Distributed Denial of Service Attacks and Protection
You might have heard of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attack in the news. It is a very common attack method used by hackers today. In a sense, nobody is really “hacking” your network. No data is stolen, and you don’t need to report it to the authorities, but it is an attack on your network. What a DDOS attack does is flood your Internet bandwidth so legitimate traffic cannot get to your site.
The most common example of this is an attack on a website. If you sell widgets from your website, and your clients cannot get to the site, then this costs you money. What people don’t always realize is that this is only the tip of the iceberg. What if hackers blocked access to your corporate headquarters? Nobody in your office would be able to get email, access slack, or connect to the Internet. What if your data center suddenly was inaccessible? If your website is just used for advertising, it being down for a few hours might be okay, but if your data center was offline, this could be a game changer.
There are ways to mitigate this, but just like all IT projects it needs to be well thought out. If you are in a datacenter, many places will offer you DDOS protection for a fee. If you are trying to protect your headquarters, then you might need to buy an appliance or use a cloud service. You cannot just block an IP and think you are done. Attacks come from hundreds if not thousands of IP addresses and it is impossible to block it all on your firewall.
Attackers are also getting smarter and are using DDOS attacks to distract your security team while they attack other parts of your network. These types of attacks used to just be focused on the largest companies, but the cost to generate this type of attack has dropped, so almost anyone can do it now. Unfortunately, every size company must now look at mitigation technique