The increasingly hyperconnected world of today comes with a bagful of conveniences and as many challenges. For a generation that breathes online, one of the biggest threats to watch out for is DDoS attacks. They can be as small as a technical glitch that goes undetected, to a massive attack that knocks a whole country offline.
To understand this menace better and choose the right solution for the problem, let us now dive into the four critical considerations needed for evaluating DDoS solutions so that you may evaluate and choose the best for your organization.
Tip 1 - Legitimate users matter; so protect them with surgical precision
Maintaining service availability during a DDoS attack is the primary reason to deploy a DDoS protection solution. Even if your system withstands the attack, if the legitimate users can’t access the tools they need, the solution has failed.
Effective DDoS defenses need to be precise, with the ability to intelligently distinguish between legitimate traffic and attacking bots. Such a solution understands your environment―in peacetime and in wartime―and eliminates false reports.
A good solution would initiate source-based authentication challenges and apply limits only to policy violators that deviate from learned, peacetime behavior. It would also leverage up-to-the-second traffic indicators and threat intelligence to pinpoint and eradicate the bad actors.
Tip 2 - Scale up to combat modern DDoS threats
Legacy defenses were built to defend against thousands of coordinating DDoS attack agents, not millions of weaponized IoT endpoints, meaning this persistent barrage of attack traffic can slip through. Attacks are increasing in size and sophistication, and as such DDoS defense solutions must scale to provide protection.
A hybrid DDoS defense solution ensures scaling capability. Combining an always-on, on-premise solution with a cloud scrubbing service for when your Internet pipe is overwhelmed ensures that your network can stand up to attacks at any extent. Scaling up will also enable your defenses to protect against IoT-fueled attacks and detect DDoS attacks through high-resolution packets or flow record analysis from edge routers and switches. An ideal solution would be the one that delivers scalable deployment options and cost structures that make economic sense with a complete detection, mitigation and reporting solution.
Tip 3 - Automation (read, improved efficiency)
According to a Neustar survey of organizations that suffered DDoS attacks, 45 percent
were attacked six or more times, requiring an average of six people to defend against a single DDoS attack. Instead of working on tasks that benefit the business, people are pulled into a firefight. This affects the efficiency. So, organizations need automated DDoS protection strategies that eliminate the manual intervention often required to defend against attacks.
Time is another key factor when it comes to DDoS attacks. Decisions have to be made on-the-fly, and there is no room for mistakes. In this scenario, an automated solution would block attacks and allow legitimate traffic, simultaneously launching counter attacks before the network is affected. Leveraging automation based on pre-set policies maximizes effectiveness while minimizing the chances of false positives, thus preserving resources by keeping them focused on important tasks and not battling DDoS.
Tip 4 - Affordability counts
It’s time to take a fresh look at DDoS defense. Upgrading from a solution built on old technology in favour of a new one can cut costs while delivering high returns. To be affordable, solutions need to be high performance, yet compact. To shrink spending on DDoS is to reduce your total footprint while still meeting or exceeding your organization’s capacity requirements.
This also trims hardware costs considerably, along with power, cooling, and data centre rack space. For new adopters of a solution, the perfect way would be to avail it in multiple deployment options and cost structures to understand what works best and then proceed. Such a solution would make economic sense and deliver complete detection, mitigation and reporting.
Modern DDoS attacks require a new approach. They’re bigger. They’re faster. They’re wider. They’re more powerful than ever before. Legacy systems can no longer keep up, and they crumble under the might of today’s DDoS attacks. But rethinking your DDoS strategy isn’t easy; it takes careful consideration, thoughtful planning and a robust strategy.
How do you find the right DDoS protection to go toe-to-toe with today’s unyielding threat environment? By examining and prioritizing the four key pillars of a robust DDoS defense: precision, scalability, automation and affordability.
Sanjai Gangadharan is Regional Director SAARC, A10 Networks
Disclaimer: This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the contributing authors and not of IDG Media and its editor(s).