US Federal agencies issue guide on how to deal with DDoS attacks

DDoS attack hero image

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) have issued collaborative instructions for reacting to distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults.

“Organizations should include steps to address these potential effects in their incident response and continuity of operations playbooks,” the three agencies wrote in a recent statement.

Denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, according to the alert, normally have minimal impact on the confidentiality and integrity of systems and data, but they can be used to deflect attention away from other forms of attacks, such as malware deployment and data exfiltration.

“In a progressively interconnected world with additional post-pandemic remote connectivity requirements, maintaining the availability of business-essential external-facing resources can be challenging for even the most mature IT and incident response teams,” the statement said. “It is impossible to completely avoid becoming a target of a DDoS attack.”

The agencies outline a few steps companies should take to avoid, if expecting, or after such an attack. These include

Before an attack:

  • Understand your critical assets and services. 
  • Understand how your users connect to your network. 
  • Enroll in a DDoS protection service. 

If you are expecting an attack:

  • Confirm the DDoS attack
  • Contact your ISP
  • Understand the nature of the attack
  • Deploy mitigations

After the attack:

  • Continue to monitor other network assets 
  • Update your DDoS response plan 
  • Proactively monitor your network to quickly identify DDoS attacks.

DDoS assaults are a sort of cyberattack that target programs or websites and aims to exhaust the target system’s resources, rendering it unreachable to legitimate users.

Such attacks are designed to focus on server vulnerabilities in order to overload network resources or use these resources by reflecting a large volume of network traffic onto the target. They may also attempt to overload the target’s connection (protocol) or application (compute or storage) resources.

When the overloaded traffic comes from several sources working together, the attack is classified as a DDoS. The most prevalent source of DDoS assaults is botnets, which are networks of hacked devices such as PCs, IoT devices, and servers.

One of the services offered by Cloudica is DDoS attack test, where our security experts properly deploy and configure solutions to a possible attack on your system. Thanks to our years of experience, your business can be protected from DDoS attacks, keeping everything in your IT environment highly available.

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Once the above questions have been answered, a disaster recovery and backup readiness index can be calculated based on the following scale: 

  • Level 1: Inadequate – The organization has significant gaps in its disaster recovery and backup posture.  
  • Level 2: Developing – The organization has some disaster recovery and backup processes in place, but significant improvements are needed.  
  • Level 3: Mature – The organization has a mature disaster recovery and backup posture, but there is room for improvement.  
  • Level 4: Robust – The organization has a strong disaster recovery and backup posture and is well-prepared to address potential disruptions.  
  • Level 5: Exceptional – The organization has a comprehensive and mature approach to disaster recovery and backup. 

The disaster recovery and backup readiness index can be calculated by assigning a score of 1-5 to each question based on the level of readiness demonstrated. The scores are then averaged across all questions in each category to determine the readiness level for that category. The overall disaster recovery and backup readiness index is calculated by averaging the readiness levels across all categories. 

Level 1: Basic
You have minimal cybersecurity processes in place and face a high risk of cyberattacks. Immediate attention and significant improvements are necessary to enhance your security posture.

Level 2: Developing
You have some cybersecurity processes in place but require substantial improvements to reach a mature state. You should focus on strengthening your policies, procedures, and security controls.

Level 3: Mature
You have a solid cybersecurity posture, but there is still room for improvement. You should continue enhancing your processes, monitoring capabilities, and incident response practices.

Level 4: Advanced
You have a strong cybersecurity posture and are well-prepared to address potential threats. However, you should remain proactive and stay abreast of emerging threats and technologies to maintain your advanced level of security.

Level 5: Leading
You have a comprehensive and mature approach to cybersecurity. You are a leader in cybersecurity best practices and continually innovate to stay ahead of evolving threats.

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