Types of DDoS Attacks: HTTP GET Flood, SYN Flood and Layer 7 Attacks
Different types of DDoS attacks target different parts of service connectivity. The two most common types are SYN flood and HTTP GET flood, according to a Fortinet white paper. These attacks “are used to overwhelm network connections or overload the servers behind firewalls and intrusion protection services (IPS),” by using botnets to flood the connection the same way legitimate users would try to access the site or service.
HTTP floods are part of a great grouping of DDoS attacks that target the application layer of network connectivity (Layer 7). Application layer attacks are often more sophisticated and require additional mechanisms to carry out.
“Rather than simply flooding a network with traffic or sessions, these attack types target specific applications and services to slowly exhaust resources at the application layer,” the Fortinet white paper states.
“Application-layer attacks can be very effective at low traffic rates, and the traffic involved in the attacks can be legitimate from a protocol perspective. This makes application-layer attacks harder to detect than other DDoS attack types. HTTP Flood, DNS dictionary, Slowloris, etc., are examples of application-layer attacks.”
How Can DDoS Attacks Be Harmful During Remote Work?
Any kind of service disruption is going to throw a wrench into business, particularly in the financial sector where the flow of money is at the core of the industry. But now that large portions of the workforce are doing their jobs from home, it is particularly important that network connections remain unimpeded.
Customers' inability to access financial services can be problematic enough, but a DDoS attack amid widespread remote work could also cripple access for bank employees, bringing operations to a halt — and also raising questions about trust and reliability among customers, many of whom may be experiencing financial hardship amid economic uncertainty.
The threat has increased as well. Kapersky found that DDoS attacks in the first quarter of 2020 were up 80 percent over Q1 2019, and doubled from Q4 2019. That research also found that the average DDoS attack in Q1 2020 lasted 24 percent longer than the previous year.
Recommended Tools for Preventing a DDoS Attack
This increased risk coupled with higher stakes means that businesses can’t afford to put DDoS mitigation on the back burner. Defending against DDoS attacks begins with being able to distinguish between legitimate traffic and traffic that stems from the attack.
One tool that can help with this is a web application firewall. WAFs can filter, monitor and even block HTTP traffic to a web application, serving as a proxy to keep out potential zombie machines that might be part of a DDoS attack.
Organizations also must be prepared to respond if they are the victims of a DDoS attack. Having a disaster recovery plan is critical, as it will allow the organization to maintain operations while such an attack is ongoing — ensuring business continuity despite unforeseen circumstances.
Maintaining the reliable delivery of products isn’t only a customer service issue, it’s also a security issue. For businesses to avoid big losses during a DDoS attack, they must put the proper solutions in place and plan for how they can continue operations around it.