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Protecting your VPS hosted website from DDoS

ByDave Stopher

Mar 20, 2020 #technology

DDoS, or Distributed Denial of Service, is nothing to laugh about for many website owners. During one, a page is being constantly flooded with illegitimate traffic from several different sources. With them, malicious attackers aim to either overwork a system, significantly decrease page speed or even crash the server. Then authorized users can’t access the site. The results? Loss of performance, reputation, and revenue. People that choose to host their websites on Windows or Linux VPS services need to make sure that their systems are protected from these threats.

Types of DDoS attacks

Websites can be affected by several types of these attacks. The most common ones are:

  • HTTP Flood, where a page is flooded with a large number of HTTP requests, which forces the server to allocate the highest amount of resources to respond to every single one;
  • Syn Flood, where the host machine receives a flood of spoofed messages, forcing the connection to be open and shutting down the service;
  • UPD Flood, where huge amounts of User Datagram Protocol packets are sent to the server;
  • Smurf Attack, where IP and ICMP are exploited by this malware program;
  • Application Attacks, where vulnerabilities are exploited in the application itself.

Pages hosted on Windows and Linux VPS can experience many other types of attacks, such as Fraggle, Slowloris, Zero-Day, Advanced Persistent, and NTP Amplification. All of these affect the system in a damaging way, thus making sure that your servers hosted on Windows/Linux VPS hosting services are secure is imperative.

How to prevent them

Thankfully, there are steps that users can take to minimize the risk of these happening to their websites. It is strongly advised to:

  • Choose a DDoS protected service. When choosing a VPS provider, one should prioritize those that have a data center with DDoS protection. This will somewhat mitigate these types of attacks. To better secure their Windows, Linux VPS servers, users should also take matters into their own hands. It’s strongly recommended to install additional software like ConfigServer Security & Firewall as it helps control traffic to the server and is easy to manage through the WHM interface. Enabling Cloudflare protection is another great feature as it provides much needed DDoS Mitigation.
  • Monitor page traffic. To understand when a page is being attacked, it’s recommended for users to familiarize themselves with the traffic patterns of their site and when the usual spikes happen. Then a DDoS can be easily spotted when a surge of unusual traffic occurs. It should be noted that these attacks usually transpire at peak traffic seasons.
  • Make a plan of action. You should always anticipate a possible DDoS and take preventive measures. Set up alerts that indicate website downtime and quick dumping of logs. Acquiring further anti-DDoS tools is also the next best step in ensuring that your Windows/Linux VPS hosted website is prepared.
  • Acquire more resources (just in case). An attack can be somewhat minimized by getting a bigger network capacity. Over-allocation of such resources as bandwidth can provide some precious extra time to act when an attack does happen.
  • Implement firewalls. The correct configuration of a firewall is very important for your VPS safety. That’s why it’s recommended to keep all unnecessary ports closed by default to prevent unwanted traffic. Such tools as NetFilter or TCPWrapper are useful applications as filter traffic and network access for different programs.
  • Regularly update software. Open-source platforms like WordPress have minimal security. That means that users should take extra precautions with them, especially when it comes to installing crucial updates. Make sure to not delay them as an older, outdated application is more vulnerable to attacks as long as it’s not updated.

Additionally, choosing a reliable Windows, Linux VPS hosting provider is as important as the steps mentioned above. A good provider will be ready to help and support you in your time of need. A trustworthy hosting company will also make sure to use DDoS attack protection solutions so that you don’t have to worry about the damages the attacks can cause.

A website affected by a DDoS attack increases the risk of data theft, reputation and customer loss. The first big step is choosing a trusted VPS hosting provider that uses special software and people to monitor their machines 24 hours a day. Their firewall will block the brunt of the attack and will give more time to deal with them. The other steps further minimize the risk of DDoS attacks and their consequences.

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