How to prepare for and deal with a DDoS attack

Last week, the United States woke up to a massive DDoS attack that took down almost half of the major sites in the country. Big websites like Twitter, Reddit and Amazon were badly affected and users couldn’t access them till about 7-8 hours into the day. This kind of attack shows how vulnerable even the biggest of players can be when it comes to such attacks from foreign land.

ddos attack

Cisco

This also means that your devices are nowhere near safe from a DDoS attack and can be affected anytime. Here are some tips to help you prepare and get informed beforehand, to prevent yourself from a DDoS attack.

DDoS attacks

1. Find out whether there has been a DDoS attack

Although DDoS attacks are one of the most dreaded kind, they are rather infrequent in nature. So, the next time your Internet goes down, check your connection before panicking over a potential attack. You can start by checking your router and troubleshooting the connection between your computer and network. You can also try visiting sites like CurrentlyDown to quickly determine if a particular service, like Twitter or Reddit, is having an outage. These happen frequently, and they are rarely indicative of a DDoS attack.

2. Always keep a local backup on your hard drive

With the sudden increase in technological improvements, everything is going up in the cloud. And while this is extremely convenient to manage, it’s scary when there is a high probability of a DDoS attack. For example, if you use Google Docs for work, all your files are on the cloud. What’s more, Microsoft’s online version of Word doesn’t sync with your PC unless you have an active Office 365 subscription.

To be secured even when there is malware on your machine, keep a local backup of all your important files – documents, media, photos – on an external hard drive. And, keep repeating this process every week or couple of weeks.

3. Ask for help when needed

With attacks increasing year on year and no respite seen in the form of protecting systems from these attacks, it has all the more important to be in touch with a professional organization that knows its way around the problem. DDoS attacks are an expensive problem, but it’s simply the price you pay for hosting your business or interests on the Internet.  Every minute your page can’t be opened, it is a direct drop in revenue that could have been gained in a normal situation. The protection should seem justified when you think about it that way.

4. Get ready to respond accurately and in time

If you are experiencing a DDoS attack, you probably won’t get enough time to respond to the situation before it has taken over majorly. All your services and applications will be downgraded or disabled, and reviving them swiftly will be your first action in the recovery process. Everyone works better during a crisis when there is a deadline to follow, with subsequent actions already laid out. Get a team together, talk about your response and write the plan down. Be prepared.

To learn more about what are DDOS attacks, what are the popular DDoS Methods & Attack Tools and about DDoS protection & prevention, read this post on Distributed Denial of Service Attacks.

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A constant learner of gadgets, Ankit has been writing about technology and the internet, in general, for the past three years, and has written for several well-known media outlets.