What Manufacturers Need to Know to Stay Safe

DDOS Attacks – What Manufacturers Need to Know to Stay Safe

Manufacturers’ Protection from DDOS Attacks What Manufacturers Need to Know to Stay Safe

Most modern manufacturers rely on the uninterrupted flow of data to maintain business continuity.  DDoS attacks remain one of the most common threats to achieving this objective.  Manufacturers can maintain DDoS Attack Protection by deploying appropriate DDoS Attack Prevention and DDoS Attack Mitigation measures.

What is a DDoS Attack

The acronym DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Service.  In a DOS (Denial of Service) attack, an entity uses a computer to flood a targeted computing system with rapid requests for service.  This makes the targeted system unavailable for its intended customer base.  A DDoS attack differs from a DoS attack, in that it uses distributed computing techniques to attack the target from many different sources.  This creates difficulty in finding and stopping the attack.

How Does a DDoS Attack Work

Hackers can execute DDoS attacks in a variety of ways.

Volumetric Attacks – A hacker uses a botnet to send a large volume of traffic to a network, server, or website.  The traffic appears legitimate as it streams from a wide range of different sources, all controlled by the botnet.  Actual users of the machines sending the data streams to remain unaware of their data transmissions.

Application Layer Attacks – With Application Layer Attacks, requests to the host appear legitimate, which makes detection difficult.  They are more difficult to detect than attacks on the network layer.  Cybercriminals often combine Application Attacks with other types of attacks, resulting in bandwidth consumption.

Fragmentation Attacks – IP (Internet Protocol) fragmentation refers to an IP process that breaks data packets into smaller pieces in order to pass through system bottlenecks.  The receiving host then reassembles the data packet to complete the data transmission process.    With a Fragmentation Attack, a hacker sends fake data packets that the host cannot reassemble.

TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) Connection Attacks – TCP runs as a layer on top of the IP, which checks data streams for errors, orders data streams, assigns ports and initiates a ‘handshake’ between the two applications using the IP to exchange data.  TCP Connection Attacks prevent completion of the ‘handshake’ and send multiple similar connection requests, which ultimately occupies all open ports and disables communication between host and server.

How Can Manufacturers Deploy DDoS Attack Protection?

A DDoS attack can produce significant interruption to an efficient flow of data.  If your business depends on efficient data flow for business continuity, you should deploy appropriate cybersecurity measures to enable DDoS Attack Prevention.  These measures include the identification and deployment of DDoS attack prevention and DDoS attack mitigation methods.

Review Cybersecurity Strategy– Strategy to implement a plan for DDoS attack prevention and DDoS attack mitigation should fit within the realm of the overall IT and business strategies.

In too many cases, businesses develop IT strategies with fully developed business strategies already in place.  Ensure IT system architecture and security controls and architecture accounts for DDoS Attack Response and Mitigation…

Configure System Components to Reject Suspected Traffic– You should maintain the latest security patches on your firewalls and routers.  These security features aim to locate dangerous packets, e.g. Trojans and block them from reaching intended areas of attack.  Also, businesses that utilize IoT devices, such as manufacturers and distributors, should ensure they maintain security updates on all connected devices.

Reroute Traffic– As soon as you realize a DDoS attack is happening, you should contact your ISP to request they reroute your data stream to avoid the conflict while they debug the system. You can review your contract to ensure your ISP maintains this redundancy and is capable and willing to respond to such requests.  Alternatively, you can consider maintaining a contract for contingency ISP services and remain prepared to make a quick switch to reroute traffic on demand.

How Do We Assess the Effectiveness of Our Protection Against a DDoS Attack?

The effectiveness of your protection against DDoS attacks depends not only on maintaining security software updates but also depends on system architecture.  A competent IT MSP can take a strategic approach to help you understand your current vulnerabilities and recommend cost-efficient adjustments you can make to reduce your level of exposure to DDoS and other cybersecurity threats.

A recently published CIS Blog post ‘A Disaster Planning Checklist’ provides some general guidelines for developing a disaster response plan.  The post provides suggestions for risk identification and response preparation.

 

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