The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks has advanced in sophistication and frequency which has decreased the internet availability across the globe. The DDoS attacks the users from accessing a website by targeting their network connection. It also targets the system and stops the user from visiting online accounts or emails depending on the affected system. Thus, it has become important for users to know how to protect against a DDoS attack for secure system usage.
For a webmaster, the DDoS attack is a nightmare because it can shutdowns the website for hours or days. When a huge platform like WordPress, CIA or VISA goes down, it means that a DDoS attack is happening. A similar scenario was reported weeks ago when Skype shut down. The hacking group named as ‘Cyber Team’ claimed the attack and reports since then it was a DDoS attack that took down the chat service.
Last year, Netflix, Reddit and New York Times became inaccessible for Internet users across the eastern seaboard of the United States. The reason of inaccessibility was the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against the organization called Dyn which is an internet infrastructure company.
How To Detect a DDoS Attack?
When you encounter a sudden disruption in connections, it is the indication of a DoS attack. To know whether it is an attack or not, you will have to check for any errors that can disrupt the connectivity. Follow these simple steps given below to remove the network errors:
- Unplug your modem or router at power house as well as the network cable.
- Turn your system off.
- Leave it off for five minutes, then plug it again and turn it on.
After performing this activity if your internet connection is still not recovered then you need to call your ISP for technical solution of the problem. They can guide you through the troubleshooting steps for your network and can also find out the route of suspicious traffic that might be a DDoS attack.
How To Protect Against a DDoS Attack?
DDoS attacks are scary and threat to anyone including the average internet user or a website owner. Yet the main target of DDoS attacks are the big organizations who earn massive capital, are connected to national security and web hosting. If you do not fall into this category then the kind of attack you may suffer, will be less technical and less sophisticated which can be easily prevented and even blocked. Following are the measures that can protect you against DDoS attack:
Install the latest updates to your servers
The attackers always look for flaws in your network which they can exploit. As soon as new security updates become available for server software, one should update them immediately. Do not leave outdated software as an open door for the attacker. Stay aware and keep all software updated.
Purchase Maximum bandwidth
Higher bandwidth is difficult to clog for an attacker which is why it is the most expensive yet easiest solution. More bandwidth is capable of accommodating sudden and unexpected surges in traffic. Over provision of bandwidth cannot stop a DDoS attack but it may give you some time to take action before your connection gets overwhelmed.
Talk Your ISP or Hosting Provider
ISP can help in protecting against a DDoS attack. The time when you detect an attack, tell your ISP and ask for help. In any emergency contacts of hosting provider and ISP should be kept ready. The detection of a DDoS attack by ISP or host provider greatly relies on the strength of the attack.
If your web server is located in the hosting center then it has lesser chances of a DDoS attack. The reason is that the hosting center has greater bandwidth and capacity of routers as compared to one who runs by it themselves. Also, the staff of the hosting center has more experience of such attacks and can deal with it more easily.
In the case of huge DDoS attack, a hosting company or ISP will firstly “null route” your traffic which will drop the packets for your web server before they reach you.
Use a VPN
A Virtual Private Network can definitely help you in how to protect against a DDoS attack. A VPN will hide your IP address behind a virtual wall. When you use a VPN, your internet traffic first passes through the ISP before it passes to the open internet. VPN gives you a sudo IP address and protects your original IP from hackers. In the case of a DDoS attack first, it will hit the VPN server and then reach your network after it is screened out.
Use an Antivirus
No matter what but anti-virus software is still the first-line defense to block IP detection. They can prevent and protect you against a DDoS attack. Moreover, an antivirus is good in protecting the device against a Trojan virus and turn as members of botnet themselves. Ensure that you have an anti-virus protection on all devices that are connected to your network. Also, make sure to turn on the automatic updates download for your security software.
For protecting your device against DDoS attack, one important thing is to be prepared for it. Investing in a strong mitigation technique is worth if you compare it with the impact that a DDoS attack can affect your company financially. The cost of preventing a DDoS attack is much less than the cost which is associated with being attacked.
The distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks is not new but it has grown rapidly in last few months. Due to this internet users thinking about how to protect against a DDoS attack. The best protection against a DDoS attack is to stay vigilant when the increase in the flow of traffic occurs. Detecting it in the early stage can definitely protect you overcoming the intensity of damaging your system data.