One of the big things you have to be careful about when you’re running a site online is something called a Denial of Service attack. Fortunately, Azure DDoS Protection is an effective way to make sure that this doesn’t happen to you. Here’s a little bit about what a denial of service threat is, why you should be worried about it, and exactly the various ways that Azure DDoS protection can help make sure that this doesn’t end up being a problem over the long term.
What’s a DDoS Attack?
A denial of service attack is when some party is trying to take down a server by increasing the traffic the server receives past the point that it can handle. There can be multiple reasons for these kinds of attacks. Sometimes they are political, for example. Other times, it’s done simply just because hackers feel the urge to do so. Regardless of the reasons why it happens, the key is to make sure that you are prepared for any kind of attack that’s coming your way well ahead of time. Trying to play catch up after it happens is just about the worst possible thing that you can do because by then the damage could already be done.
Your customers expect constant uptime, after all. Even more than the lost business that you’ll have from a distributed denial of service attack bringing down your website by overloading its server, your reputation could be badly damaged as well.
Azure DDoS Protection Overview
DDoS Protection from Azure is unique in that it can use the global network that Microsoft has. Obviously, this is an advantage that no other company can claim in general. It is a major advantage beyond just being unique, however. Since Microsoft has a global network to draw on, this means that it has many different regions connected to it. In particular, it uses something called the Azure network edge to clean traffic in order to keep all of the extra traffic from a DDoS attack from hurting your server.
In other words, when an attacker is going up against something like the full power of the Microsoft network before they can ever get to your server, chances are good that they’re going to lose that battle. Not many places are bigger than Microsoft or the Azure network when it comes to this.
One of the biggest problems with a DDoS attack is that you may not know it when it happens immediately. It’s not like you have an eyeball focused on your traffic every second of every day. After all, you have other stuff that you have to do as part of your work. The advantage with Azure DDoS Protection is that it connects into something called Azure Monitor so that you can get an alert when an attack is happening.
There are procedures you can follow to help mitigate an attack as long as you know that it’s happening. Azure helps use various metrics and analytics to identify and attack in real time so that you don’t have to be paranoid about constantly checking to make sure it’s not happening right now. This is especially relevant in the case where a party has been attacking your server off and on all week. After all, this is what your attackers often want in the first place, to throw you off your game, to keep you paranoid and on the back foot. This is often going to be the case regardless of whether they are a competitor or just someone who wants to mess with you.
Another huge problem with DDoS attacks that people often don’t keep in mind includes the fact that your costs can go up. After all, your server is hosting a lot more traffic. The terrible thing about this is that its traffic that’s not even benefitting you. Therefore, you are essentially paying for nothing.
However, with this kind of protection, you don’t have to worry about this as much. The feature is called “cost protection,” and it helps make it so that you have extra credits that you can use to make up the cost of lost server resources during an attack. This way, you won’t end up bankrupt just fighting off the attack. This feature largely eliminates the advantage your attacker gets from keeping up the assault to try to wear you out.
One thing that’s often a turn off for those seeking to get DDoS protection is the need for a huge amount of fine-tuning and set up before anything will work. The advantage with Azure DDoS is that the idea is that you can just turn it on and let it go. In the documentation, this is referred to as “turn-key.” The traffic analysis os always running, and it’s mostly an on or off type of proposition.
Other parts of the DDoS that definitely helps includes the fact that the automatic nature of the service will look at your systems and then change your settings based on what will help you the most. This uses special A.I. options in order to make it work, or what people in the industry often all “creepy intelligence.” It’s called this because the system can often guess what you need and do all of the configuring not only in a way that you’d have trouble doing yourself if you lack the knowledge required but also before you even know you needed it. Additionally, other options within the system include DDoS Firewalls, and a number of different layers of protection going from 3 to 7.
At the basic level of protection, you can protect both Ipv4 and IPv6. This is especially useful depending on whether your business needs to rely on the new IPV6 standard or not. Obviously, this will depend on your current situation in terms of how useful it’s going to be for you.
Evaluating Azure DDoS Protection for Your Particular Situation
Obviously, the usefulness will hinge on a number of different factors, including whether you’ve been attacked in this way previously and how prominent your particular business or website is in general. If history is to tell us anything, however, the chances of having to deal with a DDoS attack eventually is going to go up the more prominent your website gets and the more time goes by. After all, the ability of more and more people to pull off such an attack will likely only go up over time. The push button approach of the protection services will also make it appealing to small and large businesses alike as the Internet becomes a potentially dangerous place with more possible threats increasing over time, generally.
The important thing to keep in mind when evaluating is that you need to remember the integration options available to Azure due to its Microsoft connections, especially when you’re comparing the protections here to those offered by a different company with a different package that might have similar features in other areas.
For more information about Azure Services, including all types of these services including Backup, Site Recovery, Security Services, and any other possible related topic and how they can benefit you and your business, please make sure to contact us today.