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DDoS Attacks: How to Detect and Prevent Them Effectively

Distributed Denial-of-Service(DDoS) attack is a type of Denial-of-Service(DoS) attack. The DDoS attacks are carried out by flooding a website with fake traffic using multiple machines. Online traffic is good for a website. However, fake traffic can prevent users who intend to browse the website from doing so.

 

DDOS Attack Image

 

Source: Medium

The slight difference between DoS and DDoS attacks is that DoS attacks are done using a single machine. For this reason, DDoS is the bigger problem as it is harder to control multi-device attacks because of the immense quantity of traffic.

 

According to the Cisco Visual Networking Index, the number of DDoS attacks is estimated to go up to 14.5 million by 2022. In addition to that, from the Cox Blue statistics, we see that the cost of such an attack can be anywhere between $20,000-$40,000 per hour.

Now, let’s look into the biggest DDoS attack ever, the Github DDoS attack in February of 2018. Fake traffic flooded in at the rate of 1.3 Tbps and packets were sent at 129.6 million per second. Now it gets better. Since Github uses DDoS Protection, they received notifications warning them of the attack within 10 minutes of the attack. Github successfully ceased the attack. The entire attack lasted only for 20 minutes.

Like Github, your website is prone to similar DDoS attacks. And just like Github, you ought to take preventive measures to ensure no damage is done. This post will help you learn how to detect a DDoS attack and how to protect your website from such attacks.

 

How to Detect DDoS Attacks?

1. Compare Traffic Patterns

Compare the regular traffic you receive and the current traffic that you are receiving. If there is an unusual spike in the amount of traffic, then you might want to check it out. There is a good chance of it being fake traffic.

 

2. Compare Signatures and IP Addresses

A set of rules called signature is used to detect DDoS attacks. Network scanners use signatures to detect attacks identified earlier and respond with predefined actions. Therefore, comparing signatures can detect and to a certain extent stop DDoS attacks.

Similarly, comparing the IP addresses of previous attackers with the IP addresses of the users increasing online traffic will also help prevent an attack.

 

3. Monitor Huge Traffic From a Single IP Address or Country

A sudden spike in online traffic from a single IP address or geolocation is very suspicious. You should definitely monitor it and proceed with appropriate actions.

 

Ways to Prevent DDoS Attacks

Since we’ve discussed how to detect a DDoS attack, we need to now learn how to prevent it.

 

1. Firewall

Firewalls generally prevent unauthorized users from accessing private networks. On this basis of protocol, port, or origin, a firewall also prevents unwanted traffic from entering the server. It is very crucial to employ a rock-solid firewall.

 

 

Source: Astra

Astra’s firewall provides 24-hour protection against more than 100 threats including  SQLi, XSS, bad bots, and spam. It makes sure only Human traffic reaches your website, thus effectively preventing DDoS attacks.

 

2. Sinkholing and Blackholing

To prevent a DDoS attack, you can redirect the false traffic to an alternative server known as a sinkhole. This process is Sinkholing.

Blackholing is also known as DDoS Blackhole Routing. In this case, the fake traffic is directed to a “Blackhole” and is then lost. This method is utilized widely when websites cannot use proper DDoS protection. However, if it is not executed properly, traffic will be directed indiscriminately, meaning you will lose human traffic as well.

 

3. IPS Based Prevention

Intrusion Prevention System(IPS) is used to monitor the network to detect and identify threats. This software or application mainly uses a firewall and traffic filtering solutions. However, an IPS works by recognizing illegitimate content. These days, traffic contains legitimate content. Therefore, the IPS based solution will not be of much help in this scenario.

 

4. DDS Based Defense

DoS Defense System (DDS) overcomes the shortcoming of IPS. It can prevent attacks containing legitimate content. It can be used to prevent various types of DDoS attacks.

 

5. Pen testing

Pen testing or penetration testing is a form of ethical hacking. To conduct a pen test, you can hire third-party hackers or cybersecurity specialists to hack and penetrate into your system. This method helps identify the errors and defects in the system. You can identify how attackers might exploit your weakness and send fake traffic. By rectifying these flaws, you can prevent DDoS attacks. Astra Security provides in-depth website security audit & help your developer to patch the vulnerabilities

 

 

Source: Astra

Conclusion

DDoS attacks can potentially ruin your website. In addition to that, the cost of reviving the website is also very high. Therefore, protecting your website from DDoS attacks is very important. This article will definitely help you learn more about the attacks, how to detect and prevent them.

 

We highly recommend that you check out this amazing website security product called Astra. Its makes your website security a 5 minute affair! 

 

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