Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are a genuine threat for any website, regardless of size. In fact, DDoS attacks of hundreds of gigabytes in size have taken down some of the largest and most secure sites on the internet, including the United States Library of Congress in 2016.
Specifically, DDoS attacks work by flooding a website’s server with so much fake/generated traffic that the server cannot keep up. It becomes bogged down and, in some cases, crashes entirely. DDoS attacks can vary greatly in size and scope, from a few gigabytes to hundreds or more. The larger an attack is, the more likely it is to shut down a server completely.
No matter what type of website you run, protecting yourself from a DDoS attack is essential. If your site relies on revenue from ads or an eCommerce store, even a small amount of downtime can seriously impact your bottom line. And of course, when your site goes down without warning, your reputation could be tarnished as well.
So, where should you begin when it comes to protecting your server against DDoS attacks? We’ve got some practical tips and tricks that you can implement today.
Start with the Right Server
If you don’t already have a dedicated server to host your website, now is the time to make the switch. Compared to a shared or cloud server, a dedicated server is inherently more secure. Dedicated servers also allow for a greater level of customization, improved speed, and better overall performance – so there are plenty of reasons to switch to dedicated hosting for your website if you haven’t already.
Take Advantage of Free Protection
As you shop for a dedicated hosting company to trust with your website’s server needs, look for providers that offer free DDoS protection. As DDoS attacks become increasingly common, more hosting companies have begun including at least a basic level of defense with their plans. These services can give you added peace of mind by filtering traffic and only allowing legitimate visitors to enter your site.
Purchase Additional Protection When Needed
Free standard DDoS protection will only go so far if you’re hit with a large-scale DDoS attack. Therefore, purchasing additional protection might be a good idea if you want extra reassurance. Most hosting companies sell different levels of DDoS protection based on the size of the attack it can protect against. Typically, this comes with an additional monthly fee.
Learn to Spot the Signs of an Attack
Even with plenty of protection in place, you’ll want to be aware of the common signs of a DDoS attack so you can act quickly if your site is hit by one. Usually, an affected website will experience a sudden slow-down in page-loading times. If the server is taken down completely by an attack, users will be unable to access the site altogether.
If you experience any signs of a DDoS attack, the best course of action is to contact your hosting company immediately. From there, they will be able to work on restoring your server and access to your site. The sooner you can report an attack, the better you can mitigate damages.
ReliableSite offers dedicated server solutions to meet a variety of needs. Our servers offer low latency, 24/7 customer support, DDoS protection, and more.