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7 steps for fighting off DDoS attacks

Admin Globaldots
27.10.2015
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Cyber attacks of all kinds are on the rise. Unfortunately, it’s still a trend to ignore the threat known as DDoS, despite the fact that DDoS attacks are increasing annually. It’s important to understand that attacks are simply not going away. The Internet will probably never become a perfectly safe place, but being prepared and taking some key steps can take you a long way to safety. You need acknowledge that you’re vulnerable and that DDoS attacks are easy to launch and tough to stop; simple, cheap, unsophisticated, and effective. We’ll break this article into 7 steps to help you understand what you can do to make your website safer and fight off DDoS as efficient as possible.

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Step 1 – Have a good response plan ready

If you experience a DDoS attack, you likely won’t have a chance to develop a response plan at the time of impact. Your services will be degraded, if not disabled completely, and your highest priority will be restoring service and stopping the attack. Everyone works better during a crisis when there is a procedure, with checklists and next actions already clearly laid out. Get your team together, talk about response, break it into scenarios and write the plan down. Preparedness is key to fighting back. Conduct drills that take digital communication totally off line, so you can develop a back-up communication plan. Having a DDoS specialist on speed dial is always a smart call. Actively monitor the network.

Step 2 – verify that there is an attack

Rule out common causes of an outage, such as DNS misconfiguration, upstream routing issues and human error. Your approach to the problem at hand is critical. You need to know what it is that you’re dealing with before you can apply a specific solution. How you deal with a specific crisis is crucial, since there is no general way of solving any issue, only of engaging a problem – as prepared and calmed as possible. Gather the operations and applications team and verify which areas are being attacked.

Step 3 – Classify the attack

Is it a volumetric attack? A slow and low attack? Your service provider will tell you if the attack is solely volumetric and may already have taken remediation steps.

Step 4 – Triage your applications

Make triage decisions to keep your high-value apps alive. When you’re under an intense DDoS attack and you have limited resources and limited response time, focus on protecting revenue generators. Decide whatapps are the most important and rationalize your time and resources.

Step 5 – Protect remote users and evaluate source address mitigation options

Whitelist the IP addresses of trusted remote users that require access and mainlist this list. lock small lists of attacking IP addresses at your firewall. Block larger attacks with geolocation. Don’t hesitate to dump your logs quickly once you know you’re under attack and they’re not giving you any more useful information.

Step 6 – Mitigate application layer attacks and leverage your security perimeter

Identify the malicious traffic and whether it’s generated by a known attack tool. Specific application-layer attacks can be mitigated on a case-by-case basis with distinct countermeasures. You should focus on your application layer defence as well – think about login walls, human detection, or Real Browser Enforcement. Proper configuration of server applications is critical in minimizing the effect of a DDoS attack.

Step 7 – Manage public relations

If the attack becomes public, prepare a statement and notify internal staff. If industry policies allow it, be forthright and admit you’re being attacked. The manner of your public announcement is a very important step, because it shows your company’s determence in a crisis situation and it will greatly impact your business relationships, both present and future. You need to show your customers that your company is working as hard and professonal as possible to minimize the damage

Companies are choosing the cloud-based DDoS protection and direct management of DNS services optimize the response to malicious event. Cloud-based services live outside of a company’s data center in order to secure traffic before it reaches company infrastructure. There are two primary types of Cloud-based anti-DoS/DDoS services: those that route suspicious traffic to a centralized location where malicious traffic is filtered out, and Website Protection Services that utilize CDN to absorb and inspect malicious traffic across a distributed network of servers to shield company websites and applications.

If everything else fails, you have a bigger problem and need professional assistance, you can call GlobalDots for further help.

Further reading: http://www.ddosattacks.net/

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