How to Prepare for a DDoS Attack
A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is an attempt by malicious hackers to render a network, server, computer or website inaccessible to its users. DDoS attacks target online service providers who rely on the internet to carry out daily business. Unlike other cyber assaults, DDoS attacks limit an entire network using tools that are easily accessible.
With the current increase in cyber and DDoS attacks, you never know whether your organization will be the next victim. Therefore, it is advisable to stay prepared. Here are tips to ensure that you are prepared to deal with a DDoS attack.
Over-provision your service in advance
Most systems are developed during start up when businesses are on strict budgets. Moreover, company executives may not understand the need to pay for unutilized capacity. For this reason, most companies scale their systems to cater for predictable and legitimate peaks like; Cyber Monday, Black Friday or any other annual peak that may crop up.
In the case of a DDoS attack, your system may experience loads that are greater than your highest peak activity. It could easily use up to 20 times more. Therefore, when speccing computer resources and bandwidth, you should budget for a healthy margin of error. The good news is that the introduction of cloud computing has made this easier. You can effortlessly spin up additional resources to maintain access to services if your system is under attack or meet legitimate resource demands.
Seek professional assistance
There are numerous IT companies that specialize in assisting customers to prepare, prevent and deal with DDoS attacks when they occur. One such company is CloudFlare With the propensity of these attacks increasing every year, it is crucial to involve a firm that understands your needs and offers the right assistance before a DDoS event. Though expensive, a day’s defense against these attacks is the way to do business. Furthermore, if your system is attacked, you would end losing a lot of revenue. Moreover, prevention is better than cure!
During an attack, dump log files fast
DDoS attacks become cheaper to mitigate as a network’s capacity increases. DDoS attacks trigger numerous logging requests that your system cannot keep up with. When logging explodes, it leads to chain reactions and the load causes monitoring devices, servers, and firewalls to fail. Such chain reactions are hard to predict and recover from. Therefore, once you realize you are under attack, do not hesitate to dump your logs especially when they are not offering useful information.
Have a good response plan at hand
During an attack, it would close to impossible to develop a good response plan. Your priority will be stopping the attack and restoring service. The actions taken to restore your system should be guided by a detailed plan developed prior to the event. Design a DDoS cheat sheet that includes a contact list, response procedures, and incident analysis. Your action team should perform the outlined mitigation steps and create a postmortem report on the lessons they learn from the attack. What should be improved and how to avoid a future attack.
DDoS attacks and cyber-attacks are facts of life in our internet dominated world. Thus, the best you can do is to ensure that your business is prepared to deal with such attacks when they occur.