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Five Ways Automation Puts Time on Your Side During a DDoS Attack

DDoS attacks can be catastrophic, but the right knowledge and tactics can drastically improve your chances of successfully mitigating attacks.

That’s what we’ll be discussing in this three-part series on the fundamentals of proper DDoS protection.

In this first part, we’ll explore five ways automation can significantly improve your response time during a DDoS attack:

  1. Instantly detect incoming attacks
  2. Redirect traffic accordingly
  3. Apply mitigation escalation strategies
  4. Identify patterns within attack traffic to block zero-day botnet attacks
  5. Apply current DDoS threat intelligence

Response time is critical for every enterprise because, in our hyper-connected world, DDoS attacks cause downtime, and downtime means money lost. The longer your systems are down, the more your profits will sink.

Let’s take a closer look at all the ways that automation can put time on your side during a DDoS attack. But first, let’s clarify just how much time an automated defense system can save.

Automated vs. Manual Response Time

Sure, automated DDoS defense is faster than manual DDoS protection, but by how much?

Founder and CEO of NimbusDDoS Andy Shoemaker recently conducted a study to find out. The results spoke volumes: automated DDoS defense improves attack response time by 5x.

Manual vs Automatic Response

Manual vs Automatic Response

The average response time using automated defense was just six minutes, compared to 35 minutes using manual processes, a staggering 29-minute difference.

In some cases, the automated defense was even able to eliminate response time completely.

Five Ways Automation Reduces DDoS Response Time

An automated defense system cuts down on response time in five major ways. Such systems can:

  1. Instantly detect incoming attacks: Using the data it has collected during peace time, an automated DDoS defense system can instantly identify suspicious traffic that could easily be missed by human observers.
  2. Redirect traffic accordingly: In a reactive deployment, once an attack has been detected, an automated DDoS defense system can redirect the malicious traffic to a shared mitigation scrubbing center – no more manual BGP routing announcements of suspicious traffic.
  3. Apply escalation mitigation strategies: During the attack’s onslaught of traffic, an automated DDoS defense system will take action based on your defined policies in an adaptive fashion while minimizing collateral damage to legitimate traffic.
  4. Identify patterns within attack traffic: By carefully inspecting vast amounts of attack traffic in a short period of time, an automated DDoS defense system can extract patterns in real-time to block zero-day botnet attacks.
  5. Apply current DDoS threat intelligence: An automated DDoS defense system can access real-time, research-driven IP blocklists and DDoS weapon databases and apply that intelligence to all network traffic destined for the protected zone.

An intelligent automated DDoS defense system doesn’t stop working after an attack, either. Once the attack has been successfully mitigated, it will generate detailed reports you and your stakeholders can use for forensic analysis and for communicating with other stakeholders.

Although DDoS attackers will never stop innovating and adapting, neither will automated and intelligent DDoS protection systems.

By using an automated system to rapidly identify and mitigate threats with the help of up-to-date threat intelligence, enterprises can defend themselves from DDoS attacks as quickly as bad actors can launch them.

Be sure to check out our series of educational videos to learn everything you need to know about the fundamentals of DDoS attacks, and keep an eye out for the next installments in this three-part series:


Donald Shin
April 17, 2019

About Donald Shin

Don has over 15 years of experience in the Networking and Security industries. Prior to A10, Don work in a variety of roles in R&D, product management, and… Read More

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