Anyone who’s spent any amount of time on the Internet is likely aware of what a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack is, even if they don’t know the name for it. At one point or another, we’ve all been browsing the Internet and come across a website that’s unavailable and been told in one way or another that we’re being denied service. While it’s rare that we get to know the exact reasons that prompt people to launch DDoS attacks against certain websites, one thing is for certain: they can happen to any site at any given time. This is obviously bad news for site owners, particularly those that are managing e-retail sites or sites that rely on heavy amounts of user traffic. If you fall into that category, you should make sure that you know how to handle a DDoS attack the right way in case it should ever happen to you.
Learn to Recognize an Attack
If you don’t know what all occurs during a DDoS attack, you might confuse it for a server issue and neglect to take the appropriate steps. This is why it’s important that you be able to identify an attack early before too much damage has been done. You should be able to recognize the patterns in your inbound traffic in regards to what’s normal and what isn’t. Because a DDoS attack basically involves assaulting a single IP address with massive amounts of traffic that will overwhelm the server or the routers, you want to be on the check out for any hikes in traffic. The spike will be a sudden and obvious one, and once you see it you’ll know what’s about to happen.
It’s actually always a good idea to have more bandwidth available than you’ll actually need in case of a situation where you’re going to experience a planned surge in traffic. An example of this would be if you were having a sale or some kind of discount going on in your online store. However, having that extra bandwidth can also come in very useful in the event of a DDoS attack. It won’t be enough to mitigate the attack, but it will be enough to give you a little extra time to prepare to the best of your abilities for the oncoming assault.
Contact Your Hosting Provider
When you’re certain that you’re experiencing a DDoS attack, the next step is to contact your hosting provider. Inform them of what’s happening. They will be able to react accordingly. Depending on how severe the attack is, they may begin to be overwhelmed, as well. However, if the server you’re being hosted on is in a datacenter, it’s likely that they have the bandwidth to withstand such an attack. They will take steps to prevent traffic from arriving to your site, thus lessening the burden on your bandwidth. As complicated and worrisome as a DDoS attack is, always keep in mind that your hosting provider has likely had experience in dealing with this kind of thing. They will do their best to mitigate the worst of it and get your site back up and running as quickly as possible.