DDoS mitigation refers to the process of successfully protecting a targeted server or network from a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. By utilizing specially designed network equipment or a cloud-based protection service, a targeted victim is able to mitigate the incoming threat.
DDoS Mitigation Stages
There are 4 stages of mitigating a DDoS attack using a cloud-based provider:
Detection - in order to stop a distributed attack, a website needs to be able to distinguish an attack from a high volume of normal traffic. If a product release or other announcement has a website swamped with legitimate new visitors, the last thing the site wants to do is throttle them or otherwise stop them from viewing the content of the website. IP reputation, common attack patterns, and previous data assist in proper detection.
Response - in this step, the DDoS protection network responds to an incoming identified threat by intelligently dropping malicious bot traffic, and absorbing the rest of the traffic. Using WAF page rules for application layer (L7) attacks, or another filtration process to handle lower level (L3/L4) attacks such as memcached or NTP amplification, a network is able to mitigate the attempt at disruption.
Routing - By intelligently routing traffic, an effective DDoS mitigation solution will break the remaining traffic into manageable chunks preventing denial-of-service.
Adaptation - A good network analyzes traffic for patterns such as repeating offending IP blocks, particular attacks coming from certain countries, or particular protocols being used improperly. By adapting to attack patterns, a protection service can harden itself against future attacks.