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Mitigation Strategies For DoS Attacks

Here are three steps that can be used to deal with a Denial-of-Service attack (commonly known as a DoS attack).

A Denial-of-Service attack (commonly known as a DoS attack) is a cyberattack that attempts to disable a device or network. This act would make the intended users unable to use the device or network while it is active. It works either by sending a command to the target to make it crash or by overloading the target with traffic until it crashes. Depending on the importance of the device or network involved in DoS attacks, the outcome could be disastrous as it would disrupt the operations of the organization that needs it.

Common victims of DoS attacks are the web servers of prominent organizations like banks, governments, and media houses. However, companies with poor cybersecurity culture are at greater risk of being targeted than those that take preventive measures. Fortunately, this kind of cyberattack usually does not result in loss of vital information or theft of valuable assets. Instead, they waste the organization’s time and make them spend money to solve the problem.

This is similar to a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack, however, the latter is worse. In a DDoS attack, the target suffers many synchronized DoS attacks at once. The synched attacks originate from different locations, which makes them difficult to deal with.

Mitigating DoS Attacks

These cyberattacks are usually prevented by detecting and blocking suspicious traffic at the routing level. This can be achieved by careful management and analysis of the network’s bandwidth. Carefully architecting an API so they can handle large traffic would also help against flood attacks. Here are other steps that can be used to deal with DoS attacks:

1. Detection

All mitigation steps begin with the user knowing they have been subjected to a DoS attack. To detect a cyberattack, one has to observe incoming traffic and take note of anything out of the ordinary. Additionally, the usage of a scalable cloud service might allow a targeted network to accommodate the excess traffic that comes with a DoS attack but that might be expensive in the long run. Detecting the attack in its early stages will increase the chances of success of other mitigation methods and save money.

2. Filtering IP Addresses

It is helpful to only allow known IP addresses to access a private network. For instance, a company can make its network only responsive to IP addresses within a certain range. This will block out all other IP addresses including those that are hidden until they are given permission by the administrator. In addition, the company can specifically block known malicious IP addresses so they cannot infect the network.

3. Rate Limiting

This is the act of limiting the volume of traffic that is available to a Network Interface Controller. Traffic rates can be limited by hardware and software components. Hardware like routers and switches usually have in-built rate-limiting capabilities that a user can adjust as they see fit. Meanwhile, the software can control traffic rates by limiting the number of concurrent API calls that a user on a network can make. They can also limit the total number of API calls a user can make in a specific period. These steps will prevent traffic overload on a server.

DoS attacks can be troublesome and annoying to experience because of the disruptions to operations that they cause. Detecting the cyberattacks early is important as it can minimize damage and make them less expensive to deal with. Taking proactive measures like limiting traffic rates and blocking IP addresses also greatly reduces the likelihood of suffering a DoS attack.

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