Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have been around for years. However, just like with many other forms of cyber-attacks, criminals are using technological advancements to supercharge DDoS malware.
As a result, experts predict that 2017 will see a rise in the number, scale and ferocity of DDoS attacks. The question; therefore, remains: Does your cybersecurity platform have the capabilities to withstand the onslaught?
State of DDoS attacks
The first DDoS attacks hit the cybersecurity scene around the turn of the Millennium. Since the code used in a DDoS attack is miniscule, the majority of attacks have traditionally been small.
But recently, with the rapid expansion of the IoT (Internet of Things), devices like smartphones, tablets, wearables and other connected devices in cars and homes have made it easier to launch large-scale DDoS attacks. Essentially, every connected device has become a weapon.
At the same time, new DDoS attacks are making use of the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP), which can amplify their volume by 55 times—quickly paralyzing even the largest networks when they don’t have the right protection.
With these developments, 2016 saw some enormous DDoS attacks powered by malware based on the Mirai source code, like those launched against KrebsonSecurity in September and on Dyn in October. In late December, Imperva fielded a massive DDoS attack—one that was especially noteworthy since it was powered by a new botnet called “Leet” (a reference to “elite”).
To make matters worse, experts predict that DDoS attacks are going to get worse in the upcoming year:
- The ever-expanding IoT will provide a growing, largely unsecured attack surface.
- Concurrent with the growing IoT, the rise of Shadownets will make it easier for cyber criminals to launch attacks.
- Changes to the geopolitical landscape could adversely impact international policies to fight cybercrime.
- DDoS attacks might be used as a diversion to saturate network traffic while criminals simultaneously compromise their systems and extract sensitive data.
- Cybercriminals will increasingly use DDoS attacks to extort money from companies.
Here’s What You Need to Protect Your Network Against DDoS Attacks
Clearly, DDoS attacks might be old, but they’re definitely not old news. That’s why every robust cybersecurity strategy should include strong DDoS defenses such as:
- Application layer and network layer attack protection: DDoS attacks target your system’s application and network layers. In order to prevent this, you need protection that stops the malware en route to your server. Fortinet provides a dynamic, multi-layered solution that safeguards your system from known and zero day attacks—without impacting the speed of your traffic. Behavior-based DDoS protection eliminates the need for signature files, while continuous threat evaluation offers unparalleled monitoring for irregular activity.
- Divert traffic or deploy more servers: As BetaNews reports, you can use a content delivery network (CDN) to flag suspicious traffic and deploy it to a cloud infrastructure where it’s isolated and can’t flood your network. An alternative and more affordable solution for companies whose websites are purely informational (i.e. where no transactions take place and no services are provided online) is to deploy more servers in the event of a DDoS attack.
Get the Right Protection
It’s unfortunate but true: DDoS attacks are inevitable. That’s why you need to make sure your network is adequately protected and incident response plan comprehensive and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice.
A partner of Fortinet, CCSI has access to the right expertise and best-in-class technology you need to ensure your data is properly protected against DDoS attacks. Contact us for more information on how we can support your cybersecurity strategy.