What Is A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) Attack?

By Haseeb Awan

The DDoS attack is among the most common cyberattacks but is also the most challenging and difficult to prevent. Distributed Denial of Service or DDoS attack uses multiple devices to overload the server with requests. It disconnects many websites, preventing the system from executing legitimate user requests, and often takes hours to restore. Successful DDoS attacks result in prolonged downtime, financial loss, and customer dissatisfaction.

As the "DDoS-for-hire" threat landscape grows, hiring threat actors to target a website has become much more manageable. According to the survey conducted by Infosecurity magazine, the number of DDoS attacks increased by 31% in the first quarter of 2021.

Read on to learn how DDoS attacks work and the different prevention strategies you can use.

What Is A DDoS Attack?

DDoS is an abbreviation of Distributed Denial of Service, a subclass of DoS (denial of service). In a DDoS attack, many connected online devices, commonly known as botnets, flood the targeted website with overwhelming fake traffic and make the website inaccessible for typical business transactions.

Successful DDoS attacks result in prolonged downtime, financial loss, and customer dissatisfaction. Although most DDoS attacks target websites, these attacks can occur on any network resource available online, preventing employees and potential customers from accessing online resources. 

In recent years, we have seen exponential growth in distributed denial of service attacks. DDoS attacks are among the top four threats to cybersecurity, including ransomware, software engineering, and supply chain attacks.

How Does A DDoS Attack Work?

Networks of internet-connected devices carry out DDoS attacks. DDoS exploit these networks to isolate users from a server or network resource, like a website or any online platform they frequently visit.

To initiate a DDoS attack, attackers use security vulnerabilities or malware-infected computers or IoT devices to control them for malicious purposes remotely. Any infected device is called a "bot" or a "zombie" that can further spread malware and participate in DDoS attacks.

A group of bots is known as a botnet, and once the botnet is configured, the attacker can launch DDoS attacks on the target system by sending remote instructions to each bot. Excessive traffic leads to denial of services, preventing regular traffic from entering a website or network.

Since each bot or zombie is a legitimate internet device, it can become difficult to distinguish attack traffic from regular traffic.

How to Prevent DDoS Attack?

We have observed a massive surge in DDoS attacks that have plagued companies over the last few years. These attacks are the most effective and costly. The ascending trend promises to continue, putting cybersecurity professionals with DDoS attack prevention skills in high demand.

Here are a few ways to prevent a DDoS attack on your device.

Secure Router:

The Wi-fi router is the gateway to your network. Therefore, you need to secure it by changing the default password. Follow the instructions for your router's specific make and model to change the password, or you can get in touch with the manufacturer.

Monitor Your Traffic:

Keep checking your traffic for abnormalities, monitor the unexplained sudden increase in traffic, and visit suspicious IP addresses and geographic locations. These factors could indicate a "dry run" by the attackers assessing your defense before committing a full DDoS attack. Immediately detecting traffic flow deviations can help you prepare for an impending attack.

Change Default Passwords for IoT Devices:

Many IoT (internet of things) devices and smart devices have default passwords to increase functionality and efficiency. It will help if you change the default password by following the setup instructions or searching the web. Doing this can reduce the chance of your IoT or intelligent device being hacked and improve the device's security.

Web Applications Firewall:

A web application Firewall or WAF is a tool used to reduce layer 7 DDoS attacks. A web application firewall can act as a reverse proxy to protect the server from specific malware attacks by configuring a WAF between the internet and the source server. In addition, the ability to swiftly adopt a standard rule in response to an attack is the key feature of an effective WAF.

Third-Party DDoS Testing"

Use third-party DDoS testing, known as pen testing, to simulate an attack on your IT infrastructure and experiment with different types of attacks to prepare you for the onslaught of complex cyber-attacks.

EFANI's Black Seal Protection:

Efani's Premium Black Seal Protection offers security against cyber threats such as DDoS attacks, IMSI catchersSIM swaps, and more. Efani provides robust security infrastructure against complex DDoS attacks before reaching the targeted telecommunication infrastructure, enabling the network services to function normally.

Restricting Internet Broadcasting:

The lousy actor behind the DDoS attack will likely send a flood of requests to all internet-connected devices to increase the impact. Your security team can respond to this scheme by restricting network traffic between devices. Limiting network broadcasting is an effective way to distort many DDoS attempts.

Cloud-Based Protection:

Implementing on-premises software and hardware is required for DDoS attack prevention, and you can use comprehensive cloud-based services to counter high-volume DDoS threats. Users can leverage cloud-based DDoS protection by using two options: on-demand cloud DDoS mitigation and always-on cloud DDoS protection.


Knowing how to deal with a DDoS attack is imperative, as most organizations will have to deal with some form of attack over time. To reduce DDoS attacks, you should focus on configuring services and devices between the system and the network that attackers may exploit to initiate DDoS attacks. In the end, being one step ahead of the attacker with know-how could help prevent cyberattacks.

Want Guaranteed Protection Against SIM Swap? Reach Out to Us.