What Do You Know About DDoS Attacks? Here’s The Ultimate Guide

Every good hero needs a trusty guide.

Sherlock Holmes had his Watson. Bruce Wayne had Alfred. Captain Kirk? He had Spock. Today’s information security professionals are no different. They work in the trenches to protect networks and applications and they are the modern day heroes of our digital lives. And thus, a guide for keeping up with the fast evolving cyber-threat landscape is valuable when supporting combat.

Today at Radware, we’re pleased to provide a new tool to this community with the release of our newly updated DDoS Handbook. The handbook is subtitled ‘The Ultimate Guide to Everything You Need to Know About DDoS Attacks’ and while no single document could be the be-all-end-all of cyber-attack education, it does provide a unique level of foundational knowledge. The handbook is built from the Radware team’s insights gleaned from over 10 years of battling DDoS attacks. Protecting some of the largest, most network dependent, and most targeted organizations in the world from an array of attack campaigns affords this team a truly unique level of knowledge about attack detection, motivation and mitigation.

Foundational Knowledge is Necessary

DDoS_Handbook_glowIf you listen to any number of industry experts, they will tell you that it is nearly impossible for IT or information security staff to keep fully up-to-date on the evolution of cyber-attacks. There is a lot of truth in these statements; especially in the context of real-time threat mitigation against something like Zero-Day Attacks. In response to this challenge, there are many vendors ready to support security operators in maintaining their visibility of the threat landscape. But it is important to keep in mind that these vendors’ products and services don’t replace the need for foundational knowledge within the organization about the general direction of cyber-attacks. Organizations that interpret the purchase of the latest and greatest security product or those that move to a managed security service as an opportunity to relieve themselves of responsibility, will lose in the end.

For those new to the topic of DDoS attacks, this handbook can provide a starting point in understanding. Who, you might ask, would be new to the topic? The fact is that DDoS attacks are targeting entirely new industries and market segments that previously would disregard these attacks as a concern only for big banks or large ecommerce players. Those days are gone. Nearly every day, we find ourselves engaged in discussions with an organization from a new market segment showing concern over this threat, often in response to a specific incident. The DDoS Handbook gives members of these teams a strong foundation in the background and history of DDoS attacks. There is also a wealth of information on the evolution of motives, different attack types and the tools utilized by today’s attackers.

The Expanse of DDoS

Radware has been building and supporting defenses for DDoS attacks for over 10 years. When we got started, DDoS attacks were still a relatively niche segment of security threats and protection was viewed as an isolated tactic within the security operation. This has changed dramatically over the past few years. Protection from volumetric threats has become not only a foundational element for increasingly network-dependent companies but also a strategic pillar as these threats often combine elements of other attack types.
In a recent briefing, I was told that as much as 40% of customer inquiries include a DDoS protection discussion. This rise of strategic focus for DDoS highlights the importance of viewing attacks in the broader context of enterprise security. The handbook supports this, through a chapter devoted to the rapid changes around the network perimeter and its impact on security. Trends related to the increased use of Content Delivery Networks, cloud computing and virtualization are also explored.

Experienced Advice Helps

Background and history are great, but any DDoS handbook would be incomplete without clear and proven advice on preparation and response. The handbook delivers a comprehensive chapter that highlights business and attack trends and provides a set of best practices for organizations to consider when planning for cyber-attacks. Learn the critical points of evaluation for protective measures as well as some valuable Do’s and Don’ts for attack preparation, attack response and post-attack analysis.

An Outlook and a Resource

Where is the DDoS threat headed? The experience our team has we’ve earned in the DDoS space has led to sharpened radar on what new tactics represent a meaningful shift in attack strategy vs. something that is a limited trend that could be addressable through basic protection updates. The updated ‘DDoS dictionary’ is also a great go-to resource for maintaining an individual or organizational DDoS knowledge base. I’m not ashamed to admit that this is a tool I use frequently in my own work on the topic.
There is a saying that “the right tool in the wrong hands” will always lead to failure. In creating and maintaining the DDoS Handbook, we address both the challenge of the tool and the capabilities of its operator. This foundation can support individuals that play a part in the protection strategies and tactics for their organization. Detailed attack profiles and clear advice, are a valuable tool to supplement products and services that comprise an enterprise security strategy.


Radware’s DDoS Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Everything You Need to Know about DDoS Attacks

Ben Desjardins

Ben Desjardins drives the development of vertical and use-case specific solutions for Radware’s Security Product Portfolio. In this role, Ben focuses extensively on the competitive landscape for anti-DDoS, WAF and anti-scraping technologies. Ben has extensive experience across a wide array of security technologies and disciplines, including DDoS, DNS, SSL, Threat/Vulnerability Management, IAM and PCI-DSS and he brings nearly two decades of marketing management experience to his work at Radware, including over 12 years focused on the information security and cyber threat arenas. Additionally, Ben has led global go-to-market efforts across many industries including retail, Ecommerce, financial services, public sector and healthcare/life sciences.

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