How to Protect Your Web Host Against a DDoS Attack

Posted on September 18, 2019 at 12:28 PM

How to Protect Your Web Host Against a DDoS Attack

Regardless of the product or service you are offering online, there are a number of people offering something similar. You need to do everything in your power to hold on to each visitor to your site.

A DDoS attack strikes at the heart of your website, causing your website to crash, load or function poorly, and eventually drive customers away from you and into the hands of your competition. This is why it is imperative that you take steps to prevent a DDoS attack from ever happening.

A DDoS attack takes something that, when it happens organically, is positive and turns it into something malicious. An enormous volume of traffic is directed at the victim’s site. The purpose is to overload the servers to where they can’t handle the traffic. This leads to the site crashing, going off-line, or even corruption of the content on the site. Because there is so much malicious traffic, legitimate users are unable to visit the attacked site.

One of best ways to mitigate all security risks with your website is to pick a quality hosting company that owns its own servers. To do this, read online hosting reviews and do your research. One of the best questions to ask is if the company owns their own servers or is just a reseller.

Better Understanding What a DDoS Attack Is

DDoS attacks strive to paralyze your site, attacking from two vectors. The first attack style is designed to affect the entire website. The goal is to completely shut down your site and prevent it from functioning normally.

The second style of attack pinpoints a specific part of your website. Its goal is to target a hosted application. Both attacks use a similar methodology. The idea is that by overwhelming the site with an unexpected increase in traffic, the website’s server capacity and bandwidth capacity give out. As a result, a specific function or the website as a whole shuts down.

ddos attack

Zero day attacks occur when a hacker identifies a flaw or a zero day vulnerability in your server that has not been caught by the host or that has been caught but has not yet been patched. These are some of the hardest attacks to protect yourself from because they rely on the nefarious individual being able to identify and exploit a weakness in your server or in your site that you have not identified. These attacks are a catch-22 because once the attack begins, the weaknesses exposed and can be shored up to prevent future attacks.

In recent history, there have been a number of examples of successful DDoS attacks. A number of government websites have fallen victim to these attacks. The Church of Scientology’s website was another prominent example.

DDoS attacks are popular because of their effectiveness and how inexpensive they are to perpetrate. Botnets used for these attacks can be purchased for as little as $50 an hour.

Create a Buffer

DDoS attacks only work because your server does not have what it needs to withstand the onslaught of requests. Some people have protected themselves by purchasing hosting packages that offer them more bandwidth and more CPU usage than what they need. That way, when they are hit with a rapid increase in volume, their server can handle it. At the same time, they can take steps to identify and eliminate the source of the attack.

There are a number of tools that you can purchase, such as Cloudflare, that are designed to help you protect your website by reacting quickly to traffic patterns. In order to create the proper buffer, you have to be well aware of the expected traffic flow.

It can be difficult to know how much of a buffer you will need. A DDoS attack could range from as little as a couple of gigabytes to hundreds of gigabytes. That is why it is best for you to get more protection than what you feel you need. It is better to be safe than sorry. This is especially true if you have a larger website that is already generating a lot of traffic.

Some hosting companies are offering their clients free DDoS protection for an attack up to a predetermined size. Realizing how serious of a threat a DDoS attack can be to your website, this is something you should talk to your server host about today.

Avail Yourself of the DDoS Protection Your Server Provides

Here again, we underscore the importance of using a reputable and reliable hosting service. Good hosting services have begun to offer their clients DDoS protection. This protection helps you avoid downtime and other security issues. The protection that hosting companies offer work by filtering website traffic, preventing illegitimate requests. At the same time, legitimate requests are allowed to pass through and your clients do not experience any delay in loading times.

Some hosting companies have even gone as far as recording when these attacks occur, making detailed records of the attack and then giving these records to their clients to keep them up-to-date with the threats they are facing.

Eliminating Website Vulnerabilities

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when discussing DDoS attacks. If your site has a strong network and a robust hosting service, your chances of being attacked are greatly diminished. Talk to your hosting service about the frequency with which they update their software as well as the safeguards they have against DDoS attacks. How frequently do they update their firewalls?

Other steps that you can take are using plug-ins to manage incoming traffic and limiting the number of plug-ins you install. Choose carefully, as some plug-ins that are intended to protect your website might actually open your site up for unwanted attacks.

Protecting your site from a DDoS attack will save you time, money, and energy. You should be in the habit of consistently backing up your website just in case an attack occurs. With a recent update, you can get your site up and running with just a few clicks of the mouse. Finally, stay away from areas of the web that hackers hang out. Ignore suspicious requests sent to you through your website, and keep your eyes open for unusual comments made in the comments section or on your blog.

We would love to hear from you. What steps have you taken to protect your website from DDoS attacks? Let us know in the comments section below.

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