DDoS Protection: How Businesses Can Avoid DDoS Attacks

2016 saw a 600% increase in ransomware attacks, with businesses spending well over $1 billion to recover encrypted information. Unfortunately, the trend has persisted into 2017. Companies are reporting increased cyber threats, with effects far beyond the financial purview, including decreased customer trust, stolen intellectual property, and compromised data and hardware. Of these reported security events, an increasing number are DDoS, distributed denial of service. According to current estimates, there are 128,000 DDoS events per week, in the United States alone. And like any cyber threat, DDoS attacks continue to evolve requiring ever more aggressive security.   

Avoiding DDoS Attacks

What are DDoS Attacks and How Can They be Avoided?

DDoS attacks are often described with the following analogy: a group of people crowd around a shop entrance, preventing new customers from entering, and effectively trapping employees inside. DDoS attacks work in much the same way: networks or machines are flooded with superfluous information, creating a barrier that inhibits necessary function. This surplus of information either overloads the system, or prevents legitimate requests from being identified and answered. Depending on the severity of the attack, affected users may notice unusually slow network performance, denied access to certain websites, sharp increases in spam mail, and spotty or otherwise disconnected wireless service. 

Often, DDoS attacks are perpetrated by a botnet, a remote network of internet-connected devices, that have been compromised and infected with malware. Through this botnet, hackers can create thousands of IP addresses to overwhelm their targets. Even if the targeted user manages to block one source of incoming information, there are often hundreds of replacements, making it incredibly difficult to end a DDoS attackHackers will continue to disrupt their victim's normal operations until some requirement – monetary or otherwise – has been met.  

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Moreover, DDoS attacks are becoming increasingly nuanced. As per Verisign's and Incapsula's 2017 report, current findings reveal: 

  •  57% of DDoS events feature multiple attack types, which target different network layers. This is up from 29% in the last quarter of 2016. 
  • 74% of targets experience multiple DDoS attacks. 19% reported 10 or more, a 13.1% increase since the last quarter of 2016.   

The best way to avoid costly, time-consuming DDoS recovery is through proactive cloud-based security. For ways to safeguard your business from DDoS attacks, consider:

  • Moving high-risk lines, for business applications, from internal to cloud-based services
  • Using multiple ISP, Internet Service Provider, lines from different vendors
  • Managing outbound access to prevent/reduce outside reconnaissance
  • Working with a vendor that provides pro-active DDoS protection, such as Azure DDoS Protection Standard

Learn more about iCorps' Managed Security Services:

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