The DDoS protection service is a set of measures aimed at reducing the impact of malicious traffic and minimizing its negative consequences for the attack target.
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Over the past year, DDoS attacks have become more voluminous and complex. To protect yourself from them, you need professional service from a trusted supplier. How to find a reliable protection provider and what points you need to pay attention to when searching for it — we tell you in the article.
Today we will understand in detail the approaches to protection against DDoS attacks and give recommendations on choosing a supplier, as well as note what to pay attention to when connecting the service.
DDoS protection service is a set of measures aimed at reducing the impact of malicious traffic and minimizing its negative consequences for the target of the attack.
It is impossible to organize full-fledged protection on your own, since this requires a large amount of resources: equipment for cleaning traffic, as well as a team that will configure and maintain it, monitor traffic and respond promptly to attacks.
To reflect malicious traffic manually, without blocking access to the site and legitimate users, is no less difficult task. Attackers are constantly inventing new ways to disguise a DDoS attack as legitimate web traffic.
1. Detection — detection of deviations from the normal nature of traffic that may signal the beginning of a DDoS attack. The sooner the growing attack is detected, the faster it will be possible to suppress it. However, it is important to distinguish an attack from a surge of legitimate visitors' requests, for example, during a sale, publication of important news or other key moments.
Round-the-clock monitoring and a smart incoming traffic analysis system allow you to track anomalies and assess their nature. The most effective approach is automated analysis with the possibility of expert correction.
If, as a result, an anomaly qualifies as a DDoS attack, then its source, vector and scale are determined, after which the most effective methods of protection are selected.
We recommend connecting protection services in advance to enable the system to study the features of the regular operation of a web resource or network infrastructure - this will make anomaly detection more effective.
2. Response — immediate suppression of the attack, clearing incoming traffic. As a rule, DDoS attacks are aimed either at overflowing communication channels or at overloading the web server. Accordingly, the filtering methods that will be applied at this stage are determined by the attack vector. The cascade solution allows you to provide protection at once at all the main levels of the OSI model: L3, L4, L7.
It is extremely important not to restrict legitimate users access to the protected resource. Therefore, the method of blocking traffic by IP address, which was previously quite popular, is still not the optimal solution. Traffic can be sent from public, home, or corporate networks using NAT or VPN. In this case, blocking an IP address or an entire range will lead to the unavailability of the resource for hundreds or even thousands of people.
The security provider's intelligent systems evaluate each data packet and each request: the reputation of IP addresses, geographical affiliation, the user's browser version and many other metrics are taken into account. If the system considers the request as suspicious, an additional round of verification will be launched. Usually, additional verification takes place almost imperceptibly for the user. In some cases, the path to the requested web page is blocked by a captcha that asks you to mark certain images or enter characters.
Traffic filtering in DDoS-Guard is fully automated and works continuously 24/7. DDoS-Guard clients can additionally manage security rules from their personal account.
3. Analysis — collecting and processing information about each attack. This makes it possible to significantly increase the resistance to malicious traffic and the effectiveness of its detection in new attacks on the site or network infrastructure.
DDoS attacks are becoming more intelligent every year. Attackers are improving methods of simulating user behavior and changing vectors of the same attack in order to bypass protection. The search for vulnerabilities in the perimeter of a potential victim becomes a mandatory element of preparation for a cyber attack.
DDoS-Guard specialists promptly develop and implement algorithms to repel new attacks. Our own developments allow us to build a flexible protection system and scale it in a timely manner.
The choice of a suitable solution depends on the requirements of your project. In one case, there may be enough basic protection for a safety net. In another, a comprehensive approach is needed, especially if the site or network is of critical importance or often becomes the target of attackers.
The difficulty lies in the need to choose the most optimal option: so that the service is not redundant with overpayments or, conversely, insufficient to repel powerful or multi-vector attacks.
There are several approaches to organizing DDoS protection. We will describe each of them in detail and determine the advantages and disadvantages.
An autonomous type of protection in which the traffic cleaning system is located on the client side. It can be either basic equipment purchased from a specialized provider, or its own traffic clearing centers. In the second option, we are talking about data centers and Internet service providers with their own support team.
A cloud service against DDoS attacks, the computing power of which is provided to the client as needed. Protection is activated only when there is a real threat. This model uses minimal resources and increases them at the request of the client.
A cloud service from DDoS, through which the client's traffic always passes, and not only during an attack. It does not require constant monitoring by the client, as the system automatically reacts to the attack.
A combination of on-premises and cloud solutions. With this method, the detection of a DDoS attack and the choice of the filtering method occurs most quickly. With small bursts of malicious traffic, a local cleaning center is activated, and with massive attacks, cloud protection is connected with sufficient resources to filter traffic.
If the site is protected from DDoS attacks and the attackers see that their actions do not bring results, they will stop the attack and find another target. The site owner may decide that protection is not needed, since the site is not interesting to attackers, but this is a misconception. The presence of permanent protection or at least the ability to quickly connect it during an attack is a guarantee of constant availability for your users. If the provider also offers a CDN, it will also speed up the loading of content.
Connectivity. This is a parameter that determines the quality of the network. The more protection the provider has of its own resources and the higher the network bandwidth, the better services it is able to provide. To assess how distributed the filtering network is, we recommend checking which backbone operators the selected provider is connected to.
Uptime of the provider's website. If the provider's own website regularly goes offline, then it is likely that customer resources will not be well protected enough. You can check the site using special services, but most of them are paid or require registration.
Test period and stress testing. Some providers give the opportunity to test their services for several days. To assess the quality of protection, we recommend ordering stress testing separately. You will see in real time how well your chosen service copes with a DDoS attack, and what is displayed on the statistics panel in your personal account.
Provider's clients. Study the cases and reviews of real customers. If there are regional Internet service providers and major brands among them, this is a good sign. Contact the companies represented to verify the authenticity of the review, if you have doubts.
Transparency of services. It is important to consider which functionality is included in the cost of the service and which is necessary for the project. Are there any hidden surcharges for any parameters, for example, caching content or repelling attacks. Carefully study the offers and ask questions to the future security service provider.
Quality of support. You should pay attention to the quality of expert advice, the flexibility of the service and personal offers, the speed of connection protection. If at the consultation stage you get unclear answers to your questions and wait for them for too long, then there is a risk that this will happen at a critical moment when you need to urgently resolve a technical issue or restore the functionality of the site.
Record-breaking DDoS attacks are estimated in terabits and tens of millions of requests per second. Large-scale influx of malicious traffic can be deterred by security providers who regularly develop their infrastructure and technologies.
Hosting providers and telecom operators with built-in protection modules offer affordable solutions. However, they do not always have sufficient resources to withstand an attack even at 500 Gbit/s. To avoid flooding the channel with malicious traffic, they will completely “cut off” the incoming traffic flow until the attack stops. This entails the loss of legitimate traffic, which will be a big problem for high-load projects, where every minute of downtime means millions of losses.
The cost of anti-DDoS services is affected not only by the availability of its own high-bandwidth filtering network and qualified specialized specialists, but also by the flexibility of protection tools for each project.
Flexibility is expressed in the possibility of an individual approach to the client. This can be the expansion of tools, their development and adaptation to a specific project.
Pay attention to the presence of hidden fees. At the connection stage, the selected service may cost, conditionally, $ 50 per month, but after a successfully repelled attack, you will be asked to pay another $ 150. If you are not sure about the transparency of the pricing of services, it is worth studying the SLA — service level agreement, which details the full terms of service and obligations of the parties.
There are combinations of solutions when the protection of one provider is installed at one level of the infrastructure, and the second is installed at another. As a rule, this is due to the requirements for the customer's project at the legislative level. In other cases, such integrations are undesirable: differences in the technologies used can provoke conflicts and difficulties when working with two suppliers at the same time.
The equipment of specialized providers is designed for high loads. The principle of redundancy is also a priority — duplicate equipment is installed, alternative communication channels are designed to ensure the constant availability of customer sites and networks.
The need for an additional security provider depends on the scale of your project and the availability of specific requirements. We recommend informing the selected supplier about the desire or need to use a backup solution. Professional advice will help you find a compromise.
Due to the complexity of IT infrastructures and the sophistication of attackers, the optimal protection model should take into account the variability of possible attack vectors and successfully cope with them.
This will help you decide which service is needed for your project and with which of the organizations to conclude a contract for the provision of services. The more time you spend studying suppliers, the less likely problems will arise in the future.
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