Tips on Stopping DDoS Attack: DNS Vulnerabilities & Mitigation Strategies

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For any enterprises, simply mentioning the letters DDoS can provide them with goose-bumps and even leave them in poor mood for the remainder of the day. That is because these distributed denial-of-service attacks (shortened to DDoS) are on the rise and show no signs of slowing down. Internet forums these days are jam-packed with threads about these attacks and are often looked upon in a playful manner by bystanders and spectators. The truth is however, that these invaders who frequently target internet businesses or services can often have a large impact on how customers view the security and safety of the site they are visiting. In this article we’re going to take a quick look at how these attacks can impact your website and explain some DNS vulnerabilities and mitigation strategies that you should be aware of.

Denial-of-service attacks are considered to be a deliberate effort by an attacker to prevent genuine users of a service from accessing that service. They follow through with their attack by either crashing the service completely or flooding it to the point where those real users can no longer access the site. Typical indications that you have been hit by a DDoS attack are usually reflected by an abnormally slow network performance. If you own a website that has been running smoothly for some time, then suddenly you are receiving extremely slow speeds, then it’s possible that you are being targeted. Denial of service attacks also essentially lead to the complete unavailability of a website.

There are several ways that your Domain Name Servers (DNS) may contain vulnerabilities that could be taken advantage of by potential attackers. One way in particular includes gaining access to the root-level of your name server and being able to disrupt the usual operation of that server.

Another way to protect yourself is through the use of various mitigation strategies. Having a full understanding of how your perimeter defense works is a great start to protecting yourself from possible DDoS attacks. It’s important to remember that you should have more than one layer of defense, because experienced attackers will find other opportunities to evade those particular blocks. The ultimate goal when creating a mitigation strategy therefore is to have different stages that will help maintain reliable connectivity when the attack is initiated, and then a method to repair the “polluted” traffic before it reaches your network and causes any catastrophe damage.

There are myriad of solutions in the market that can help enterprises to mitigate this risks, but however, there is no silver bullet that solves it all. Enterprises have different risk appetite and may already have some form of DDOS counter measures in place. It is important to conduct a baseline assessment of what are your existing exposures, risk appetite and defense mechanism in order to plug the insidious gap.