Looking for a way to protect your organization from distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyber attacks? You’re not alone. DDoS protection is a top priority for companies and ISPs of all sizes. Read on for the latest information on DDoS attacks, what to do if you’re a victim, and how VPNS can protect you from attacks.

DDoS protection is a top priority for companies and ISPs of all sizes.

What is a DDoS attack?

Hackers use DDOS attacks to force people offline by flooding the network with requests and traffic.The site was flooded with unwanted Internet traffic from hackers, so legitimate requests from real users couldn’t get through.

Note: Want to know the difference between a DDoS attack and a denial of service (DOS) attack? The main difference is that a DoS attack uses one machine, whereas a DDoS attack uses multiple machines.

DDoS attacks in the news

The first DDOS attack took place in 1996, and since then attacks have increased in frequency and complexity. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept cybercriminals busy, creating more remote workers and online shoppers.

DDoS attacks increased 151 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2020.

91% of DDoS attacks in 2020 occurred in the third quarter, lasting up to four hours.

As many as 15.4 million DDoS attacks could occur over the next two years.

A failed attack on Amazon in 2020 had a peak traffic of 2.3 Tbps (almost double the previous record for the largest attack).

Shortly after Amazon’s attack, Google announced an attack that peaked at 2.5 terabytes.

The average DDoS attack in 2020 used more than 1 Gbps of data.

In the first quarter of 2020, the number of DDoS attacks with traffic exceeding 100 GB/s increased by 776%.

The average attack time increased from 10 minutes or less to 30-60 minutes.

Downtime and mitigation caused by DDoS can cost businesses $50,000 in lost revenue.

DDoS attacks increased 151 percent year-on-year in the first half of 2020.

How do DDoS attacks work?

In a DDoS attack:

DDoS attackers infect computer networks and other machines connected to the Internet with malicious software.

The malware allows hackers to turn infected devices into robots or botnets and take remote control of them.

The attacker sends remote instructions to each robot in the botnet.

Each robot sends a request to the IP address of the target network.

The number of requests from the botnet exceeded the target site or network.

Botnet traffic cannot be distinguished from legitimate users, and the website or network cannot function properly.

DDoS attack types

In summary, the three most common types of DDoS attacks are:

Capacity-based attacks: Capacity-based attacks — ICMP, UDP flood, forged packet flood — send massive amounts of bogus traffic to overwhelm a website or server; The measurement unit is bits per second (BPS).

Protocol or network-layer attacks: SYN Flood attacks (the most common attack type) and Smurf DDoS attacks are measured by packets per second (PPS). The target network infrastructure and related management tools contain a large number of data packets.

Application layer attacks: Also known as layer 7 attacks, they overwhelm applications with maliciously created requests; Measured in requests per second (RPS), including HTTP flooding, SQL injection, cross-site scripting, parameter tampering, and Slowloris attacks.

Security magazine provides a complete list of known DDoS attacks here.

Consequences of DDoS attacks

DDoS attacks cost companies time, energy and money. A small business that suffered a DDoS attack faces fees of up to $120,000. For large companies, the cost can be as high as $2 million. In 2021, the global total nears $6 trillion, and projections suggest the annual number of attacks will continue to increase.

And, as if the financial impact were not enough, the cost of losing customer confidence by switching to a competitor is even higher.

In 2021, DDoS attacks will cost more than $6 trillion for global operations.

Where do DDoS attacks come from?

Attacks can be motivated by politics, revenge or thrill-seeking, but the most common motive is financial gain. That’s why banks and credit card companies are popular targets.

DDoS attacks can originate anywhere, but most came from the US (1,591,719), China (1,388,531), South Korea (776,327), Russia (696,186) and India (283,960).

Signs of DDoS attacks

DDoS attacks are not the only source of site and network availability issues, but consider the possibility of DDoS attacks:

A website is down.

The administrator cannot access the website or network management tools.

Reduces site and/or network speed.

Internet access is interrupted.

How are attacks detected and identified? The best approach, according to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Authority (CISA), is to monitor network traffic. This can be done in the following ways:

Monitor network traffic through a firewall or intrusion detection system.

Set up rules and alerts to detect abnormal traffic loads and identify the source of traffic, or to discard network packets that meet certain criteria.

So you were rejected. Now what?

Analysis of network traffic confirms that you are experiencing a DDoS attack. What measures should you take? According to CISA, your first call should be to your network administrator and ISP.

Network administrator

Determine whether the service interruption is due to maintenance or internal network problems.

Network administrators can monitor network traffic to confirm the presence of attacks, identify the source of attacks, and mitigate this by applying firewall rules and possibly rerouting traffic through DoS protection services.

Internet Service provider

Ask if their network is down or if their network is the target of an attack.

Your ISP may advise you to take appropriate action.

DDoS mitigation

Cybercriminals never sleep, so your online security needs to be prepared 24/7. Here are five steps to help reduce your risk:

Develop attack prevention and response plans – Develop plans and educate teams. Make sure you know what’s next if you face an attack.

Protect your Network infrastructure – Are you using a secure VPN? What tools do you have to protect your data? What devices are allowed to connect to your network?

Practice basic Network Security -MFA. A strong password. Knowledge of identifying phishing scams.All these policies and more need to be the norm for teams.

Maintain a strong network architecture – limited access is critical. Make sure your team only uses the tools they need to get the job done — they don’t need access to everything.

Recognize warning signs – There are many warning signs that could point to a DDOS attack, including a slow network speed or being blocked by certain sites. If you notice slow file access, increased spam, or Internet disconnection, these could be red flags.

CISA’s recommended DDoS mitigation measures and hardware include:

Use stateful checking firewalls and stateful SYN proxies

Limit the number of SYN’s per second per IP address and the number of SYN’s per second per destination IP address

Set ICMP flood and UDP Flood screen Settings in the firewall (threshold)

Hierarchical restrictions on firewalls and routers near the network

Note: Providing additional bandwidth provides a degree of protection. Unfortunately, this is expensive and inefficient compared with other measures.

Can VPN prevent DDoS attacks?

Virtual private networks (VPNS) are critical to thwarting cybercrime and DDoS attacks on businesses. When employees work off-site, they need secure Internet connections. Internet firewalls cannot protect them at home or on the road.

VPN services from well-known VPN providers are reliable DDoS solutions. Cloud or PREM VPN servers protect online activity through virtual tunnels. The tunnels keep out unauthorized users and encrypt data when employees work remotely.

Commercial VPNS provide dedicated IP addresses and dedicated servers designed for business users. Because your encrypted data is protected inside the VPN tunnel and uses VPN IP addresses, cybercriminals cannot find your network. This makes it harder to launch DDoS attacks — hackers can’t flood what they can’t see.

Hackers can’t drown what they can’t see.

conclusion

Remember, VPNS can help prevent DDoS attacks, but they can’t be stopped once they happen. It’s important that you research your options, find the best VPN for your organization, and make sure your employees use it. Then, make sure you have a plan in place when you encounter a DDoS attack — it’s always better to be prepared.

OpenVPN Cloud is our next generation managed VPN solution that allows you to secure your resources in a controlled, adaptive and scalable manner. And it’s a fraction of the cost and resource allocation of other methods without the hassle of traditional VPNS that focus purely on remotely accessing and connecting resources.

Best of all, you can test drive OpenVPN Cloud through three free connections and access all of our advanced features.