How to Prevent DDoS Attacks

It is vital to learn how to protect your website against DDoS attacks. These attacks are now a major threat to the internet. They can even cripple SMBs. Here’s what you need to know.

DDoS: A quick explanation

Before you start thinking about how to protect your website from DDoS attacks, it’s a good idea to make sure that you actually understand what they are.

DDoS is Distributed Denial of Service. DDoS attacks are basically spam traffic flooding the system until it is inaccessible to legitimate users.

The signature of infrastructure-level DDoS attacks is often quite obvious. For example, it could be that all IP addresses originate from the same country, and that country is one where you have very little traffic.

Levels six and seven attacks are typically smaller but more sophisticated. They are more likely to target one specific area of a website (such as the login page or the payment page) than the entire website. You can use the same strategy to fix them, find the signature, and block it. However, it may be more difficult to do so.

How to protect your website from DDoS attacks

Prevention is better than treatment when it comes to malware and DDoS attacks on your website. Here are some ways to help protect your website against DDoS attacks.

You can buy as much bandwidth as your budget will allow.

It is more difficult to bring down your website with a DDoS attack if you have more bandwidth. You will pay more for bandwidth if you have more. Therefore, it is important to do a cost-benefit analysis. You should, however, aim to purchase as much bandwidth and as many services as you can afford.

Consider carefully what your website allows users to do.

Although it may seem harsh, any user who takes an action on your website can be used as a vector of attack. Even logging in can be used as a way to inject malicious code into your website. Uploading files is probably the most vulnerable aspect of DDoS attacks. It is recommended that you limit the file sizes that can be uploaded if you allow this. Otherwise, this could be used to launch DDoS attacks.

Install a vulnerability scanner for your website

Quite bluntly, these days, if you’re running a business website, you need a website vulnerability scanner. There are many options available at affordable prices that even small businesses can afford. Although different website vulnerability scanners have different functions, all decent options should include an anti-malware product as well as a web application firewall.

It’s the second that is important in the context of DDoS. It can be used to limit the traffic to your site and to determine which parts are accessible to them.

Implement flexible infrastructure

Flexibility in your infrastructure can help you reduce the impact of DDoS attacks while you work to find the cause and the solution. Talking to your ISP may be worthwhile to determine what assistance they can offer you in the case of a DDoS attack. Although they might not be capable of increasing your bandwidth directly they may be able to help you re-route traffic as they are happening and ease the burden for your website.

Smart DNS resolution services are also available. It is easy to re-route users to another location in the case of a DDoS attack or if your primary endpoint is unavailable.

Content Distribution Network is another option. This reverses the traditional model where users are “pulled” to your site. Instead, the CDN determines the location of your users and “pushes” your content to the nearest data center.

Load balancers are also a good option. They do exactly what they name. Load balancers can be an invaluable tool in keeping servers from overloading.

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