This past October marked the one-year anniversary of the Mirai botnet-driven distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack against Dyn. From one year ago to the more recent disruption of the Swedish train system, it’s clear that this is the new reality for IT professionals worldwide.
technology trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), where the focus has been more on functionality than security. Enterprises rebuilding their reputation from the ashes of a takedown have learned the hard way that it pays to be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to hackers and threats.
But have you considered what would happen if it was your hijacked network which launched the attack? It’s something that can be avoided by following the basic principles of beating your opponent at checkers and applying it to the security world.
Your opponent is an attacker and the goal of the game is to win— but how? Enterprises can become expert strategists by adhering to the following steps if they want to be king:
- Understand the rules of the game: The DDoS devil is in the detail
In checkers, the player who has more kings has the upper hand in the game. This is often achieved by anticipating your opponent’s next move. In the security world, enterprises can practice this mentality by knowing what security gaps exist before they become problems. Granular network visibility—inspecting every packet— is the only way to spot an anomaly and determine what is connected to your network, what applications are running on the network, and what resources they are consuming and when.
- Keep your back row in place: The first line of defense to protect firewalls and routers
To reduce the amount of crowns your opponent receives in checkers, it’s best to keep your back row in place until an opportune move presents itself and it’s safe to do so. For service providers looking to beef up their security efforts and prevent the next attack, a solid security solution checklist is invaluable. Without a multilayer approach to combine proactive measures such as policy-based traffic management with threat intelligence, enterprises are increasing their vulnerability risk and likelihood of attack.
- See everything on the board: Check blind spots in the network
One of the most important strategies behind winning checkers is keeping an eye on all pieces in play and what parts of the board aren’t being used. For example, strategically controlling the board and knowing its empty spaces can prevent your opponent from crowning their pieces. Just like checkers, service providers should be on the lookout for all aspects of their cloud infrastructure and network virtualization— especially the blind spots. When it comes to network infrastructure, service continuity and business reputation, DDoS attacks have had the most success damaging all aforementioned departments.
If enterprises want to come up on top from recent attacks and avoid being the next Swedish transport agency target, they should consider tapping into their checker-playing abilities for DDoS defense, as well.