DoS vs. DDoS Attacks: What’s the difference?

DoS vs. DDoS Attacks: What’s the difference?

Have you ever been browsing your favourite website or watching your favourite online video stream only to have your access suddenly interrupted or slowed to a crawl but when you tried accessing other sites, you realised that they’re working fine? Now, you might be thinking that the website is having problems with their network connection server or they’re experiencing a high volume of web traffic which is often the main reason.

But this isn’t always the case.

If you’re experiencing a laggy network performance, unable to access any website or there’s a startling increase in the amount of spam you receive in your account, chances are the site is being hit by a Denial of Service (DoS) attack or, worse, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. But how can we differentiate these two network nuisances?

Which is What Now?

Whilst DoS and DDoS may sound similar, there are differences between the two.

In a DoS attack, the perpetrator initiates the strike from a single computer with an Internet connection.  They use it to bombard a particular target (a software vulnerability or a network resource, perhaps) with unnecessary requests in a bid to choke the targeted system and prevent all authentic requests from being completed.

On the other hand, a DDoS attack also employs similar tactics but the result is more different. Instead of utilising a single Internet-enabled device, this sophisticated attack involves multiple computers and more than one Internet connections. This type of attack is made possible through the use of computers infected with a malware and are remotely controlled to conduct coordinated attacks to a specific target. These infected computers are called “botnets” or occasionally referred to as a “zombie army”.

DDoS attacks are difficult to trace and shut down as it generates more than one IP traffic than the ordinary DoS attack, which uses only one IP. Also, DDoS strikes do massive damages than DoS as the former overloads the target site or server with hundreds or thousands of illegitimate requests from different network locations as opposed to the latter.

Avoiding the Blitzkrieg

Obviously, you wouldn’t want to wait until you become the next victim of yet another long list of attacks. There are some ways, according to IT Security Services Australia, you can follow to avoid yourself being a DDoS or DoS victim and keep your network clear from spammers and other junks:

Be Knowledgeable

Be aware of any abnormal behaviour in your network by investing in technology that lets you check on any occurences such as a DDoS attack.

Increase Capacity

Make sure that your server is tuned for best performance under higher loads. Provide a bigger network with enough features to further advance your mitigations against DoS or DDoS attacks.

Exercise your Defences

Conduct cybersecurity seminars on your people to let them know about the latest issues. Also, set security drills in order for you to be prepared for any possible intrusions. Knowing how to apply your strategies is just as important as buying and installing them.

Call for Help

If you don’t have the resources to handle any attacks in-house, you can outsource to a managed DNS provider like IT Services Australia who can switch your site visitors to hosts that aren’t down and provide you with services like load balancing and performance monitoring.

Be Prepared

To avoid any disruptions from a DDoS attack, your organisation should be more prepared for it. Figure out the financial impact of a possible attack on your business then decide whether you have to invest in a strong mitigation strategy.

Different Tactics, Same Results

Even if you do correctly identify a DoS or DDoS attack, the impact it makes to your business doesn’t make any difference at all.  Once these bothering degenerates come into your site or server, you can never determine whether it’s a legitimate traffic or not until it’s too late.

As more factors emerge to make DoS and DDoS attacks a big concern for every organisation, especially with the development of high-speed fiber optic Internet connections,  a solid preparation with all the security defenses available is the best means to fight these attacks.

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