What are DDoS Attacks and How to Defend Your Network

You may have heard the term “DDoS” repeated in the news recently and wondered what exactly that meant. The term “DDoS” means a “Distributed Denial of Service” attack. What this means in non-technical terms is that someone is taking a large amount of compromised or vulnerable devices and directing them to send traffic to your network to try to overwhelm it.

What are DDos Attacks?

These attacks can range in size from small to REALLY BIG. Within the last few years, hackers have weaponized things such as DVRs and internet cameras to attack IT infrastructure. You may be asking yourself how would a DVR attack your network? As people connect more devices, sensors and things to the internet the manufacturers have to make sure that these devices are patched and have strong security in place to prevent issues. What we are witnessing is that manufacturers are failing to address these bare minimum security standards and devices are being used in large botnets, a network of private computers infected with malicious software, to attack IT infrastructure. As an example the most recent DDoS that took down a large DNS provider was caused by hacked cameras and DVRs that came from the same manufacturer. The manufacturer failed to address these critical security issues and a hacking group used these devices to disrupt a large number of sites and services including Twitter, Spotify and Reddit.

How to Defend Your Network?

In order to be able to safeguard your network from a small to medium sized DDoS, you need to either purchase a service that can mitigate the DDoS traffic from your network or you need to buy connectivity large enough to sustain the volume of traffic being sent to your network. With the ever evolving size of DDoS attacks, it has become virtually impossible to protect your small business’ network from the large scale attacks on your own. Most businesses large and small will have to purchase services such as Akamai and Arbor that will help mitigate the traffic before it ever makes it to your network.

In some extreme cases, however, the DDoS can be so large that it can take an entire region offline because of the amount of traffic that is being generated even if you purchase a mitigation service. In order to mitigate these large scale attacks, business may have to talk with their ISPs/vendors/partners in order to purchase additional throughput and help to identify where the malicious traffic is coming from. This process can take hours or days in some cases to finally mitigate the DDoS attack.

Protecting your network from a DDoS attack is not something just anyone can do by themselves. It takes experts in DDoS mitigation to help protect your network and even then nothing is guaranteed in regards to preventing large-scale attacks from getting to your network. Words of advice, don’t try to mitigate a DDoS on your own. Modern Managed IT is here to help! Reach out to us to hear about our plans and how we can help make sure a DDoS attack never makes it to your network.

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