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Choosing a DDoS Protection Service: Key Considerations for Your Business

Choosing a DDoS Protection Service: Key Considerations for Your Business


DDoS attacks are an ever-present threat to businesses. Their potential for damage has increased as the use of online services has grown. With that in mind, it can be very prudent for businesses to sign up for a reputable DDoS protection service. Here is a quick guide to what you need to think about when choosing one.

Understanding the basics of DDoS attacks

DDoS attacks are the successors of DoS attacks. DoS attacks were Denial of Service attacks. They involved a single computer sending a stream of traffic to a network in an attempt to cripple it. DoS attacks would simply not work these days. DDoS attacks, unfortunately, still can.

This is because DDoS attacks are Distributed Denial of Service attacks. They use multiple computers to attack a network simultaneously. Even a fairly minor DDoS attack can involve several hundred computers. A more intense DDoS attack can involve literally millions of computers.

Using greater numbers of computers not only increases the volume of traffic the attackers can generate. It can also increase the diversity of the malicious traffic. This can make it much harder for cybersecurity personnel to separate the malicious traffic from the legitimate traffic.

Fortunately, there is a difference between “harder” and “impossible”. There are strategies businesses can use to manage DDoS attacks themselves. In many cases, however, it is more practical to use a DDoS protection service.

Understanding the function of a DDoS protection service

A DDoS protection service aims to stop malicious traffic from reaching your service without impeding legitimate traffic. There are various ways they can do this. Most of them, however, boil down to some form of data cleansing.

In a typical scenario, the business’ traffic will be rerouted to the DDoS protection service. The DDoS protection service will analyze it and send the legitimate traffic forward to the business’ network. The malicious traffic will be discarded.

Factors to consider when choosing a DDoS protection service

Here is a quick guide to the key factors to consider when choosing a DDoS protection service.

What type of protection do you want?

If you are going to have a DDoS protection service handle all your DDoS issues, then you will need a DDoS protection service that offers comprehensive protection. If, however, you are in a position to handle some of your DDoS protection yourself, then you might be better with a specialist DDoS protection service.

Another option would be to use a comprehensive DDoS protection service but use a more limited, specialized service. This would give you the option to increase your use of the DDoS protection service if your situation changed.

What is your network capacity?

Make sure that your DDoS protection service provider can handle the number of connections and bandwidth that your business requires. Think about your plans for the future. Will they impact your network capacity?

Can the DDoS protection service vendor scale the service easily?

Do they have the technical capabilities to support business growth? Do they have the flexibility to allow you to dial down your cover if you need to restructure your business?

What monitoring services does the DDoS protection service vendor offer?

Somebody needs to undertake real-time monitoring of your network for early warning signs of a DDoS attack. Can a DDoS protection service vendor do that for you or do you have to manage it yourself?

What reporting and analytics does the DDoS protection service vendor offer?

At a minimum, a DDoS protection service vendor should be able to provide a report on any threat it identifies. This should show what type of attack it was, the number of connections impacted, the sources of the traffic, and the remediation measures taken. Ideally, they should also highlight what measures you can take to guard against such attacks in the future.

Does the DDoS protection service offer consultancy?

Could your DDoS protection service audit your network at the start of your relationship and highlight any ways you could improve your DDoS protection? Could they keep you up-to-date on any new developments in the area so you can update your security?

What reputation does the DDoS protection service have in the industry?

If a vendor meets all the practical criteria, then the next step is to take a look at its overall reputation in the industry. Realistically, you cannot expect any established DDoS protection service vendor to have five-star reviews all the way. In fact, if a vendor appears to, it could actually be a warning sign. They should, however, have strongly positive (real) reviews.

What pricing options does the DDoS protection service offer?

How well do the standard pricing options meet your needs? What scope is there for customized pricing? How easy would it be to predict your bill? How easy are bills to understand?

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