For businesses, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks are particularly dangerous. And with Microsoft preventing “an average of 1,435 [DDoS] attacks per day” in 2022, it is clear that these attacks are unnervingly common.
That is why it is essential to take proactive steps to prevent DDoS attacks from happening. This guide will unveil everything organizations need to know about DDoS attacks, along with the security measures that can help businesses shield themselves from them for stronger cybersecurity postures.
What are DDoS attacks?
Distributed denial-of-service attacks are a type of cyber-attack that aims to undermine the regular functioning of a network by flooding it with compromised traffic. The threat actor accomplishes this by using a network of infected devices—botnets—to target the victim’s IP address with requests. The sheer volume of requests overwhelms the network, causing it to crash. Since the tools that make up botnets (for example, Internet of Things devices) appear as valid traffic, it is difficult to detect and isolate them.
What types of DDoS attacks are there?
For distributed denial-of-service cyber threats, there are different types of attacks. They include:
- Volumetric attacks: Uses up the available bandwidth between the Internet and the victim.
- Protocol attacks: Takes advantage of vulnerabilities in Internet communication procedures. These types of attacks are designed for whole networks. Smurf DDoS and SYN floods are two examples of protocol attacks.
- Application-layer attacks: A targeted disruption that focuses on individual applications rather than whole systems. Threat actors send a large volume of HTTP requests that prevent the server from responding.
Are DDoS attacks and DoS attacks different?
Despite their similarities, there are several differences between distributed denial-of-service attacks and denial-of-service (DoS) attacks. As DDoS attacks use multiple sources to generate traffic, they can be executed at faster rates compared to DoS attacks that come from one location. Generally speaking, DoS attacks are not as complex compared to DDoS threats as they use fewer resources.
How can DDoS attacks damage businesses?
Like with all entities in the cyber threat landscape, DDoS attacks can pose a significant threat to a business’s operations.
DDoS attacks can harm your business in the following ways:
- Lost revenue: If a DDoS attack downs your network, it can slow your organization down, leading to less profit. And the longer the attack lasts, the more financial losses occur.
- Damage to reputation: The longer your systems remain down, the more trust your customers may lose in your business.
- Damaged cybersecurity posture: DDoS attacks can force companies to shift their attention and resources to deal with the immediate threat. Oftentimes, threat actors use DDoS to distract organizations while they carry out other attacks. This can make a network more vulnerable to cyber risks and undermine a business’s overall cybersecurity posture.
How can businesses detect a DDoS attack?
Since the traffic generated by a DDoS attack can look similar to legitimate traffic, detecting it in real time can be challenging.
However, there are some signs that indicate a distributed denial-of-denial service attack has occurred:
- Increased traffic from one IP address.
- A dramatic increase in requests to an endpoint or single page.
- Traffic from a suspicious number of users with the same characteristics (e.g., the users are all in the same location).
- Unusual traffic patterns at certain times of the day or suspicious trends in traffic.
How to prevent DDoS attacks
Preventing DDoS attacks requires a strong cybersecurity posture that leverages a multi-layered approach to risk management and mitigation.
To mitigate the chances of your business experiencing DDoS attacks, you can leverage the following solutions:
- Web application firewalls (WAFs): These solutions act as barriers between the Internet and web applications, overseeing and managing HTTP traffic.
- Network monitoring solutions: Security programs that oversee an organization’s IT network and identify suspicious activity.
- Utilize the cloud: Public clouds offer more bandwidth for businesses, along with innovative security controls and tools. A cloud environment has the means to deal with DDoS attacks without straining company resources.
- Security posture assessments: Analyzing your cybersecurity posture in relation to the cyber threat landscape will help you fix any weaknesses. You can use this examination as an opportunity to create a response plan focusing on DDoS attacks.
Improve your cybersecurity posture and protect yourself from DDoS attacks with the experts
DDoS attacks are a significant threat to companies. And like the cyber threat landscape, they are sure to evolve and become more sophisticated. The cybersecurity experts at ION247 can strengthen your cybersecurity posture with the latest anti-threat solutions.
Whether you need help improving your business’s security status with endpoint protection solutions or you want a group of IT security specialists monitoring your network to reduce security threats (including data breaches), contact the team at ION247 today to deploy cost-effective security measures that will mitigate DDoS attacks and protect your organization’s IT infrastructure.