A dedicated server exists to serve a company’s employees, clients or visitors and its worst nightmare is a DDoS attack. A DDoS attack doesn’t paralyze the server, it stops everyone else from accessing it. Hypothetically, if a dedicated server can handle 100 visitors in a minute, an attacker has to send only 100 requests per minute to deny legitimate users access to the server. The perpetrator of a DDoS attack may target a web server to damage the brand it is serving, for activism, etc. or simply because they didn’t have anything else to do! Unfortunately, targeting a server for DDoS attack is quite easy.
These days DDoS attacks vary in size, technique and sophistication. However, since they serve the same purpose, you can secure your server by taking defensive measures to prepare it for an attack. Given that any server without adequate security measures is vulnerable to an attack, below we have listed the
types of security you can use to protect your dedicated server from DDoS attacks:
In-house security: small and medium scale businesses usually chose to protect their own servers using python scripts or firewalls. These methods can be effective to an extent but their reliability depends on the expertise of the person or team deploying them. Badly executed python scripts can be tricked and the average firewall can be bypassed in a matter of minutes. If you are opting for in house security, ensure that you seek help from a freelancer or the community forums.
Purpose built equipment: in theory the concept is similar to in-house security measures but purpose built equipment are specially designed by third party companies to filter bad traffic and protect a network or datacenter from DDoS attacks. These devices are located between the world wide web and the network they are protecting. However, the devices can be expensive to purchase and maintain. Since the DDoS techniques change constantly, you must have a team to stay updated and update these devices to be able to recognize a threat. The devices are also known to fail when the DDoS attack exceeds the traffic the network can handle.
Flexible ISP bandwidth: although this method is not very popular, some companies use their ISP to counter DDoS attacks. The logic is that, the best way to counter a DDoS attack is to increase the available bandwidth to the network to a level that the DDoS attack can’t consume. This method sounds great in theory but it fails if a company uses servers located in different location for its setup, for example, a combination of a server and content delivery network.
Cloud mitigation providers: these services are a combination of all the three methods listed above. Cloud based DDoS mitigation providers benefit from flexible network bandwidth and servers located in multiple locations. Their teams are dedicated to fighting DDoS attacks and invest in staying one step ahead of their competition. These services are scalable but cannot guarantee 100% protection. They may also not be cost effective for small scale businesses.
DDoS security is like insurance but all web based businesses are vulnerable to DDoS attacks. Select the method that best suits your budget and requirements but make sure you are prepared. Next up are the types of DDoS attacks. See you next week!