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What is a DDoS attack and how to protect your organization from them

October 17th, 2022 | 3 min. read

By Jordan Pioth

laptop computer showing security codes

If your business’s network is not properly protected, you may have openings in your network which could lead to cyber-attacks. No one wants to be a victim of a cyber-attack and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars wasting valuable time and money.

Most companies can’t afford to spend thousands of dollars on a cyber-attack or have their network down. Without the internet, most companies can’t function efficiently, and if your network is down it could cost your company more than you bargained for.

Coeo has helped secure the networks of thousands of customers. We know how important it is to secure your network and make sure you avoid being a victim of a cyber-attack and having your network compromised.  

By the end of this article, you will have a better idea of what a DDoS attack is, the different types, and how to prevent them.

What is a DDoS attack?

A Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack, is an attack that happens when a hacker sends a flood of traffic to a specific network or service. This technique overwhelms the network and disrupts its ability for it to operate.

DDoS attacks can target any public-facing network resource such as office network connections, application servers, and phone systems. These types of attacks are on the rise and have become more popular over the last couple of years.

A DDoS attack can cause lots of problems for an organization. To look out for these attacks, it is important to know how a DDoS attack works.

How a DDoS attack works

DDoS by definition is an attack utilizing multiple sources or computers to attack and overwhelm one computer. This pushes the users of the device connected to the internet out resulting in the loss of service for some time.

DDoS attacks can exploit holes in your network through security vulnerabilities and can target any endpoint reachable over the public internet. During this attack, hackers deny legitimate access to resources within your network.

Depending on the severity of the attack, a DDoS attack can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days. If your network is down for any length of time let alone a few days it can be devastating to your business.

3 types of DDoS attacks

The 3 different types of DDoS attacks are volumetric, protocol, and resource attacks.

●      Volumetric attack

A volumetric attack is the most common form of DDoS attack which overwhelms the network with a flood of traffic. This traffic is initially detected as legitimate traffic which is why it is allowed into the network in the first place.

●      Protocol attack

This type of attack exploits a weakness in the network service causing service disruption. It tricks the server into employing resources to service fake requests slowing down the server and preventing it from being able to service legitimate requests.

●      Resource or application layer attack

This kind of attack targets an application specifically so the application is not able to communicate or deliver content to its users. Web servers and SIP voice services are the kinds of applications that are typically targeted.

These are the three categories of DDoS attacks. However, these attacks are not mutually exclusive meaning a hacker can use multiple kinds of DDoS attacks against one network.

An attack may start as one kind of attack and then change into a different type of attack or combine with another kind of attack. There are many different kinds of attacks and each attack usually falls under one of the three categories listed above.

With hackers and cyber criminals getting more and more sophisticated, the kinds of attacks are on the rise. Because of this, it is important to constantly update your network security to combat the advancement of technology and cyberattacks.

Preventing a DDoS attack

Employing some form of DDoS mitigation from a service provider or cloud company is the best way to prevent DDoS attacks. Some of the mitigation techniques include

●      Clean pipe method

The clean pipe technique requires all incoming traffic to be passed through what is called the cleaning pipe. The cleaning pipe analyzes all traffic and identifies and blocks malicious traffic allowing legitimate traffic to be allowed through the network.

●      Content Delivery Network dilution

Content Delivery Network (CDN) uses a distribution network to deliver web pages and content to a user. This places the website browser on more than one server making it more difficult to take down via DDoS.

This technique is more appropriate for protecting a server or application from a DDoS attack rather than an office or data center internet connection.  

Next steps to securing your network

Now you have learned about what a DDoS attack is, the different kinds, and how to prevent an attack. This will help you in securing your network better so you do not become a victim of a DDoS attack.

Here at Coeo, we don’t want you to have to go through that pain and know how difficult it can be to become a victim of a cyber-attack.

We have helped thousands of customers secure their networks and want to give you all of the information you need to secure your network as best as possible.

A relevant next step you can take to improve your own network security would be to follow the steps above on preventing a DDoS attack. This will help you prevent not only DDoS attacks but many cyber-attacks in general.

If you would like to speak with our team to learn more about network security or ask any questions you may have you can schedule an appointment.TALK TO AN EXPERT

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Jordan Pioth

When he's not creating content for Coeo, Jordan loves to watch sports, hang out with friends and family, and anything sneaker-related.