One of the most dangerous types of cyberattacks for a small business is a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS attack).
A DDoS can cause your website to go down, leaving your clients frustrated and potential customers turning to your competitors. They are among the hardest types of cyberattack to prevent, unless you have specialist protection.
In today’s article, we’ll talk you through the basics of DDoS attacks. We’ll give you some tips for protecting your website. And finally, we’ll explain how to choose a professional DDoS Protection service.
Unintentional Denial Of Service
At its most basic level, a denial-of-service problem occurs when a website receives too much traffic in a short space of time. This can cause the website to slow down or even crash. Imagine a huge crowd of people trying to get in the front door of a shop at the same time.
Sometimes this happens unintentionally. If you’re a small business, you’re probably not set up to receive a sudden flood of traffic. But some small sites can have this exact problem if they are linked to by a much larger site like Reddit.
It can even happen to the biggest companies in the world. In 2009, the flood of traffic after Michael Jackson’s death even caused Google and Twitter to crash for a short time!
Intentional Denial Of Service
More common is the “intentional” DDoS attack. This is a malicious act by a hacker to disrupt your website by flooding it with traffic in a short space of time.
If you’re lucky, this will just slow down your website. Hopefully, visitors to your site will be patient and wait for the content to load. However, a well-executed DDoS attack will typically cause your whole website to crash.
Unlike other types of cybercrime, which aim to steal information or benefit from the attack (eg spamming your site with their ads), DDoS attacks are typically initiated just to interfere with your services.
There are a vast number of ways that a hacker can target you with a DDoS attack, from spoofs to shrews to SACKs. We’ll go into more detail in a later article.
How To Prevent DDoS Attacks
DDoS attacks are extremely hard to prevent yourself. A typical framework for preventing a DDoS would involve:
- Attack detection – the quicker you can detect an incoming DDoS, the quicker you can take action
- Traffic classification – You need to decide if it’s a malicious DDoS or just a benign increase in web traffic
- Response – If it’s a legitimate DDoS, you will need to block the attack and ensure your website stays up
If you know your way around firewalls, routers, switches and upstream filtering you may want to manage DDoS prevention yourself. However, hackers are evolving all the time so make sure you stay up to date.
If you’d prefer to work with a cybersecurity expert, make sure they offer a full 24/7 service. Our DDoS protection features a managed Web Application Firewall that constantly monitors your website. We’ll immediately block any attack and let you know what’s happened.
What’s more, you don’t need any specialist hardware. DDoS attack protection is included in all of our cybersecurity packages as standard.
If you’d like to discuss how we can protect your website from DDoS attacks as part of our complete managed website security package, please get in touch.