Protect Your Business: Here Are 5 DDoS Attacks to Watch Out for in 2023

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There has been an exponential increase in the number of Distributed Denial of Service [DDoS] attacks in recent years. DDoS attacks have become more effective in attacking multiple compromised systems and can impact businesses by causing lost productivity, customer service, and sales, as well as damaging reputation.

These attacks pose a serious threat to businesses in 2023 including large companies like Amazon. However, small and medium-sized businesses that use Voice over Internet Protocol [VoIP] are at greater risk. DDoS attacks aim to overwhelm a network or website with traffic from multiple sources to disrupt access for legitimate users.

Q1 ’23 Cybersecurity: DDoS Starts the Year With a Bang

Cyber threat actors launched several hacktivist campaigns against Western targets in early 2023: The pro-Russian groups, Killnet, and AnonymousSudan claimed responsibility for most of these attacks against banks, airports, healthcare organizations and universities.

However, their attacks were not extremely sophisticated or large-scale. Internet services, marketing, software and gaming companies were targeted the most.

DDoS activity steadily increased in the first quarter of 2023, especially ransom DDoS attacks which made up 16% of all attacks. These attacks overwhelm targets with traffic to disrupt service until a ransom is paid. Israel, U.S, Canada and Turkey were the top targets. Cloudflare detected a DDoS attack peaking at 71 million requests per second, and another reaching 1.3 terabits per second against a telecom provider in South America. Most attacks lasted under 10 minutes and were below 500 Mbps, but larger attacks over 100 Gbps grew 6.5% from the previous quarter. In summary, while early 2023 saw an uptick in hacktivist campaigns and DDoS activity, especially ransom attacks, the scale and sophistication of these cyber threats have not dramatically increased. Larger attacks are becoming more common but still make up a small percentage of the total.

5 DDoS Attacks to Watch Out for in 2023

Security experts have identified five types of DDoS attacks that businesses should be aware of in 2023.

Volume-Based Attacks

Volumetric DDoS attacks, which include UDP floods, ICMP floods, and other spoofed-packet floods, generate a high volume of traffic that can overwhelm the bandwidth of the targeted site.

Protocol Attacks

Protocol DDoS attacks, such as SYN floods, fragmented packet attacks, Ping of Death, Smurf DDoS, and more, consume server resources or those of intermediate communication equipment like firewalls and load balancers. These attacks are measured in packets per second (Pps) and operate by manipulating network protocols like TCP, UDP, and ICMP.

Fragmentation Attacks

These attacks manipulate network protocols to create incomplete IP packet fragments to overwhelm a system. They are also difficult to detect but can be blocked using firewalls that filter and drop fragmented IP packets.

Application-Layer Attacks

Application layer DDoS attacks, such as low-and-slow attacks, GET/POST floods, and those targeting specific vulnerabilities in Apache, Windows, or OpenBSD, consist of seemingly legitimate requests that aim to crash the web server.

Reflection Attacks

A reflection attack is a two-step attack where the attacker manipulates open DNS servers. The attacker sends massive requests to DNS servers using a spoofed IP address, and the DNS server responds, creating an attack on the target victim. The attack can render a company or organization’s data completely inaccessible.

While these are notable DDoS attack methods prevalent in the global cyber environment, businesses can take prompt preventative measures or respond quickly if they are hit with an attack.

General Guidelines for Implementing Technical Measures against DDoS Attacks

To defend against the diverse range of DDoS attacks in 2023, businesses need to implement a multi-layered approach employing intrusion detection systems, bandwidth monitoring, and web application

firewalls. Businesses can ensure maximum uptime for their networks and applications by consistently monitoring and employing adaptive security measures. Here are some guidelines that are beneficial in implementing measures against DDoS attacks:

Creating a Response Plan

When creating a DDoS attack response plan, it is important to document how to sustain business operations if an attack is successful, outline necessary technical competencies and expertise, and create a systems checklist to ensure advanced threat detection for assets. The plan should also establish an incident response team to handle the attack, notify key stakeholders, and ensure communication throughout the organization.

Securing Infrastructure With Multi-Level Protection Solutions

To protect against DDoS attacks, it is important to equip networks, applications, and infrastructure with multi-level protection strategies such as firewalls, VPNs, anti-spam, content filtering, and other security layers. These measures can monitor activities and identify traffic inconsistencies that are consistent with the signs of a DDoS attack.

Keeping Systems Up-to-Date

Outdated systems are vulnerable to loopholes that can be exploited by attackers and hackers. It is important to regularly patch infrastructure and install new software versions to ensure systems are up-to-date and are not susceptible to attacks by cybercriminals.

Exploring Cloud-Based Solutions

For small and medium-sized businesses, cloud-based solutions are an efficient and affordable way to safeguard against DDoS attacks. These solutions provide supplementary security measures like threat monitoring software, network redundancy, and data backup options. Additionally, the cloud’s greater bandwidth capacity makes it less vulnerable to DDoS attacks.

While no solution is 100% effective, adequate measures tailored to address divulged vulnerabilities can equip employees and increase IT teams’ confidence in preventing attacks.

Summing It Up

DDoS attacks remain a significant threat to businesses and organizations, with attackers constantly evolving their techniques. Staying informed about the latest attack trends and vectors, implementing

robust security controls and mitigation solutions, closely monitoring systems and networks, and having an incident response plan are crucial steps to strengthen protection against DDoS attacks in 2023 and beyond. Protecting against these disruptive and costly cyber threats should be a top priority for businesses.

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