Best DDoS combatting tools for South African businesses

South African businesses can sign up for a DDoS mitigation service to reduce the impact of malicious disruptions to their online activities.

A DDoS — or distributed denial of service attack — is a cybercrime in which an attacker overloads a server with traffic to prevent users from accessing a website or online service.

DDoS attacks can have a disastrous impact on a business’s ability to conduct its everyday dealings and serve customers efficiently.

Legacy DDoS mitigation involved using on-site equipment that filtered incoming traffic to a server.

These days, enterprises more commonly use cloud-based mitigation tools that provide a faster, cheaper, and more effective DDoS combatting capability.

Broadly speaking, there are two types of DDoS attacks — those carried out on the network and transport layer (layer 3 and layer 4 in the OSI model), and the application layer (layer 7).

The layer numbers are based on the seven-layer Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model of computer networks.

Layer 3 and layer 4 attacks typically target network bandwidth, while layer 7 attacks focus specifically on weaknesses in an application often accessed by end-users.

In the latter’s case, the main targets are the server, server application and back-end resources.

Several major software companies offer DDoS mitigation services, which help protect against the impact of a DDoS.

One of the well-known providers of DDoS mitigation is Cloudflare. It explains that the mitigation process typically consists of four steps:

  • Routing — Directing traffic across multiple data centres
  • Detection — Identifying the source of the attack
  • Response — Intelligently dropping malicious traffic created by bots while absorbing the remaining inflows
  • Adapt — Continued analysis and blocking of network traffic patterns to avoid a repeat of attacks from the same culprits

eSecurity Planet explains three common tactics used to mitigate against DDoS attacks — clean pipe method, CDN, and TCP/UDP Proxy Protection.

It advises that those looking for the optimal DDoS mitigation service ensure that their chosen product includes the following:

  • A service level agreement with a guaranteed time to mitigation (TTM)
  • Consistent application uptime and availability
  • Quality and accuracy of mitigation
  • Fast and simple onboarding
  • Integrations with Terraform and other APIs

Below are six of the most well-known DDoS mitigation service providers for businesses in South Africa.


Akamai

25-year-old US CDN and cloud services company Akamai provides three cloud-based DDoS tools for organisations — Prolexic, Edge DNS, and APP and API Protector.

A combination of these three services will provide the optimal level of protection against attacks on all three layers.

Akamai has global security operations centres with fully-managed DDoS protection that includes industry-leading service level agreements and support.

The company also has more than 225 frontline responders that extend the capabilities of the customer’s incident response team.

Akamai’s pricing for DDoS protection is not publicly available, but it provides a 60-day free trial of Edge DNS for those who want to give the service a chance to prove itself.

South African customers should also be aware that Akamai’s local performance has deteriorated substantially due to the WACS cable break on 6 August.

MyBroadband contacted Akamai for comment about the issues, but the company has not responded. Its only public communication has been a generic statement on its network status website.

Editorial credit: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Azure DDoS Protection

Microsoft’s cloud service Azure offers DDoS Protection with benefits like always-on traffic monitoring, adaptive real-time tuning, a dedicated DDoS rapid response team, native platform integration, and multi-layered protection.

In addition, customers get access to DDoS Protection telemetry, monitoring, alerting, and attack analytics in five-minute increments.

Azure DDoS Protection protects against layer 3 and layer 4 attacks and is designed for services deployed in a virtual network.

Microsoft charges $2,944 (R56,423) per month for Network Protection of 100 public IP resources.

Alternatively, opting for individual IP Protection will cost $199 (R3,814) per month per address.

To protect web applications at layer 7, businesses must use the Azure web application firewall (WAF) service.


AWS Shield

Cloud service giant Amazon Web Services offers a DDoS protection product called AWS Shield.

It can fend off attacks on the network and transport layers at no charge to AWS customers.

A higher-level protection service called AWS Shield Advanced can provide protection against attacks at the application layer.

It is designed for applications running on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon CloudFront, AWS Global Accelerator and Amazon Route 53 resources.

AWS Shield Advanced can take on more sophisticated DDoS attacks, promises near real-time visibility, and features integration with AWS WAF.


Cloudflare

Cloudflare is a highly-reputed US-based web performance and security company, offering domain registration, CDN, DNS, and DDoS protection services.

The company’s services act as a reverse proxy for web traffic.

Cloudflare’s DDoS protection can handle application, network, and transport layer DDoS attacks.

Its 100Tbps network blocks roughly 76 billion threats per day thanks to data centres in 250 cities across 100 countries.

The company has claimed this capability has helped it fight off some of the largest DDoS attacks in history.

Cloudflare leverages intelligence from its global network to support unmetered, always-on DDoS protection.

Similar to Akamai, the WACS subsea cable break has caused some performance problems for Cloudflare in South Africa.

However, the impact has been mild, and the company has been highly responsive to MyBroadband’s queries.

Image: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Cloudbric ADDoS

Cloudbric is a South Korean cloud security corporation founded in 2017. It now also has offices in the US and Japan, and holds multiple patents in these countries.

Cloudbric provides an Edge computing-based DDoS defence service called Cloudbric ADDoS, which can also take on attacks on all layers.

The service said it protects applications with limited or no impact on performance overhead or legitimate traffic.

Users can request a trial of the service on its website, and prominent South African hosting provider Xneelo also offers Cloudbric for free to its customers for one month.


Google Cloud Armor

Google’s DDoS protection and WAF suite is called Google Cloud Armor, which it says provides “enterprise-grade” defence.

The tech giant says that customers on this product get protection at Google scale, leveraging its experience in protecting critical Internet properties like Google Search, Gmail, and YouTube.

Key features of Google Cloud Armor include:

  • Adaptive protection
  • Support for hybrid and multi-cloud deployments
  • Pre-configured WAF rules
  • Bot management
  • Rate limiting

The WAF is only available on Cloud Armor Managed Protection Plus, which also provides curated rules sets and other services.

Cloud Armor Standard is charged on a pay-as-you-go basis, while Managed Protection Plus comes with a set fee of $3,000 (R57,414) per month for protecting up to 100 IP resources.

Editorial credit: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com

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Best DDoS combatting tools for South African businesses