The Sudden Surge in DDoS Attacks

DDos attacks

Learn how to protect your company’s cloud resources with configuration management, port monitoring, and security auditing tools. 

When Criminals Want to Shut Down Your Company’s Access to Cloud-Based Data and Workflow, They Often Implement a DDoS Attack.  

A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack happens when criminals flood your cloud servers and bandwidth with so much traffic that your employees and clients cannot access your cloud-based IT resources. 

Various reports indicate that DDoS attacks have been occurring on a massive scale in the past few years. One of the most significant DDoS attacks reported was the one launched against GitHub.  

At the height of the DDoS attack, the incoming traffic surged to an all-time high of almost 1.3 terabytes per second. But since GitHub had equipped its cloud security with top-class DDoS protection security auditing tools, the attack was notified within 10 minutes and mitigated quickly. Other famous attacks include the 2016 Dyn Attack, 2013 Spamhaus attack, etc. 

Why Companies Are Using the Cloud and the Security Implications  

Cloud computing is cost-effective, scalable, and flexible – allowing secure, mobile access to your organization’s workflow for traveling employees or satellite offices. Despite the advantages, cloud computing also comes with its own set of risks, DDoS attacks being one of those risks. As a result, cloud security management is critical in the shared responsibility model between CSPs (Cloud Service Providers) and enterprise customers. 

No company doing business online is immune to DDoS attacks.  

On Sept. 7, 2019, a three day DDoS attack was directed at Wikipedia. It shut down Wikipedia in Africa, Europe, and the Middle East while limiting and slowing access to users here in North America. 

The only way to guard against this kind of situation for your company is to have a partner such as Helical on your side to provide you with a compliant, powerful, simplified, and unified cybersecurity management platform. 

Why Are DDoS Attacks Targeting Cloud Services?  

  • Cloud computing is still susceptible to many vulnerabilities that originate from human negligence, e.g., system or network configurations. These vulnerabilities pave the way for cybercriminals to launch DDoS attacks.  
  • Vulnerabilities may be present in third-party applications and systems used by cloud service providers or organizations, making it more complicated for security administrators to detect and defend against such attacks. 
  • Most of the organizations still lack robust processes around secure configuration management and sophisticated continuous port monitoring and security auditing tools. 

While targeting your company, the first intent of the attackers in the early stage of a DDoS attack attempt is to disrupt the network. This is done by flooding the internet’s gateway. But if the gateway is protected by secure configuration management and is hard to penetrate, then the next course of action by the attackers is to target the servers in the cloud.  

A major DDoS attack can lead to disruption in the availability of the cloud service and may result in damage to your organization’s reputation or financial losses.  

Cloud Security Management 

Even though cloud computing offers significant advantages for enterprises, insufficient cloud security management can result in the negation of those advantages. Before migrating to cloud services, organizations need to understand the risks involved in cloud computing. Top-level management must ensure that robust policies and processes are in place and can provide maximum security to their sensitive data in the cloud.  

Holistic enterprise security must be a consideration. Cybersecurity for the cloud is about more than simply deploying port monitoring and security auditing tools.  

Cloud Security Management Can Be Broadly Classified into the Following Two Categories: 

  • Cloud Security Management For SaaS 

It is estimated that a mid-size business uses around 1400 applications for carrying out its operations. Most of these applications follow the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, such as Office 365 and others.  

A comprehensive security policy can be designed to provide an essential layer of security for those cloud-based applications. With regular port monitoring in combination with other protocols, cloud security management automatically decides the Who? How? and When? of access to those cloud-hosted applications. 

Cloud security for SaaS can include the adjustment of default security settings within the applications according to your requirements.  

  • Cloud Security Management For IaaS 

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the use of infrastructure from cloud services like Amazon AWS, or Microsoft Azure instead of purchasing, using, and maintaining on-premise hardware.  

It is the responsibility of the organization that is leasing out the infrastructure from one of these providers to ensure that additional cloud security measures are implemented, managed, and monitored.

Why Secure Configuration Management Is Crucial In Securing The Cloud From DDoS Attacks 

Unlike traditional security solutions, cloud security is entirely different, as data can travel among various cloud networks. It poses a risk as unmanaged devices can access and publish data in an unauthorized way. When it comes to planning for cloud security management, various factors need to be considered:  

  • Access Control (Identity and Access Management) 

The main aim of cloud security management is to provide controlled access to all sensitive data. Access control needs to be implemented at a granular level, determining who can read, write, edit, delete, and share data with others.  

  • Social Engineering 

In a social engineering attack, employees are tricked into actions that compromise the organization’s cybersecurity posture. Apart from providing ample cloud data security, organizations also need to give more effort to educating their employees about how to identify and respond to phishing and other social engineering attacks.  

  • Data Security 

Data security is a term that encompasses everything from password management to data backup and business continuity strategies. There are so many moving parts to effective data security protocols that it’s nearly impossible for a company to manage their data security and focus on their business concerns. Cybersecurity professionals step into that gap and ensure the protection of confidential client information and workflow data – both on-site and in the cloud. 

What Other Solutions Can a Professional IT Security Consultant Implement to Manage Your Cloud Security? 

  • Port Monitoring And Logging In Cloud 

No one pays much attention to data logs until something happens. Network log data can provide ample information to the security team about what went wrong so they can respond accordingly. Cloud security teams work to ensure that the ports that are monitored have controlled access to the firewall. Robust cloud security offerings provide configuration management capabilities and track the complete history of infrastructure usage.  

  • Auditing In Cloud For DDoS Detection And Prevention 

Cloud security management needs to be devised in such a way that it is designed to audit and check for any vulnerabilities in the applications running. Performing regular risk assessments and audits will ensure that your data in the cloud is adequately secured. 

No matter what the size of your business is, if your security is not adequate, hackers will try to exploit it. That is the reason “Security as a Service” has cropped up, and why Helical has developed best-in-class cloud security auditing tools.  

Final Word 

Distributed Denial Of Service (DDoS) attacks are on the rise. As a result, enterprises need to invest more in cloud security management. Importantly, network engineers and administrators must be trained and made aware of secure configuration management and continuous port monitoring solutions.  

The threat of DDoS attacks cannot be contained or ruled out entirely. The attacks are distributed in nature and have their own technical challenges when it comes to detection and prevention controls.  

Traditional security measures are not so reliable when it comes to cloud security. Organizations need to look for advanced cloud security management solutions, invest in sophisticated detective and preventive controls to keep hackers at bay. 

Tags: Cloud Security | DDOS attacks |

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