When hosting a larger site or owning a network, DDoS protection also known as DDoS mitigation is something you should definitely consider. A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources.
These attacks are most commonly carried out with important resources such as banks and new websites in their sights. Nevertheless, any online service or network can become a target of a DDoS attack. Here’s a small graphic from Cloudflare which explains more on how a DDoS attack is carried out.
“ From a high level, a DDoS attack is like a traffic jam clogging up with highway, preventing regular traffic from arriving at its desired destination.” – Cloudflare
Although different DDoS attacks vary greatly, with hundreds of ways they can be carried out, they can all fall into one of three broad categories:
- Volumetric Attacks
- TCP State-Exhaustion Attacks
- Application Layer Attacks
As hinted by the name, these attacks try to use up all the bandwidth either within the target network or between the target and the rest of the Internet.
TCP State-Exhaustion Attacks
TCP State-Exhaustion attacks attempt to consume the connection state tables which are present in many infrastructure components such as load-balancers, firewalls and the application servers themselves.
Application Layer Attacks
These attacks target the 7th layer of the OSI model with the goal to exhaust the resources of the target. The attacks target the layer where web pages are generated on the server and delivered in response to HTTP requests.
What is DDoS Protection?
DDoS protection is the process of successfully protecting a targeted network from a DDoS attack. Traditionally, it involved buying expensive equipment which would be installed on the network and filter incoming traffic, however, nowadays a cloud-based solution could also do the trick. By utilizing CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) and WAFs (Web Application Firewalls), DDoS mitigation providers can protect organizations from these attacks.
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