Prohibition of the spread of cyberattacks has been around for many years, but it has become a significant problem in the last few years, especially in government institutions. Recent statistics suggest that these types of attacks continue to increase in volume and complexity, and intensity. SecurityIntelligence researchers estimate the number of DDoS attacks in 2020 to be 24% higher than in 2019.
DDoS attacks involve generating poor network traffic, which is a problem that denies a particular “service” often provided by a company. Services may include a specific website, email server, e-commerce system, and necessary assistance to the government or nation, such as air traffic control. Attacks can affect even all cloud service providers.
Years ago, DDoS attacks were carried out by people who had a particular hatred or wished to create evil. Today’s Motives are profound and may include the desire to earn a financial reward, make a vision statement, create a national profit, or seek revenge through particular government action, business campaign, or policy standpoint.
Types of DDoS attacks can include:
- Volumetric: An attack that involves a lot of traffic “garbage” network. This includes using ICMP traffic floods. They may also include sending large amounts of TCP-based traffic, such as SYN floods.
- Protocol-based: This is sometimes called an application-layer attack and involves relatively – or even more – small amounts of traffic designed to crash a particular service. Years ago, some Linux and Windows programs had software bugs in their communication software that could not correctly process a single malicious ping package called “ping of death.” Recently, some web servers have been the victims of Slowloris attacks, including low-cost HTTP packets.
Consequences of DDoS attacks on government institutions
Public institutions were warned of several dire warnings by 2020. Any attack creates a severe information security problem, and the consequences can be devastating. The DDoS attacks on financial services institutions in 2016 alone have resulted in 46 large companies no longer providing services to U.S. government agencies. As well as to individuals. The same thing happened in 2020 in non-traditional financial services, such as cryptocurrency trading. During the COVID-19 disaster, health care facilities also fell victim to DDoS attacks.
How to make a DDoS attack?
Cybercriminal criminals often create complex botnets to carry out volumetric and protocol attacks. It is usually made up of thousands – if not millions – of vulnerable travelers worldwide.
The attackers also released attacks based on malware and ransomware on individuals to attack U.S. government institutions. And they were causing institutional disruption around the world.
The following steps to reduce DDoS can help improve network security.
- Use less efficient systems. Government agencies have learned that they need to have “hot spots” and “warm” areas in a significant emergency. Such sites may be targeted for production in the event of an attack.
- Use multiple ISP organizations. If one Internet service provider is frustrated, agencies may switch to a completely different provider.
- Create backups.
- Update pool level for all systems. Agencies should perform a type of review of all systems, including network edge devices (e.g., firewalls) and endpoints such as mobile phones, PCs, and Internet devices.
- Create event response and business continuity plans. Incident response and business continuity plans must be documented, approved, and complied with. Self-examination is essential.
- Use third-party scrubbing services. Companies like Cloudflare can filter, or scrape DDoS traffic into legitimate traffic, thus reducing attacks.
- Use automation. To minimize attacks, it is possible to automatically modify cloud usage, access systems, network devices, firewalls, and other systems.
Set up a defense and set up a response plan
Self-defense involves the installation of adequate security controls and using the many, many non-functional systems mentioned above. The key, however, in setting up good defense is to build – and exercise – a response system.
Creating a response plan includes:
- Review security policies with specific response steps
- I was obtaining approval from all agency leaders.
- Disseminate the program to staff and provide training.
- Familiarize yourself with all the features of the agency so that the response becomes a memory of the institutional muscles.
Regardless of the best practices of the agency, they must use their accountability system as much as possible, using methods such as:
- Tabletop Exercise: Activities where agency leaders meet and go through each program step in a specific situation. Because this type of activity is designed for beginning an incident response system, these tests can be performed in a meeting or series of meetings.
- Ways to travel: A comprehensive multi-person exercise session with departments may include taking practical steps to reduce attacks.
- Simulations: A complete, time-long practice session designed to teach the steps of an incident response program and identify potential system shortcomings.
The next steps
Adopting appropriate policies and training is often the best one-two punch against DDoS attacks in the public sector. Many agencies have significantly benefited from organizing their technical and human resources. Cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, so it’s essential to make the whole organization faster about identifying, preventing, and responding to potential threats.