What is DDoS Mitigation?
DDoS mitigation is a method of enhancing the overall performance of a business's data center capabilities through the implementation of various IT strategies behind stopping DDoS attacks such as server consolidation, server virtualization and service oriented architecture (SOA) in an effort to increase processing efficiency, network availability and business scalability.
There are multiple methods for thwarting a distributed denial of service attack, and an effective attack mitigation strategy will include more than one. Networks can employ connection-limiting controls, which slow down or stop new connection requests in the event of an attack. Rate limiting is another method of throttling malicious behavior by users.
When a business implements a data center optimization strategy, it is not only optimizing IT resources and cutting excess expenditure costs, but also better suiting itself for the challenges of operating in a global business environment. By utilizing IT hardware and software to its fullest extent and efficiency, companies have the ability and flexibility to grow. Server consolidation helps by minimizing the number of active servers a data center employs. Often, data centers have many under-utilized servers performing business IT functions. The processes these servers perform can be consolidated into fewer servers, still operate at the same level of performance, and save on the costs of running additional servers. For enterprises and other larger organizations, the consolidation of multiple data centers into fewer optimized data centers is also an option for added efficiency. Within consolidated servers, the process of virtualization can also be employed to divide single servers into multiple virtual layers that can then be used to perform the tasks of several servers.
Guidelines For Choosing an Attack Mitigation Service
Below is a list of key DDoS attack mitigation guidelines that should be considered when choosing a DDoS mitigation service.
Choose a Vendor That Specializes in DDoS Attack Mitigation Solutions
Verify the experience and reputation of the managed DDoS mitigation services provider. Is their technology market proven? Who are their clients? Have DDoS attacks on their clients made it into the headlines? Try to find a single DDoS attack mitigation vendor that can provide a comprehensive DDoS detection and mitigation solution.
Implement Sufficient DDoS Attack Coverage
Emerging threats bring with them new attack vectors. Make sure that your DDoS mitigation solution mitigates known attack vectors and protects against SSL encryption attacks and various web-stealth attacks. Verify that yours is a hybrid mitigation service in order to effectively handle pipe saturation risks with no disturbance to user experience. Ensure the DDoS attack mitigation solution provides layered protection, covering attacks on network, servers, and applications.
Perform Real-Time and Post-DDoS Attack Mitigation Analysis
Visibility is critical in layered security architectures. The security information and event management system (SIEM) should be integrated as part of a DDoS protection solution. IT staff must have full visibility and receive real-time information from all detection tools protecting the enterprise assets. Advanced anti-DDoS solutions must be well-integrated with SIEM systems that are able to aggregate, normalize, and correlate data from multiple sources. Real-time information, reports, automated analysis, and processes provide visibility and insight during attacks and during post-attack analysis and forensics.
Verify Vendor Support Levels during DDoS Attacks
Verify in advance the level of vendor assistance offered when you are under a DDoS attack. Your vendor should provide DDoS attack mitigation support from a team of experts during the attack, along with comprehensive post-attack research and analysis support.
Become Familiar with Regulations
Cyber-attacks target everything from financial services to power generation, and now they threaten the fidelity and integrity of industrial segments around the globe. Regulators have taken note. Among the most noteworthy regulatory initiatives:
- National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework (US)
- Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) DDoS Memorandum (Canada)
- Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) Joint Statement Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) Cyber-Attacks, Risk Mitigation, and Additional Resources (US)
- Securities and Exchange Commission Cyber Exams (US)
- Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Guidance (US)
- National Credit Union Administration Risk Alert (US)
While no DDoS mitigation strategy is foolproof, organizations can go a long way toward mitigating the short- and long-term damage caused by DDoS attacks by choosing the right vendor, implementing a hybrid DDoS attack mitigation solution that provides ample coverage, analyzing real-time and post-DDoS attack data, verifying vendor DDoS attack support levels, and understanding key regulatory initiatives.