October 01, 2021

Is your IT network under a DDoS attack? SEACOM can help you now

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks pose one of the biggest threats to IT networks, especially those belonging to large-scale enterprises, such as banks, e-commerce sites and online entertainment services. Such attacks create unexpectedly high traffic on sites, which lead to system crashes. If your IT network is under a DDoS attack, call us now for assistance on +27 11 038 7045.

During a DDoS attack, regular users are blocked from the site as servers are overwhelmed by bots or other forms of malware. Hackers do this to shut down sites, either because they want to access private data or to cause a disruption to services. DDoS protection is a must for the mitigation of these types of cyber threat.

Unpacking DDoS

DDoS attacks are relatively cheap to initiate but can have devastating economic consequences for large firms and organizations. So, what exactly does a DDoS attack involve? Hackers use malware or bots to send a multitude of requests to an IP address. The network becomes overwhelmed and crashes.

Without DDoS protection, it is impossible for the network to identify which users are legitimate and which users are bots or malware. In recent years, more complex attacks have started to take place. Previously, attacks were generally launched from a single source. Nowadays, it is common for attacks to come from various sources and at irregular intervals. This makes it more difficult to differentiate malicious users from genuine ones.

DDoS Protect offers a solution to the disruption of services from this type of attack. Regardless of the complexity of the attack, DDoS protection software uses automation to detect sudden or unexpected increases in traffic. It then routes suspicious traffic through a filer, or DDoS guard, to determine which users are real and which ones are malicious. Authentic users are then sent back to the server and can seamlessly continue interacting with the website or app.

Detecting DDoS attacks

There are some key warning signs to look out for that will indicate a DDoS attack. When lots of traffic comes from one IP address, this is a sure sign that malware is being used to crash a website or app.

However, as attacks now tend to come from multiple sources, there are some other ways to determine whether a cyberattack is taking place. Unusual patterns of high activity are a good clue. For example, spikes of traffic at times of day when regular users don’t normally interact with the site (e.g. at night) are a sign of malicious attempts to shut down the site.

Attackers try to blend in with normal users, but unexpected surges in traffic can indicate suspicious activity. SEACOM Business’s DDoS Protect allows companies to sit back and let automation do the leg work.

Choosing appropriate DDoS protection

The level of DDoS protection depends on a number of factors. Enterprises need to consider their network size, with larger networks requiring a higher level of protection in order to safeguard the reliability of services. Both on-demand and continuous protection is available, although it is advisable to choose continuous protection for companies that have 24-7 interaction with customers.

Other features that need to be considered are whether protection involves just reporting attacks that take place, or also taking action against a threat. Basic DDoS protection includes reporting when an attack is taking place, and is suitable for low-risk, medium-size companies. The IT team can use the report to respond to an attack.

Higher levels of protection incorporate reporting, as well as the mitigation of attacks via an automated filtering system. For large-scale companies, it is recommended that a hybrid approach to DDoS protection is chosen. Hybrid protection includes both cloud-based and computer-based protection, and attacks are detected, mitigated and reported.

Learning from others

Recently, a bank in New Zealand fell victim to a DDoS attack. This institution experienced a sudden DDoS attack, leaving customers unable to access their accounts and banking services. Online banking, mobile apps and ATMs shut down. Similarly, in February 2020, the biggest attempted DDoS attack in history took place on the e-commerce site Amazon.

Luckily, the e-commerce giant was able to mitigate the attack because of DDoS protection. The attack was a record 2.3 Tbps, and would have brought the retailer to a complete halt had it been successful.

Other big names, such as the BBC, Citigroup, and JP Morgan Chase have also suffered DDoS attacks in the past, illustrating the imperative nature of DDoS protection. In these instances, cyber security experts had to work tirelessly to restore systems and safeguard them against future attacks.

Mitigating financial loss and system shutdown

DDoS protection helps to mitigate the risks of large-scale attacks on big public and private enterprises. The software filters data from incoming traffic, detecting malicious users when there is an unexpected increase in the number of users on a site.

Targeted attacks, such as those witnessed both recently and historically, can be avoided when appropriate DDoS protection is employed, saving enterprises the costly impact of malicious attempts to bring digital services to a halt. For more information or to get a quote for our DDoS Protect solutions, email us at marketing@seacom.com or leave us a message.

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