As long as the internet has been around, so have hackers and all-around unsavoury individuals whose motives are malicious to say the least. While a lot of hackers break into computers and data banks for the obvious reasons, including money and secretive information, others just intend to ruin your computers and your internet experience.
One type of hacker attack you may fall victim to as a website owner is a DDOS attack. DDOS, standing for Distributed Denial of Service, is an attack wherein a hacker attempts to render a computer or an entire network unavailable to its users. As you can guess, the motives for this type of attack are all over the place, from hacking banks and trying to get financial info to throwing a monkey wrench in someone’s otherwise pleasant day.
These attacks are real and can easily affect you and your site. If your site isn’t targeted personally, it can still be targeted via your web host and you and every other subscriber may be in danger. Luckily, though, there are a few great ways in which you can protect yourself from a DDOS attack.
7 DDOS-Preventing Steps to Take
1: Realize You Need Security
Any website out there is always at risk of an attack. If the Pentagon’s mainframe can be hacked, your little site or network is a cakewalk for a motivated DDOS attacker. So the first step is realizing that you’re never safe.
2: Choose the Best Web Host
When deciding which web host to go with to host your site, security should be on the list above other things like extra email addresses or a few more gigs of space provided every month. If you have to sacrifice some add-ons in order to house your domain with the most secure server, do it.
3: Contingency Planning
Preventing an attack isn’t always about stopping the initial blast from happening; it’s just as much about minimizing the damage and knowing which steps to take should an attack happen. You need to put a plan in place that will quickly save your sensitive data and protect what needs protecting.
4: Pay Attention to Your Network
You need visibility within your network to notice any change. These cheap DDOS attacks aren’t often spur-of-the-moment attacks, especially when trying to break through a tough security detail. That means you may notice some kinks and quirks if keeping a watchful eye over the network, and thus you may be able to thwart the attack.
5: Think Outside of the Box
Not every DDOS attack is going to be the same. Like an act of terror, the attack can come in many shapes and sizes. You want to focus on more than possible large attacks. You want to focus on smaller attacks, application-layer attacks, blended attacks, and other types of attacks. To increase the odds of success, an attacker will flood packets and strike at the application all at once in a hodgepodge of methods before breaking through.
6: Have Support on the Ready
You should work on building relationships with IT professionals, your host’s support staff, and other experts in the genre who can help you should you expect an attack or should you fall victim to an attack. The internet is constantly evolving, and what we know next month may change what we’ve been learning for the past ten years. So having someone in the proverbial know will help you stay ahead of the game.
7: Look into Launching Countermeasures
Different types of network gear available may help you to control DDOS attacks. Software that can drop questionable packets or send a negative reply back to the attacker could really help you prevent all attacks. Just make sure you’re purchasing legal, above-the-board software if you go this route. At the end of the day, nothing helps you more than preparedness. Always suspect that people are trying to hack into your system. Being a little paranoid is a good thing. It means you’re less likely to be attacked.