Tips on How to Defend Against DDoS Attacks

By Nick Galov

In this digital age, having your cyber space secured is more important than ever. Nowadays, danger seems to lurk behind every virtual corner, with new cyber attack methods popping up too close for comfort. And the cyber security industry is caught in an arms race with cyber crime in an effort to combat these newly emerging threats.

One of the most common threats is DDoS. For those who don’t know, DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) is a type of cyber attack in which the perpetrator clogs up a site and blocks people from visiting it. It’s done by flooding a target site with traffic beyond its scaling capabilities, effectively stopping people from accessing it. Once a hacker has succeeded in pulling this off, they may hold the site for ransom, assuming they aren’t attacking it just for kicks.

DDoS attacks are very common. An average of 20,000 attacks are recorded per day, and most of the victims are stationed in China, followed by the U.S. They are among the easiest kinds of attacks to do, which may explain their prevalence.

So, in the midst of a DDoS attack, how do you defend yourself? Here are some vital tips on how to fend off DDoS strikes.

  • Implement a good response strategy. Before the attack even happens, you may want to have a quick and effective response plan in place. So, when trouble comes your way, you wouldn’t be caught off guard.
  • DDos prevention services. You can always avail of services that are dedicated to stopping DDoS attacks. You’d be able to find a ton of them, but you may want to stick to quality ones, like Cloudflare. Check out the list of reliable mitigation tools here. These services can be quite costly, though. Cloudflare, for instance, can cost you around $200 a month.
  • Learn about the first signs of a DDoS attack. Prevention is always better than cure, as they say. In that vein, it would be smart to get yourself informed about the signals that tell you that a DDoS attack is taking place. This, unfortunately, can prove troublesome, as it often resembles a regular traffic. But there are some giveaways like when the same IP address repeatedly makes requests, a 503 comes up, or there’s a noticeable spike in traffic. You can create an immediate response system by linking these anomalies to an automatically sent email that warns the administration team of a potential threat.
  • Increase bandwidth. As already mentioned, DDoS attack relies on creating an excess of traffic to overflow a website. So, a logical step would be to make your website larger to make it less likely for an attack to do what it was meant to. While it’s true that some strikes are too large for most websites to endure, upscaling can prevent a very large number of them from taking effect.
  • Hop on the Cloud. Using the help of cloud mitigation providers is a good idea. Their advantage is that they have massive bandwidth, meaning, it would take an insane amount of resources for a DDoS attack to have an actual effect. Apart from that, their teams often have multiple defense strategies against DDoS attacks, and they are well informed about the latest tricks. So, you’ll know that your website is in safe hands.

When it comes to cyber attacks, being prepared is only half the battle. But by following these tips, your site will considerably be safer against DDoS attacks, and you’ll have better chances of sparing yourself from all the hassles.

Nick Galov is a Hosting Expert and Content Manager. Nick is on a mission to improve the world of web hosting for some time now. When he got the chance to contribute to the betterment of all kinds of software, he simply couldn’t say no. When not geeking it out, he enjoys lager and football.