
Inf there is any malicious activity, dump the logs quickly.
Consider contacting your ISP to understand about the free and paid DDoS protection plans.
Confirm the DNS TTL (time-to-live) for systems that can be attacked in the future.
Document your IT infrastructure and create a network topology diagram with an asset inventory.
Purchase DDoS protection products to mitigate the monetary loss due to the attacks.
An action plan comes in handy when your website is under attack because it would reduce the extent of damage caused by the hackers.
Monitor Traffic Levels
A DDoS attack brings an unprecedented amount of traffic to your server, which spikes the traffic beyond your imagination.
In fact, an ideal time for any hacker to strike is when your website is likely to witness a huge amount of traffic such as at Thanksgiving or Christmas time. They mix with the genuine traffic and overloads the server with unprecedented traffic, which eventually crashes the server.
Therefore, the best way to quickly notice a DDoS attack is to look out for abnormal traffic increase to your website. If you expect 500 visitors per 10 minutes, an influx of 4000 visitors per minute should trigger an alert.
Monitoring the traffic and setting threshold limits when traffic goes beyond a certain level will help you in DDoS protection.
Pay Attention to Connected Devices
Internet of things is the latest buzz and a growing topic of conversation both in the workplace and outside. From wearables to retail, healthcare to agriculture, IoT is making an impact in every sector, but even this burgeoning technology is not spared by attackers. Hackers find their way through these connected devices to disrupt the services of a brand.
Paying special attention of the connected devices will help you wade through the DDoS attack. For stronger DDoS protection, change the passwords of the devices regularly, switch off the devices when not in use and verify every device before connecting it.
Until the procession begins, focus on mitigating the threats to protect the connected device and your server.
Train Your Customers On Security
An informed and a trained customer is an asset to your business as they walk with you hand-in-hand for higher DDoS protection. Trust Guard, for example, is holding a free event this summer on e-commerce and online security to be held at Overstock.com’s offices. Everyone is invited to attend. Watch for more information on Facebook and through Newsletters.
Explain to the customers the necessity and dire need of safeguarding their systems because hackers target computers with weak passwords.
Gone are those days when birthdate or family name was considered as a strong password for a computer. Urge your customers to keep difficult passwords to protect their privacy. Furthermore, educate the clients to skip any attachments received from email addresses they don’t recognize.
Today, customer education is an essential component of any company’s strategy for DDoS protection. To proactively guard the customers against such cyber bullies, encourage them to review and follow best practices to secure their device.
Purchase a Dedicated Server
Purchasing a dedicated hosting server will provide you with more bandwidth, control over security, and countless resources. With a dedicated server as your first layer of defense, you can successfully run your online site with thousands of legitimate customers without worrying about anything. Undoubtedly, dedicated servers are expensive, but the benefits clearly outweigh any monetary issue you face due to lack of DDoS protection.
Our DDoS protected dedicated servers provide DDoS protection of 20 Gbps with a bandwidth of 10 terabytes. We manage 100% of the server operation, giving you room to focus on other important business aspects.
Block Spoofed IP Addresses
“Things are not always what they seem; the first appearance deceives many.”
These words hold true, especially for IP address spoofing. For those of you who are new to the word ‘spoofing’ – in simple English, it means ‘presenting the wrong facts in a decorated manner’. Prevention of IP address forgery leads to harmful DDoS attack and you need to focus on the following tips to stop IP address spoofing.
Create an access control list (ACL) to deny all inbound traffic with a particular source IP.
Focus on using reverse path forwarding (RPF) or IP verify. It works similar to an anti-spam solution.
Filter both outbound and inbound traffic to enhance DDoS protection.
Change the configuration of your switches and routers such that they automatically reject packets coming from outside your network.
Focus on encrypting different sessions on your router to allow trusted hosts who are outside your network.
Install Patches and Updates Frequently
Installing updates on open source platforms like WordPress as soon as possible mitigates the risk of attack because the potential security loophole is filled with an update. Therefore, deploy an update within your network as soon as possible. The longer the lag time between the update and the application, the more vulnerable your system becomes.
This is often neglected by many businesses, mainly because of the frequency of updates and they consider it irrelevant to update the application.
Use Proxy Protection
Proxy protection provides an extra layer of DDoS protection for any website and keeps your website safe from complex cyber threats. Our remote DDoS proxy protection hides your real IP from hackers and sends proxy traffic through their mitigation network. The best part is that the entire process occurs without the visitors realizing it. Furthermore, remote proxy protection increases the security and performance of HTTP applications. It’s a must for any business looking to create an impact in the online world.
Bonus Way to Protect Yourself: Set up RST Cookies
RST cookies are a strong defense against the DDoS because the server sends incorrect ACK + SYN to the client and then the client forwards a packet telling the server about the potential error. Therefore, it prevents the business from potential attack.
Online security is serious business. It’s the difference between internet life or death. Choose life. Trust Guard can help with daily security monitoring of your website.
Special thanks to Rival Host for providing us with much of the content for this article. Read their article here.