DDoS Attacks And How To Protect Your Business From Them?

DDoS attack is an acronym which means Distributed Denial of Service Attack. Simply put, this is the process of rendering an online service or website unavailable by flooding it with web traffic generated from various sources. A DDoS attack can be likened to a thousand patients struggling to get a haircut from one barber in a one-room saloon. It just can’t work.

One good example of DDoS sources is botnets – a network of computers infected by malwares. Once a computer is infected by any of the dangerous softwares the attackers have created, they can easily be remotely controlled by that attacker, and used to send overwhelming traffic to the target website. This leads to its crash and unavailability. While sophisticated technologies like anti DDoS do exists, businesses must understand the underlying risks of DDoS attack.

How the DDoS Attack Works

The first thing the attackers do is to gain control of as many computers as possible. They do this by spreading malwares across social media and the internet as a whole. Unwary internet users who has any of these malicious softwares in their phones or computers has lost control of their devices. From wherever they are, these attackers use these devices – now botnets – to send incredible traffic to target websites. This is done by sending too many requests to connect to victim’s server, hence exhaust their bandwidth.

Who Should Worry About a DDoS Attack?

The targets of these DDoS attacks are often banks, large ecommerce websites, news websites, payment processors, authority blogs and more. More often than not, the people behind these attacks aim to shut down websites of their competitors; critics and people who do not agree with them. What makes a DDoS attack sensitive is the fact that the traffic comes from thousands and even millions of sources making it impossible to block all attacking botnets.

How to Spot DDoS Attacks

When you notice any of the following symptoms on your website, there is a great chance that it is under a DDoS attack.

  • Network connection becomes too slow (slower than normal)
  • Website suddenly and unexpectedly goes offline.
  • Difficulty to access your website.
  • Flooding of your email address by spam email.
  • General compromise of websites in a given location.

Dealing With DDoS Attacks

It is nearly impossible to prevent these attacks. The most efficient way to handle a DDoS attack is to be able to contain all the traffic your attackers are likely going to be able to send to your website. The obvious implication is that you would probably have to spend heavily on bandwidth. Sticking with event based servers can such as Varnish, Nginx, ATX and their likes allow for more capacity.

Now, more than ever before, businesses need to be security conscious. Continuous security checks, as well as detection and prevention of factors that can predispose websites to DDoS attacks, is very important. It is also recommended that unusual traffic from specific domains and regions be turned off for as long as is needed. In the end, companies like KoDDoS , UltraDNS and their likes can help in the fight against DDoS attacks.

Amol Wagh

Author of Game Marketing Book: Market Your Indie Game Like A Pro! 7 years of Tech Blogging & Digital Marketing. Co-founder at Dotline Inc & a Gamer. Follow me on Twitter @amolwagh, @amol.wagh