A Distributed Denial of Service ( DDoS ) attack occurs when an attacking device blocks or disrupts the communication capacity of elements within your server. It might prevent your server from connecting to the Internet, or it might stop you from connecting to the data server or the blades inside.

How does DDoS function?

In a communication, one user sends an authentication message to a server , and the server then responds with approval for authentication. The exchange begins when user accepts this authentication permission. In the event of a DDoS attack, the user intentionally sends multiple requests for authentication, thereby filling up the file. These requests will have fake return addresses and thus the server will not be able to find the user to send the approval for authentication. After waiting for some time the server closes the connection, and the process starts again when the attacker sends another batch of fake requests. Maintaining blocked website / server for all legitimate needs as long as this chain continues. Attackers use multiple hacked computers and internet connections to send messages to the target server or system that are under their control.

How to defend yourself from a DDoS attack?

To protect against a DDoS attack, there are several approaches that you can apply. Any of those strategies are illustrated below:

Plan with Scale

Bandwidth (or transit) capability and server capacity are two primary considerations for mitigating large-scale volumetric DDoS attacks.

  • Transit capability: Ensure that your hosting company offers ample redundant Internet connectivity while architecting your applications that enables you to manage large amounts of traffic. Since the main goal of DDoS attacks is to affect the availability of your applications and services, they should be located not only close to your end users but also close to giant internet exchanges that will provide your users with easy access to your application during high traffic volumes. In addition, web applications can go a step further by using Content Delivery Networks (CDN) and Smart Domain Name System ( DNS) resolution services that offer an extra layer of network infrastructure to deliver content and resolve DNS queries from places that are much closer to your end users.
  • Server capacity: Many DDoS attacks are volumetric attacks that use too many resources; therefore it is critical that you scale up or down your computing resources quickly. Scaling can be achieved by operating on larger computing resources or those with wider network interfaces or improved networking supporting massive volumes. Load balancers are also commonly used to constantly monitor and shift loads between resources to prevent overloading of any supply.

Reduce Surface Area Attack

Minimize the surface area that can be attacked thus reducing the options open to attackers and allowing you to create defenses in one location.

Enable Firewalls for System Attacks

Installing a Web Application Firewall ( WAF) is one good practice which will help avoid a DDoS attack. The WAF will defend you against attacks such as intrusion of Structured Query Language ( SQL) or cross-site request forgery that attempts to exploit a weakness within your application. Because of the peculiar nature of such attacks, personalized mitigations against unauthorized requests that are disguised as good traffic and requests coming from bad IPs or unexpected geographies should be built effortlessly.

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