DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks have recently been on the rise in the IT industry. DDoS attacks have today evolved into a sophisticated activity that has become huge money in many circumstances.
Despite spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on DDoS protection solutions to secure websites and applications, many attacks succeed in bringing systems down and causing outages.
Industry experts have witnessed security fail despite the presence of adequate mitigation technologies after providing emergency mitigation support to dozens of companies experiencing DDoS attacks. Here are three major reasons why DDoS protection fails.
No DDoS testing/simulation
Many firms don’t test their mitigation methods to ensure that even basic DDoS attacks, such as SYN flood or UDP flood, can be prevented, despite investing a lot of money on mitigation solutions. DDoS protection software is frequently put to the test for the first time during a real-world attack.
This is strange because firms conduct pen-testing every year to ensure that their IT infrastructure is secure. Perhaps SOC teams have too many jobs on their plates, and simply deploying DDoS protection software appears to be enough to cross DDoS off their to-do list.
In reality, DDoS mitigation without testing is akin to deploying software that hasn’t been thoroughly tested. Businesses cannot trust a protection solution until it has been put through hundreds of DDoS tests. There have been a variety of difficulties that have precluded mitigation, both common and unusual. Businesses should test their defenses, detect configuration issues, and train their personnel by simulating DDoS attacks.
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Underutilized/sub-optimized protection technology
Businesses that conduct DDoS testing rapidly learn that some attacks can be mitigated while others cannot.
In most cases, the problem isn’t a lack of protective technologies; rather, it’s a lack of effective setup and configuration. When an incident response team arrives to assist a company under attack, the DDOS protection technology is frequently still configured to factory settings.
While most DDoS solutions include some protection out of the box, many parameters should be configured. Businesses will need a different configuration and setup to protect an API than they would for a commercial site. For example, caching for simple items like static PDF or picture files may be enabled in a CDN web-protection component. Businesses must specify the rules themselves if they wish to enhance their system and limit the attackable surface by caching HTML pages.
Teams are not trained
Another reason DDoS protection fails is the human component. Security, network, and SOC/NOC teams in most corporations (including huge institutions like banks and insurance companies) are not trained to cope with DDoS. During an attack, this lack of understanding results in a less effective response.
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Members of security teams frequently have no idea which component or parameter in their system should be used to counteract a given attack vector. Similarly, SOC/NOC teams and network administrators may lack the information needed to recognize an attack and respond appropriately, such as routing traffic to the scrubbing center as soon as the attack begins. Companies frequently lack a set of procedures and a game plan for effectively responding to a DDoS attack from a broader, cross-team perspective.
In other words, better DDoS abilities and understanding mean that the impacts of an attack can be mitigated considerably faster.
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