Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks threaten any online business. This blog post is about how to combat this website-destroying threat with one of the most effective solutions possible – a DDoS Protected VPS.
In this post, you will learn about the potential risks of a DDoS with useful figures from the impacts of recent DDoS attacks. You will also learn about the many myths and facts in this area. To conclude, we will discuss an effective solution to safeguarding your server against future DDoS attacks.
One thing is certainly true: A DDoS can bring your business to a halt and cause it to go offline in mere minutes. Simply put, any visitor will not be able to access your website.
This is because these attacks overwhelm a server’s resources and/or bandwidth to stop users from accessing their desired online applications.
It is a good idea to also be aware of the actual risk of suffering a DDoS attack, before investing any of your money on an Anti-DDoS solution.
Let’s start analyzing the level and types of risk that you are likely to face.
What is the real risk of a DDoS Attack?
While causing your website to be inaccessible may seem only an inconvenience, it is common for DDoS attacks to be used for far more dangerous cybercrime activities. These can include activities such as Virus infections, Malware activations, Network Breaches, Data Breaches, Financial Theft, and so on.
Credit: Softpedia News
Let’s look at the most common risks associated with a DDoS attack.
#1 Loss of Revenue.
Your online business is likely a major source of revenue. Consider the amount of revenue you could lose if you came under attack from a DDoS. Imagine if your critical web applications or services stopped responding.
A recent survey of 1010 organization by Newstar.biz and Harris Interactive showed that as many as 84% of organizations were hit with at least one attack during the last 12 months, compared to 73% in 2016.
Out of all organizations, a majority of 63% accepted a loss of revenue during their peak sales time. This was all directly caused by the DDoS’s disruption.
During the peak sales time, the hourly revenue loss caused by a DDoS attack depends on the type and size of the organization. Astoundingly, nearly 66% reported a loss of revenue that came in between $25k to $250k.
#2 Data Breach
DDoS attacks frequently provide camouflage for more damaging and lucrative crimes. This can mean, for example, finding illegal access points to your network and stealing sensitive information.
To deal with this, security staff must be vigilant. This is not only to reduce the effects of the DDoS itself, but also to maintain awareness towards any possible subsequent intrusion.
They must also make multiple backups of mission critical data, ideally distributed redundantly across multiple locations. These must be secured against potential exposure or deletion.
#3 Loss of Customer Confidence
Network and Web service availability is crucial for maintaining customer trust. It is likewise important for their satisfaction, which leads directly to the ease of acquiring new customers. We hardly need to say that this is hugely important in such a competitive market.
In a DDoS attack, critical infrastructure is usually targeted. Unsurprisingly, this can impact network performance.
This leads directly to unsatisfied customers. Perhaps they will move elsewhere, or perhaps word of mouth will spread regarding this dissatisfaction, making it more difficult to attract valuable new clients.
This presents a major concern for service providing industries, such as Web Hosting providers, which rely heavily on customer trust to maintain their business.
#4 Degradation of Reputation
Brand recognition is a key factor in business success. When an organization is incapable of providing its services, customers lose their confidence in your brand. In turn, this may degrade your reputation within the industry.
A relevant and famous piece of business wisdom comes to mind:
Once a business’s reputation has degraded or been lost, it becomes an uphill battle for an organization to bounce back. Getting new clients to trust them ever again becomes a herculean task.
In recent months, cyber attackers have become more interested in ransoming. This is by threatening organizations with a DDoS attack against their most important, mission-critical online systems.
Normally, cyber criminals will simply send out a message threatening to carry out a RDDoS (Ransom driven DDoS attack), unless the requested ransom is paid by a given deadline.
Occasionally, cybercriminals may also launch a small DDoS attack. This is simply to prove that they are both serious and capable. They will then probably proceed to hold company services ransom as per the above until a ransom is paid.
#6 Incremental Help Desk Expenses
When your services stop responding, your clients will flood you with calls and service desk emails. To deal with the increased volume, additional Help Desk expenses will be incurred. This is because it will be necessary for the organization to have everyone at their desk, lest it risk drowning under customer complaints.
Experience also shows that Hosting providers have a higher risk of suffering a DDoS attack compared to most other online businesses. This is because an attack on one customer can aggregate the risk onto all customers, due to the Hosting provider’s reliance on shared infrastructure for its customers websites.
Facts and figures about DDoS Threats
The quantity of DDoS attacks increased in Q2 2017.
DDoS attacks can be recorded live in clearly visualized maps! Interestingly, you can get more specific DDoS attack method information in the place outlined in red on the map below.
Live visualization of DDoS Attacks Around The Globe
The Digital Attack Map draws the live data of current DDoS attacks as they occur across the globe. You can visually examine the type and channel of the DDoS attacks.
Volumetric attacks are simpler to do, as they rely on volume. Application layer DDoS are, on the other hand, often quite difficult to launch, although their impact can be large.
Application layer DDoS attacks such as get, push, and post floods are harder to identify, as they are not designed for denial of service. Instead, they target vulnerabilities and openings to gain entry into a system.
Glance at the attack report below, which shows common attack vectors.
Credit: State of the Internet Security Report Q2 2017 | Akamai.com
UDP fragment, DNS, and NTP are the top three DDoS attack vectors.
Intriguingly, Infrastructure Layer DDoS attacks made up 98.99% of all attacks in Q2 2017.
Infrastructure attacks can’t be stopped with a single type of traffic protection. To successfully defend against ddos, a complete Anti-DDoS solution which safeguards against all the DDoS attack types and methods is needed.
|My webhosting provider manages my website, so I don’t need to worry about how to prevent DDoS attacks.||The hosting environment is customized differently depending on the website. A Webhost thus cannot implement a universal fool-proof anti-DDoS solution, given the unique traffic characteristics for each website. What works to protect one website may not work for another.|
|My VPS operating system has a firewall installed. This firewall can protect against DDoS attacks.||Firewalls work on a list of allow and deny rules. An attacker can target your open firewall ports, the very same that are used to allow legitimate users. It follows that complex attacks can’t be handled with the VPS’s software firewall.|
|My enterprise Cloud Server includes a complete security solution.||Volumetric attacks, system crashes and disaster recoveries constitute the focus for cloud security technologies.This is not a complete anti-DDoS solution for a website or a server.|
|My website is not too popular. It thus can’t be targeted by a DDoS attack.||These attacks are distributed, and they do not discriminate based on the size of an organization. Any website lacking DDoS Protection can become the victim of such attacks.|
|My webhost’s datacenter has a DDoS mitigation solution installed to protect my website.||A variety of Anti-DDoS solutions exist on the market. They may or may not be adequate to handle any given type of attack. You need to ensure that the DDoS solution protects against all known DDoS attacks and mitigates the load while under an attack.|
What motivates hackers to undertake DDoS attacks?
Mostly, attackers will demand that you pay them a hefty sum of money to avoid any service disruption in the first place.
For an individual or an organization, it is difficult to identify the exact reason behind DDoS attacks. This is because of the secret sources which are controlling the computers that send false traffic requests to the targeted system.
Now, you must now be wondering “What actually motivates hackers to undertake DDoS attacks?”.
Well, there is a diverse set of reasons. Let’s visualize some with the following infographics, detailing the most common nasty motivations.
You are now certainly wondering about a certain question: “Why should you tolerate reputational damage, profit loss, and costly downtimes?”
The answer is, you don’t have to tolerate this. There is an effective remedy, the DDoS Protected VPS.
What is a DDoS Protected VPS?
A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) protected VPS is a VPS with DDoS mitigation included. This is also named an ‘Anti-DDOS VPS’, indicating that it is situated on a server or server farm that is hardened against DDoS attacks.
This requires a high data transmission limit. It also requires solid hardware firewalls that can halt a DDoS attack in its steps, before it can get up to any mischief.
A DDoS Protected VPS should be capable of resisting the common types of DDOS attacks listed below.
- DDoS volumetric attacks (a fake traffic flood.)
- Protocol-based attacks (malicious traffic which affects the way data is transferred.)
- Attacks on a specific server or user applications (e.g. WordPress.)
Most cheap hosting providers do not include protection against DDoS attacks. This is because it leads to higher running costs.
AccuWebHosting includes DDoS protection. This goes up to 5Gbps even with their basic services. If you need more, higher volume protection is easy to buy.
You should also ask your provider how much clean data can pass through and the extent to which an attack can be resisted during a DDoS attack.
It is also important to know the answer to the following question!
Which types of DDoS Attacks can be stopped with a DDoS Protected VPS?
To eliminate DDoS attacks, a DDoS Protected VPS is the most reliable solution. In short, it will stop ddos attack and prevent attackers from disrupting your systems.
Let’s look through the most popular types of attacks which can be halted with a DDoS Protected VPS.
#1. ICMP (Ping) Flood
ICMP (Ping) flooding is one of the most prevalent Denial of Service attacks. With this attack, the attacker takes the victim’s system down by overwhelming it with ICMP echo requests.
The attackers send packets as quickly as possible, not even waiting for the server to reply. The victim’s server will respond with an ‘Echo’ response. These will eventually cause the system to go non-responsive or slow down.
#2. UDP Flood
UDP flooding is an alternative method of DDoS attack in which the attacker overwhelms random ports on the target server. The main goal of such an attack is simply to flood random ports on a given remote server.
The victim’s server checks for the application associated with the port and sends the answering packet. Of course, given the volume of requests, the system will ultimately become inaccessible to other clients.
#3. Ping of Death
The Ping of Death is a particularly scary type of Denial of Service attack in which the attackers attempt to crash, destabilize, or freeze the targeted server by sending malformed or oversized packets, using a ping command.
This can cause the memory buffers allocated to the packet to overflow, causing denial of service for the legitimate packet. Generally, PoD attacks exploit legacy weaknesses present in an unpatched or vulnerable system.
#4. HTTP Flood
With HTTP flooding, the attackers manipulate HTTP and POST requests to attack a web server or an application. Such attacks generally exploit interconnected systems which have been maliciously taken over with malware, such as Trojan Horses.
This attack is most effective when it forces the server or application to allocate the maximum possible quantity of resources in response to each single request.
#5. SYN Flood
A SYN flood exploits a well-known weakness in the TCP connection sequence. It is a unique form of a DDoS attack in which the attackers send a succession of SYN requests to the target system, which will consume server resources in the process. This will ultimately render the system inaccessible for legitimate traffic.
In this DDoS attack, the offender sends TCP connection requests faster than the target machine can handle. This can easily cause network saturation.
As we have seen demonstrated, DDoS attacks have become unfortunately prevalent. They are frequently used for disrupting basically any online business, and can significantly impact revenue.
Regardless of the size, type, popularity, or target audience of a website or an application, a DDoS attack can strike. To reiterate, these attacks overload an organization’s network by generating web traffic which cannot be reasonably handled by the system itself.
Even if you have used various measures to mitigate the diverse impacts of DDoS attacks, you will find that it remains time-consuming and costly to really handle such attacks.
It would thus be a smart move to act to safeguard your server now. Hopefully this will be long before any damage is incurred.
A DDoS Protected VPS is the play-it-safe option to remain without troubles. As it safeguards your VPS against the most common attacks, you can certainly rest easier and worry less. In our view, they are an excellent solution to a worrying problem.
If you have any suggestions or opinions, please speak your mind in comment section below. We really value your thoughts, and any insights you have will be immensely useful to this relevant topic!
Jason is CTO at AccuWebHosting.com. He shares his web hosting insights at AccuWebHosting blog. He mostly writes on the latest web hosting trends, WordPress, storage technologies, Windows and Linux hosting platforms.
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