New tool measures your preparation for a DDoS attack: Are You ready?

By | August 07, 2012

Posted in: Network Security Trends

How does one begin to assess the company’s readiness for distributed denial-of-service attacks> Will it be a bolt from the blue or a well understood attack. Is the company primed and ready for any eventuality that might hit it, or run yelling that the sky is falling?

A new tool assesses how well prepared you are for attack – or not. It’s a cold splash of water for those who may have thought they were prepared and find they are not at all, or a pleasant affirmation that they were indeed right. Either way, it’s where reality collides with assumption,

The tool comes in two forms, a Quick Test to get a fast gauge on how you are doing and a full test to see how well you are really doing. The Quick Test provides a flash look at the basics: Do you track Internet DDoS activity? Do you have a response plan and how is that plan back or not back by a Response Team with formal, defined roles and responsibilities. Finally, it asks what kind of DDoS defense technology you have in place. It’s a good first cut at you DDoS posture.

The second test is where the rubber meets the road and we learn something about those who think they know something about DDoS and those that don’t. It shouldn’t take long, but it does reveal some potentially nasty deficiencies about those who take it. If you rather not take it and hope you are not hit by a crippling DDoS attack it’s your privilege. But the beauty of the test is that it can be taken over and again as you add features to the defense and compare progress. That’s where the true value lies.

The test itself is divided into three segments, each with their own over evaluation of your DDoS program and specific recommendations based on each of your response.

So, you may do very well in Preparation, the most important area, but not so well in Vigilance or Reaction. Each case is different. Or, for example, you may respond well in Planning and Infrastructure but not so well in the type of DDoS defense infrastructure you have in place. So, you may have a team on the ground ready to go at a moment’s notice to jump on an attack, but poor response mechanisms with which to intercept it and mitigate it.

Vigilance involves things like Monitoring, Audit (what was the last time you ran a mock fire drill of a DDoS attack?), Research and Maintain. Being prepared is a large part of the battle.

The final section, Reaction measures the DDoS Response Team’s availability and make-up. This is critically important. If your team is highly professional, well composed and easily rallied to an attack, precious minutes can be saved. But, if you spend hours hunting for phone numbers or going down the list trying to find people, you are going to be at a distinct disadvantage.

Take the test yourself. See if you are ready for a DDoS attack or not, Rinse and repeat. It’s about getting better at stopping DDoS attacks.

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