Securing A Dedicated or VPS Server from DDoS
For popular websites, DDoS attacks have become an all-too-common nightmare. DDoS, or distributed denial of service, attacks have been occurring more frequently in recent years and are predicted to become even more frequent in the near future, according to a 2016 report by Cisco.
What Is A DDoS Attack?
The purpose of a DDoS attack is to make the targeted machine or network resource unavailable for those who use it. Typically, a DDoS attack temporarily or indefinitely interrupts a host’s internet connection.
A DDoS attack can cause:
- Slower network performance
- Unavailability of a specific website
- More spam emails
- Loss of internet connection
DDoS attacks can have a significant impact on an online business. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to secure your dedicated hosting server or VPS server, and protect your online business from DDoS.
#1. Choose the Right Web Host
Even if you have already signed up for a web hosting plan, it’s never too late to switch providers if safety is a major concern. Not all web hosting companies have plans that include DDoS protection. Fortunately, there are several that do. When shopping around for a web host, or even when looking into the details of your current hosting plan, take note of the security features in place. How protected is your site from DDoS attacks and security threats in general?
Bluehost, for example, has customized internal tools that automatically alleviate DDoS attacks. You can read more about the features offered by Bluehost and find out how to save hundreds per year on the cost of web hosting.
#2. Choose the Right Hosting Plan
Finding a great web host won’t do you much good if you sign up for the wrong type of hosting plan. Choosing the cheapest hosting plan available may seem like a good idea initially, as you try to save money, but a cheap hosting plan often means an unsecured hosting plan.
Instead, opt for a secure VPS or dedicated hosting plan that includes DDoS protection, reducing the chances of an attack. A more secured hosting plan, like a VPS or virtual private server plan, gives you your own operating space, isolating your site from potential cyberattacks. Choosing the right hosting plan will save you many headaches down the road.
#3. Keep Everything Up to Date
To reduce the chance of a potential attack, install updates as soon as possible, especially on open-source platforms like WordPress. As soon as an update becomes available, any platform running on an older system suddenly has a potential security loophole.
As annoying as it may be to install an update as soon as one becomes available, it’s worth reducing the risk of a DDoS attack. To better protect your site and your servers, frequently check for updates.
#4. Purchase More Bandwidth
A rather simple yet surprisingly effective way to ward off a DDoS attack is to buy more bandwidth. If you have enough bandwidth, your site will be better prepared to handle spikes in traffic, even those caused by potentially malicious activity.
Web hosting companies make it easy to upgrade your bandwidth to make it harder for attackers to launch a successful attack.
#5. DDoS Mitigation
DDoS mitigation is one of the more popular ways to detect a DDoS attack and redirect it from your server. Once an attack is detected, you can block the malicious IP addresses so that they are unable to access your site and execute their attack.
There are numerous cloud providers that offer DDoS mitigation. They will monitor your website’s incoming traffic and keep a lookout for any suspicious activity.
#6. Content Delivery Network
Another popular way to protect your website from a DDoS attack is by using a content delivery network, or CDN. When you use a CDN, your website is hosted on multiple IP addresses. That is particularly useful in the case of a DDoS attack because even if there is one successful attack, you still have several backup IP addresses that can keep your website from shutting down completely.
There are more benefits to a content delivery network than having more than one IP address. A CDN can also speed up the connection to your website from remote locations.