Only a few years have passed since the world witnessed the largest cyber-attack ever. This attack that used a new kind of tool called Mirai botnet took a large part of the Internet down to create a large-scale disruption across the world.
It was 21st October 2016, to be precise, when the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack took place. Dyn, the main company that controls the Internetâ€™s Domain Name System (DNS) was the primary victim of the attack. With the attack, a great number of websites, including CNN, Reddit, Netflix, Twitter, etc. went down for most of the day in the US and Europe. According to Dyn, the attack involved about 100,000 malicious endpoints!
Massive disruption by one attack
Once Dyn was able to get the situation under control they realized that it was no amateur attack. Given the scope of the attack (as initially about 10s of millions of IP addressed were found to be affected) which covered several Internet locations and multiple attack vendors, it was not hard to see that it was a carefully planned attack by a skilled attacker or a group of attackers.
It is worth noticing that Mirai malware had attacked on a large scale in the previous month as well, as a result of which the KrebsOnSecurity was taken down. Post the attack the mastermind behind the attack had released the source code of the program due to which many such attacks also took place afterward.
Seriousness of DDoS attacks
When planning for data security and disaster recovery, most businesses focus on finding the most secure VPN service, antivirus, and means to save the data. The staff responsible for IT security identifies the critical business data and devises a plan for its protection. However, if the recent events are any indication, downtime can have as much impact on a business as the loss of data. Every minute of the time when the business services are inaccessible to the customers the company loses money through a variety of channels- employee unproductivity, absence of sales, damaging company reputations, etc.
Since statistics show that cybercrime is one of the biggest reasons (accounted for 22% of incidents in 2016) behind outages, it is imperative that businesses plans for the same to prevent financial loss.
Top Preventive Measures
Do you think your business data is safe? If you arenâ€™t confident enough, it will pay to follow the best practices for DDoS attacks prevention. For instance, the following are some of the top measures a business can take to prevent all kinds of cyber-attacks:
Firewall alone is quite powerful against most cyber-attacks. However, it is best to keep the firewall separate from the router. If possible, you can set multiple firewalls for enhanced protection.
Whitelisting Programs and Services
One of the best ways to ensure that no kind of unwanted malware or ransomware intrudes in your IT network is to whitelist all the existing programs. This way you can know for sure that only the trusted programs can run on the systems. However, succeeding in this enterprise can be tricky. For starters, you must find a reliable whitelisting program first. If you are associated with an MSP then they can certainly make the process much easier. Also, be sure to make the changes keeping in mind the online backup and data protection system being used.
RRL Server Defence
RRL server defense is one of the best ways to mitigate a potential DDoS attack. It comprises setting up a response rate limiter on a DNS server. Once this has been set it becomes incredibly difficult for someone to bypass the RRL system and infect your IT network.
DDoS attacks continue to affect organizations across the globe to this day. So itâ€™s important to use the best antivirus for Windows for protection against virus attacks, implement disaster recovery practices for data preservation etc, but itâ€™s also important to prevent DDoS attacks as much as possible as even a single attack can completely shake up a business.