When it comes to hosting, most business owners like to have a set-it-and-forget-it attitude. They don’t think through all the possible worst-case scenarios that might affect their online presence and thus don’t actively prepare for them. Unfortunately, cybercriminals do.
So if your business stores sensitive information (e.g., for payments) or provides a valuable service online (that could be negatively affected by a short downtime), it’s critical to have a robust plan B in place for when worst-case scenarios occur.
One of the most widespread worst-case scenarios that has been affecting businesses worldwide for decades is DDoS attacks.
How DDoS Attacks Happen
Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are networks of computers (effectively bots) trying to access your server all at once from different locations. These requests (often measured in tens of thousands) quickly overwhelm your allocated server bandwidth and shut down your website, email server, or even cPanel.
Over the years, DDoS attacks have become more and more aggressive. While an average one in the 2000s could use just a few hundred megabytes of bandwidth per second, attacks today take up terabytes and are responsible for nearly a third of all downtime online.
Extensive downtime resulting from a powerful DDoS attack could lead to permanent loss of customers and revenue, as well as lower your brand’s trust. Cybercriminals know this and often organize DDoS attacks on behalf of competition or ask for a ransom directly. Any website lacking sufficient DDoS protection could become a victim.
What Makes Your Business Vulnerable to DDoS Attacks
Businesses that prepare ahead of time fare better against DDoS attacks than those that don’t. What is the difference?
Cybercriminals are always looking for vulnerabilities in server architecture, HTTP requests, authentication methods, and more. It’s essential to keep your codebase (both frontend and backend) updated, which includes using the latest frameworks, plugins, APIs, and other security patches.
Besides, frequent and comprehensive backups will give your business more options to navigate the attack than if you let cyber criminals hold your only source of data hostage.
Finally, the most critical mitigation tool for DDoS attacks is the protection from a high-quality hosting provider, regardless of its severity.
What Is a DDoS Protected VPS?
A DDoS Protected VPS is a Virtual Private Server built on a network equipped to handle large DDoS attack and that employs robust DDoS mitigation tools.
- A network needs to be able to handle large incoming requests in order to parse legitimate traffic from DDoS traffic.
- Hardware and software mitigation tools allow for granular control of traffic influx, especially during sophisticated attacks
Why Choose VPS for DDoS Attack Protection
As mentioned above, protecting your business against DDoS attacks could require gigabytes, if not terabytes, of scalable, on-demand bandwidth from your hosting provider. For those considering shared hosting vs vps hosting, this can be challenging when considering scalability.
Resources for DDoS attacks are something to keep in mind when you’re thinking of hosting solely based on cost — most of the time, cheaper shared hosting companies are not ready to provide you with adequate resources to overcome DDoS attacks. What’s more, they are even more likely to shut down your website as the attack overloads the server that other tenants share with you.
By default, a virtual private server (VPS) offers better DDoS protection than any shared hosting option, but you should consult your hosting company for specifics. At Liquid Web, for example, we make sure to protect your account against all known types of volumetric DDoS attacks.
When you sign up for a Liquid Web VPS plan, our set of proprietary tools starts to monitor all incoming network traffic (not just web traffic) for any discrepancies. During a DDoS attack, our DDoS mitigation system automatically separates and blocks malicious agents while letting your legitimate customers through.
Best of all, all Liquid Web VPS plans include standard protection for free. Still, if your business is a frequent victim of DDoS attacks, you can also easily upgrade to advanced and premium protection at any time.
What is Anti-DDoS Protection?
Anti-DDoS protection is a mix of hardware and software that actively protects clients from DDoS attacks.
Liquid Web employs three types of protection:
- The first is always on and is outside our network entry point. It addresses less sophisticated attacks that happen regularly, and every VPS customer gets 2 Gbps of protection by default.
- The second form sits inside our network, which scrubs traffic more in-depth and gives us the ability to scrub sophisticated and changing attack vectors.
- The third is off-network and routes traffic to a scrubbing platform that handles very large amounts of junk traffic. The unsophisticated, bad traffic is removed off-network and then passed through both tiers of protection once more.
How to Successfully Handle Any DDoS Attack
As an online business, being prepared is your most effective tool against any potential DDoS attack:
- Start by checking how much DDoS protection you get from your hosting provider right now. What’s the protection volume in Gbps? Are there protections against Layer 3-4 (volumetric) attacks and Layer 7 (application layer or SYN flood) attacks? How quickly can you reach customer service when the attack happens?
- Make sure your server codebase is up to date and your data is getting backed up frequently. Test the way you can access your backup.
- Confirm that your hosting provider has an appropriate firewall in place and a load balancer installed.
- Consider using CloudFlare. As one of the world’s most popular content delivery networks, CloudFlare can quickly detect where your DDoS attack is coming from and block those IP addresses throughout its global network. Ask your hosting provider whether integration with CloudFlare is available.
At Liquid Web, we take DDoS attacks seriously. That’s why all our VPS plans come with 2 Gbps of standard DDoS protection. We also offer advanced and premium DDoS protection plans that strike just the right balance between cost and security. Our firewall and load balancer are always active. Automatic backups and CloudFlare integration are available to you in only one click.
Contact us today for a detailed overview of your DDoS protection with our VPS hosting plans.
About the Author