DDoS attacks are steadily increasing year after year, not just in terms of numbers but size, sophistication, and viciousness. This has led to massive growth in the demand for solutions to prevent such attacks, especially managed DDoS protection.
Though many organizations are realizing the importance of such services, selecting the right service is often tough. Some often asked questions are: Why choose a managed service? How to evaluate DDoS protection services? How to ensure that the chosen service would deliver on the day of the attack? In this article, we will help you find answers to these questions and enable you to effectively evaluate the service before onboarding.
Why Managed DDoS Protection?
DDoS attacks are of different types, volumes, sophistication, and viciousness. Effectively mitigating them and protecting your web application/ website from the mammoth cost of such attacks requires specialized DDoS expertise that managed mitigation services provide. Simply using automated DDoS protection tools and relying on bandwidth reserves are not enough to prevent attacks. Certified security experts need to continuously monitor the application and customize and tune rules, workflows, etc. based on changing needs, contexts, and real-time alerts while extending 24x7x365 support to mitigate zero-day attacks. By onboarding a managed DDoS attack protection service such as AppTrana, experts will ensure round-the-clock availability of your website to legitimate users while you can focus on your core business.
Key Features to Look for: A Summary
- Flexibility and Customization
- Detailed, customer-focused reporting, and intelligence:
- Network size
- Always-on, instant protection
- Expertise and experience of the team
- Costs involved
Steps in Evaluating DDoS Protection Managed Service
Defining Your Needs
The evaluation of the DDoS Protection Service must begin with you defining your needs and context. Some questions to ask yourself are:
- What can downtime do? How critical is it to avoid downtime?
- What kind of network architecture do you have? Is a private network with servers deployed on-premises? Does it use public cloud resources?
- What are your security requirements? What is your current risk posture?
- What are your budgetary constraints?
This understanding will guide you better in choosing the solution.
Technical evaluation will help you understand the DDoS architecture of the service provider and if that will suit your security requirements. In the technical evaluation, you must assess:
- Deployment options: How is the service deployed — hardware/ software/ cloud-based/ application-based? Can it be deployed without disruption to the application? How will the data traverse through scrubbing centers? What diversion methods are used — DNS diversion/ web protection, BGP diversion/ infrastructure protection, non-web protocols, etc.
- Service Features: How many data centers do the service provider have? Do they provide acceleration to CDN services like AppTrana? Will the service provider extend services even during ‘peacetime’ and not rely on self-service?
- Mitigation capabilities: What attacks does the DDoS Protection Service protect against? What is the coverage? What are the maximum attack volumes they are capable of handling? Is it scalable? What is the response time? What are the proxy/ caching capabilities? How does the service detect, notify, and mitigate attacks?
- User experience and reporting: How customizable is the service? How easy to use and navigate is the service? Does it provide real-time monitoring? Does the service provide comprehensive reports of security incidents and actions taken? Does it proactively offer recommendations on fortifying the security posture by leveraging global threat intelligence? Does the service provider offer support before, during, and after DDoS incidents?
DDoS service providers have a multi-tenant environment and the attack on one tenant can affect the others’ services as well. If your organization cannot afford latencies or even short downtime, you must validate their stability, analyze their reputation, and ask for longer POCs (Proof of Concept).
Analyze and assess the pricing models to ensure that there are no hidden costs and to ensure that the solution fits into your budgetary limits.
Proof of Concept (POC)
A POC will enable you to understand how the solution works in reality and how well it translates from paper.
Comparison and Decision
The last step is to make the decision after comparing the different solutions and how well they meet your needs.
The average cost (financial and reputation) of a DDoS attack to a small company is estimated at USD 120,000 and to a large enterprise at over USD 2 million! Considering the gravity of the disruptions caused and the mammoth costs involved, preventing and securing web applications from DDoS attacks is imperative and the choice of DDoS Protection Service is critical. We hope this guide has given you an insight into evaluating and choosing the right service provider.
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