Your website determines your online presence; however internet has a wide horizon that brings vulnerabilities along with possibilities and progress. The DDoS attack is one of the most dreadful things that directly affect the functioning of your website. Although DDoS attacks have become relatively uncommon; they do occur. If you are aware about the implications of the DDoS attack and how the server can be protected from this attack, the risk of potential downtime and damage can be reduced. The main reason for a DDoS attack is weak security policy and lack of proper and timely server monitoring. When any machine is under attack, it affects the entire server and thereby there are possibilities of downtime in order to deal with the DDoS attack, this affects the functioning of the website and for online business websites this might also mean loss of business.
How a DDoS attack works?
A DDoS attack is created from multiple dynamic networks that are already infected. The aim of this attack is to make it impossible for the services and functions to run efficiently thereby resulting in a complete loss of system stability.
A DDoS attack consists of three parts. The master monitors the entire process and decides which machines will be used for initiating the attack and how they will be used. DDoS attacks consist of co-ordinated attacks that provide the master with the capacity to infect the Slave networks for attacking the destination machine through multiple sources. The entire operation comprises of a complex network that is specially assigned the task to disable the destination machine. There might be various reasons behind a DDoS attack. The main motives include just taking down a website or simply disrupting the flow of information. A DDoS attack can take down the entire network.
Two Stage Attack: Intrusion and Distributed DoS Phase
DDoS attack comprises of two main stages. The preparation stage tries to locate weak machines that have security vulnerabilities. The websites that are functioning on perfectly secured servers are not at risk. The initial phase tries to locate the machines that can be infected and used for the purpose of attacking the target machine. The Distributed DoS phase comprises of the actual attack of the destination machine thereby affecting the reliability of the website.
Understanding the security Vulnerabilities
As a result of the security issues, the attackers can get to the root and plant a DDoS attack. In case there are any softwares or applications that are not updated to the latest versions, the system can be exploited further and utilized for the purpose of planting a DDoS attack. The servers that are setup with an open network and do not have a firewall, make it easier to compromise a machine. Also, a website server that is not monitored on a regular basis is highly secured and if there are any intrusions, they are detected immediately.
Preventing a DDoS attack:
The Web Hosting Platform
This is the first factor that one must look at in order to prevent the website getting compromised. It is important to have an efficient network and great processing power, so that your website can withstand the DDoS ‘flood’. It is crucial to find a web hosting platform that is synchronized with the best technology and where all the security measures are in place. The web hosting provider must have a secure and powerful hosting platform and efficient techniques for dealing with a DDoS attack. It’s important to ensure the following factors:
It is crucial to have a backup mechanism in place so that the main functions of the website are not affected in case of attack
Implementing caching systems through which simpler web pages can be created instead of complex feature-rich web pages otherwise the application resources might be strained
A perfect system architecture that separates the ‘front end’ from the ‘back end’ processing systems for minimizing the effects of the attack on the web server
Firewall Installation And Configuration
While setting up the firewall; ensure that the ‘Anti DoS’ procedures are in place. A firewall is the first defense mechanism against the hackers. The firewall should be capable of preventing the unknown and unauthorized users and hackers from installing the DDoS components. The settings and functioning of a firewall might be difficult to understand; therefore it is important to consider a good managed hosting platform that takes care of all the security measures for you.
The Solution : Prevention Is Better Than Cure!
It is a difficult task to prevent a DDoS attack by someone who is bent upon infiltrating and taking down your system. Having said that, a DDoS attack can be mitigated if the basic security measures are in place, this will avoid the possibility of a successful DDoS attack. If an attack becomes so serious that it poses a threat to the hardware of the server, then you might have to shut down the server. At this point, you will have to analyze the logs of the system and also the incoming IP’s trying to infiltrate the system. The best thing is to talk to your web hosting company about the audits being conducted on the server, if this is done on a regular basis, a lot of damage can be prevented.