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Stop a DDoS Attack Before It Happens: How to Guide

Posted by QuoteColo on July 28, 2017 - Updated on May 02, 2017

DDoS attacks are extremely destructive. They can take down your entire site and, worse, they’re fairly easy to deploy. To avoid becoming a victim, learn what you can do to prevent these attacks.

What Is a DDoS Attack?

Before we dig into the prevention guide, you should know what a DDoS attack entails. The acronym stands for “Distributed Denial of Service.” Its purpose is to send so much “traffic” to a single system that it becomes overwhelmed, shuts down and denies service.

The hacker does this by first taking over other systems, usually through the use of a Trojan Horse. As the attack can use hundreds of thousands of systems, you can’t simply block IP addresses to stop it. Over the years, these attacks have been successful in shutting down major corporations, so they’re definitely a serious threat to everyone.

Early Detection Is Key

While there’s no way you can completely stop a DDoS before it gets started, you can do certain things to end its momentum, which can ensure your site doesn’t actually go down.

The best thing you can do is learn how your network functions so you can detect the threat as it begins. Right now, go back and check how much bandwidth your site typically uses every day. Then, if you see it spike out of nowhere, you’ll know it’s time to take preventative measures. Obviously, it could spike for a number of reasons. Maybe your company just made a big announcement, but barring any exception like that, you should be able to tell when the trouble is starting.

Stay Current on Security

There’s no excuse to not update your patches or firewall. These safeguards won’t be enough to prevent a determined hacker, but they’ll keep a DDoS from letting in other attacks while the initial one is occurring.

Speak with Your ISP

Your Internet service provider can help when a DDoS occurs. Talk to them today about what their protocol is and what they’d like you to do in the event you become targeted.

Some ISPs don’t offer any protection and don’t even have any practices they follow when one of their customers is attacked. If that’s the case, you may want to switch to another. A lot of them will simply shut your site down if you are attacked until they know you don’t pose a threat to other users.

Set Up a Redundant ISP

Another very helpful step you can take is to set up a redundant ISP. That way, if you are attacked, you can switch over to this other one and your website will stay up and can continue doing business.

Invest in an In-Path Deployment DDoS Mitigation Device

Finally, you can invest in a very potent form of protection called an in-path high-performance DDoS mitigation device. This is a piece of software that is designed solely to analyze the traffic coming to your site and assessing if it has malicious intent.

In short, once it realizes a DDoS is starting, it will figure out what the dangerous type of traffic has in common. It will then reroute that traffic to another server that will begin mitigating the damage.

A step down from that is an in-path detection system. This measure will use mirrored data packets to carry out in-depth analysis, though not necessarily in the stream of traffic. If you have a security team, this will give them the information they need to decide if a DDoS attack is occurring. While it can be tough to scale this solution, it will definitely be worth it if it keeps a DDoS attack from succeeding.

Rest assured that there are plenty of companies out there trying to figure out how to stop DDoS attacks from happening. Until they succeed, though, you’ll want to keep the above in mind.

Categories: Network Security

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