What Is a DDoS Attack and How to Prevent It

July 2019

There are few things as difficult to deal with as a DDoS attack. While a DDoS attack is fairly common, that’s actually a major part of its danger: it’s a brute force attack that can be hard to both identify and defend against. Here’s everything you need to know about a DDoS attack and how to prevent it from bringing down your website or servers.

What is a DDoS Attack?

“DDoS” stands for Distributed Denial of Service, which merits some explanation. When a device requests something from a server, a server needs to consume resources in order to respond to that request. Under a DDoS attack, a large number of devices are used to initiate requests from the server all at once. This is the distributed component to the attack.

When a server encounters a sustained barrage of requests, it may either slow down or crash. A DDoS attack is used to take a server down, or to attempt to disrupt the server so that it becomes otherwise vulnerable to malicious programs. The fact that a DDoS attack can be so simple to perform, makes it so dangerous. As IoT and mobile devices have become popular, DDoS attacks have become more dangerous, because there are more devices available that can be used in such an attempt.

DDoS attacks can be completed in many ways: through a network, application, DNS solution, or other items of infrastructure. Consequently, they can be difficult to defend against.

Who is Vulnerable to a DDoS Attack?

Any server is vulnerable to a DDoS attack, from the smallest of websites to the largest of enterprise networks. A DDoS attack can be directed at a specific person or server or it can be randomized. Someone connecting to a website over and over to exceed its bandwidth limitations, for instance, is still a DDoS attack. Likewise, using a distributed botnet to attack a large enterprise network with tens of thousands of devices is also a DDoS attack.

For most businesses, it isn’t a matter of whether they will experience a DDoS attack, but rather when they will experience a DDoS attack.

How Do You Defend Against a DDoS Attack?

There are many methods of DDoS prevention, but they are contingent upon being able to identify a DDoS attack when it occurs. In some situations, a DDoS attack might not be automatically distinguishable from periods of high traffic.

Organizations concerned about DDoS attacks may:

  • Invest in a Server with Built-In DDoS Protection – Built-in DDoS protection will be able to identify periods of abnormally high traffic and preemptively deny these connections to improve upon the overall performance of the server.
  • Invest in a Cloud-Based DDoS Mitigation Solution – There are solutions that a company can invest in that will automatically detect and mitigate DDoS attacks across the organization’s infrastructure.
  • Invest in Software-Based DDoS Solutions – Various types of software are available for network-wide filtering or protection on the server level. Check with your provider to see if they use any software internally for DDoS protection.

Defending against a DDoS attack is ultimately going to come down to having the right technology in place. You can get started now by requisitioning a dedicated server with built-in DDoS protection. Contact ReliableSite today to find out more.