How to respond to a DDoS attack

It is important for an organization, a business or even an individual to have a plan ready for the unfortunate event of being targeted by a DDoS attack. These types of attacks have become quite common and continue on increasing and so the organizations need to constantly review their plans on responding to such attacks.

Developing a new DDoS response plan for an organization or updating the existing one are not easy tasks to implement, especially since there are companies that have never acknowledged the severity of this threat and its results and therefore never considered working on a response strategy for this occasion.

A few words on DDoS attacks and concerns

DDoS means Distributed Denial of Service and the purpose of such an attack is to make a machine or a network resource unavailable to the users. The distributed denial of service attacks are being performed simultaneously by many sources.

These sources can be many machines all over the world, occupying multiple internet connections and sending network packets with the purpose to overload the target’s available resources up to the point that it won’t be able to provide any service (thus the “Denial of service” term).

Some potential targets for DDoS attacks are: Websites, Web servers, Web applications, Email servers, as well as Gaming servers.

Preparing for a DDoS attack

There are a number of steps for you to perform, in order to ensure making a successful preparation for DDoS attacks. First of all, you need to identify the risks, so performing a risk assessment for your website, application or organization is the primary step to take.

You should look out for potential vulnerabilities on your network that an attacker would take advantage of, in performing this malicious task. In the event that you are under DDoS attack, you must have a response plan in place, documenting who does what, to avoid losing valuable time.

So, together with the response plan, you will need to have selected the members of the response team and assign specific tasks to them, for which they will be responsible of. This team will also have the responsibility of conducting a post-event analysis of the attack which will be useful in making the necessary adjustments in the prevention and response plans.

You can also liaise with other parties like your ISP provider or a 3rd party company providing network security services in getting the needed support in order to keep your organization protected from these types of attacks.

You can also get advice on upgrading your existing network infrastructure or adding more appliances (e.g. a network firewall) or installing special monitoring software on your server to help you prevent the DDoS promptly and efficiently.

Keeping all these things in mind will guarantee that you are ready and that you can successfully deal with a DDoS attack!

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