What is a DDoS attack? How do I stop one?

Nwachukwu Glory Last updated: September 13, 2022 Read time: 18 minutes Disclosure

Want your business to succeed and stay alive in this digital age? Then learn here what a DDoS attack is and how to protect from such attacks.

Sneak peek at the DDoS attack

DDoS, Distributed Denial of Service, is a rapidly increasing cyberattack that mainly targets websites, web apps, and cloud servers. The attackers use botnets to send heavy traffic to the website servers, limiting regular access requests to the sites. This way, it affects the website’s functionality. It may also cause it to shut down or go offline, inflicting huge revenue losses to the site owner. Business websites, e-commerce platforms, gaming sites, government portals, and high-profile organizations are on the hitlist of cybercriminals. However, personal websites are also not safe. This guide includes the best possible ways to prevent and reduce the impact of DDoS attacks.

You have probably heard about a DDoS attack but may be wondering what a DDoS attack means. The DDoS attack, also known as Distributed Denial of Service, is a fast-growing threat to sites, web servers, and web applications.

You should be worried about DDoS attacks if your company has a cloud service, website, or web application. That is pretty much everyone today, right? Knowing how to militate and keep them in their track is very important for your organization.

Not only big firms are on target, DDoS can also attack a personal website. In this article, we will cover all you need to know about DDoS and how to stop DDoS attacks alongside what are your options if you have become a victim already.

Before we move on, here are a few quick facts about DDoS attacks:

  • Did you know that it costs as little as $150 for a cybercriminal to buy a DDoS service that can last for a week?
  • A smaller DDoS attack can cost as little as $10 to cybercriminals.
  • More than 2000 DDoS attacks are launched every day around the world.
  • The cost of a DDoS attack can reach up to thousands and millions of dollars for the victim.

Webmasters have a lot of activities to carry out already, hence DDoS attacks have become a challenge all around the world.

DDoS attacks are rapidly becoming more forceful, imposing, and prevalent in today’s technological landscape. That has made mitigation an additional role for webmasters. Preventing or stopping DDoS attacks could be a very complicated process.

Worry no more. We will show how to fight DDoS like a pro. But before we dive in, let’s take a look at what exactly a DDoS attack is alongside some other essential basics.

What is a DDoS attack?

Distributed Denial of Service attempts to undermine the functionality or normal traffic inflow of a website, web server, or web application. The criminals use botnets to send heavy traffic to targets to overwhelm their resources, cause a malfunction, or go offline.

Think of a DDoS attack as a massive traffic Jam. You are trying to get to the office, home, or other places but are stuck in traffic and cannot go forward or back. In the DDoS scenario, heavy cyber traffic prevents web services from functioning.

That is because the cybercriminal sends heavy automated traffic to the web application, which would make your website go offline.  A nonfunctional webpage can lead to a loss of revenue. Also, it would cause a lack of trust and reputational damage.

A lot of high-profile organizations have suffered a DDoS attack. Organizations such as PlayStation, Amazon, Google, GitHub, and Pinterest are all victims of DDoS attacks in 2018. Therefore you should not take the threat of a DDoS attack lightly.

Having the technical expertise to stop a DDoS attack quickly could significantly prevent your organization from going out of business. That is because a successful denial of service attack can be highly devastating. It could cause your business website to even disappear from the web. Of course, your customers would not be able to interact with you if your website is offline.

Types of DDoS attacks

Types of DDos attacks

There are many types of denial of service attacks. But here are the three most common ones:

  1. Protocol Attacks
  2. Volumetric attacks
  3. Layer 7 attack (Application layer)

1. Protocol attacks

A protocol DDoS attack would target your connection tables in the network areas to damage them. The attack would send continuous malformed slow pings and partial packets, thereby causing memory buffers to overload and crash the system.