A breakdown of the different DDoS protection technologies available, including hardware and software-based solutions, cloud-based protection, and content delivery networks (CDNs)
Distributed Denial of Service, also known as (DDoS), attacks significantly threaten businesses and organizations worldwide. DDoS attacks occur when multiple systems, often botnets or infected devices, overwhelm a targeted system; this makes it so that the system cannot handle incoming requests and can cause damage to organizations, including financial loss and service disruptions.
As DDoS attacks evolve and increase in complexity, businesses must invest in robust protection technologies. To help you understand your options for protection techniques and tools, we will cover everything there is to know about hardware- and software-based solutions and cloud-based tools for protection.
Hardware-based protection solutions are physical devices installed within the network infrastructure to detect and mitigate attacks; these devices are typically situated at the network’s perimeter and act as a first line of defense against incoming threats.
Intrusion Prevention Systems
An IPS is a dedicated security device that identifies and blocks malicious traffic based on predefined rules. It operates at the network layer and can detect and mitigate various DDoS attacks, including SYN floods, UDP floods, and ICMP floods.
Load balancers distribute incoming traffic across multiple servers, ensuring no single server becomes overwhelmed with requests. By spreading traffic, load balancers can help protect against DDoS attacks by preventing bottlenecks and maintaining network traffic visibility.
Firewalls provide a barrier between trusted internal networks and untrusted external networks. Configuring the networks allows companies to block specific types of traffic, helping to mitigate DDoS attacks. However, traditional firewalls may need additional support to handle sophisticated DDoS attacks and might require other protection technologies.
Software-based DDoS protection solutions are programs or applications installed on servers or other network devices. These solutions are typically more flexible and easier to update than hardware-based solutions, allowing for rapid adaptation to new threats.
Web Application Firewalls (WAF)
A WAF is a specialized firewall designed to protect web applications from various attacks, including DDoS attacks. It filters, monitors, and blocks HTTP traffic to and from web applications based on predefined rules, helping to prevent malicious traffic from reaching the targeted system.
Traffic Analysis Tools
Traffic analysis tools monitor network traffic and identify patterns or anomalies that may indicate a DDoS attack. These tools can help detect early signs of an attack and enable administrators to take appropriate action before the attack becomes worse.
Cloud-based DDoS Protection
Cloud-based protection services offer a solution for businesses looking to secure their digital assets. These services operate by routing incoming traffic through their infrastructure and filtering out malicious traffic before reaching the targeted system.
Cloud-based protection services use techniques like DNS or Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) redirection to route incoming traffic to their infrastructure. This means all traffic targeting the protected online assets passes through the cloud provider’s network before reaching the business’s servers. This traffic diversion helps shield the original server from being directly targeted by the attack.
Traffic Filtering and Scrubbing
Once traffic is redirected to the cloud provider’s infrastructure, it is filtered and scrubbed to identify and remove malicious requests. This involves analyzing traffic patterns, comparing them against known attack signatures, and using machine learning algorithms to detect anomalies. Legitimate traffic can pass through while malicious traffic is blocked or discarded.
Application Layer Protection
Cloud-based protection services protect businesses against application-layer attacks, which target specific applications or services running on a server. These services employ Web Application Firewalls (WAFs) and other application-specific security measures to detect and block malicious requests targeting the application layer.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
A CDN is a network of servers that distribute content to users based on their geographic location. A CDN can help prevent a DDoS attack by distributing traffic across multiple servers and mitigating the impact of the attack.
Distributed Network Infrastructure
Cloud-based DDoS protection providers operate a globally distributed network infrastructure, allowing them to absorb and mitigate attacks more effectively. With data centers spread across various geographical locations, these services can handle large traffic volumes and disperse the attack traffic across their network, reducing the impact on any single location.
Elasticity and Scalability
One of the critical advantages of cloud-based protection services is their ability to scale resources on demand. As attacks can rapidly increase in size and intensity, cloud-based services can automatically allocate additional resources to handle the increased traffic load; this ensures that the business’s online assets remain accessible and functional during an attack.
Continuous Monitoring and Reporting
Cloud-based DDoS protection services constantly monitor and report the protected assets, offering real-time insights into ongoing attacks and their mitigation status. This allows businesses to stay informed about the current threat landscape and make informed decisions about their security posture.
By leveraging the resources of cloud providers, businesses can benefit from robust protection without incurring the high costs of building and maintaining their infrastructure.
DDoS attacks have become more popular; businesses must understand their options for securing and protecting their organization. Do some research and understand what you need to ensure your business is prepared to handle any security attack you might need to overcome.