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Cyberattacks are increasing at an exponential rate every year. The COVID-19 pandemic has only accelerated this further. From Phishing attacks to data breaches, attackers are shaking organizations every day across the globe. Every organization needs to plan and prepare for cyberattacks to defend their business and mitigate risk.  A DDoS attack is one of the widely used cyberattacks that bring down your website or application to disrupt your services. It can collapse your critical applications and block access to them as an attempt to block your services or divert your attention from some more powerful attack. This blog will discuss the DDoS attacks and how you can plan for it using load testing.

 

What is a DDoS Attack?

DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack is done by using a cluster of systems to generate a large number of requests to a website and its resources to cause an overload and ultimately block the genuine traffic from accessing it. Then attackers use a sudden massive influx of data packets to attack the network from multiple geo-locations causing the systems to go offline for a significant duration.

Larger DDoS attacks cause more extended downtime, and your website/application may fail to recover or recover very slowly. DDoS attacks can cause significant business loss, financial loss, brand reputation damage, and even trouble with SLA agreements.

 

Types of DDoS Attacks

DDoS attacks can target your system as a whole or focus on any individual resource like a firewall or CPU to disrupt your services. The following are some major types of DDoS attacks that happen every day on a large scale:

 

Volumetric Attacks

This DDoS attack is caused by exploiting the network bandwidth using high traffic by sending huge amounts of data packets on the network. It eats up all your network bandwidth to prevent the website/application access for genuine traffic. Spoofed-packet floods, ICMP floods, UDP floods are some common techniques to launch volumetric DDoS attacks.

 

Protocol Attacks

This DDoS attack exploits server resources such as load balancers, firewalls, etc., to block genuine users from accessing your website and other resources. These attacks can even target some crucial protocol components like TCP handshakes, state table capacity, etc., to significantly impact the server functionality. SYN floods, Smurf attacks, and fragmented packet attacks are some common techniques to launch Protocol DDoS attacks.

 

Application Layer Attacks

This DDoS attack is the simplest, yet most dangerous of all DDoS attacks. It is caused by sending huge HTTP (GET/POST) requests to the server causing overload and crashing the website. You can imagine it similar to when a sales event causes a website to crash for a few moments. In the case of a DDoS attack, the recovery time is longer, causing unwanted disruption of website/application services.

 

Plan for DDoS attacks with Load Testing

Can you plan for DDoS attacks through load testing? The answer is absolutely.

Load testing is a non-functional performance testing employed to test the website behavior under high traffic conditions. It is performed by generating a huge amount of website users, called a load, and then website behavior and resource utilization are measured to determine the website’s speed, stability, and scalability. Based on the reports and data collected during the testing, system resources can be optimized, and bottlenecks can be eliminated to increase website performance and load handling capacities.  There are two ways you can effectively plan for a DDoS attack using load testing.

 

  • Measure Load Capacity –  Load testing can help you identify the amount of load your website can normally handle by determining a breaking point at which your website will crash. You can increase the website load in real-time while doing the load testing to see at what point your website/application crashes and what are the reasons. This will give you a fair idea of optimization and bottleneck elimination to plan for such a scenario.

 

  • Analyze System Resources – DDoS attacks can also try to target specific system resources such as network bandwidth, CPU utilization, firewall, database I/O, etc.  Through load testing, you can identify how an individual resource behaves when there is a significant load on the system. You can use this data and reports to optimize and scale your resources to defend against potential DDoS attacks.

 

Plan for DDoS Attacks with LoadView

LoadView is a cloud-based load testing solution that gets you started in no time with your website’s performance testing under high traffic conditions. You can test websites, web applications, web pages, HTTP requests, third-party APIs, and more by generating a large number of users for your website and optimize them based on the insightful reports provided by the LoadView.

The following are some of the reasons why LoadView is the best solution for DDoS attacks:

  • LoadView generates website users with real browsers and devices to simulate real-world users for accurate results.
  • LoadView generates loads from multiple geo-locations to provide you with the most realistic scenario as DDoS attacks traffic comes from different locations.
  • You can adjust your load in real-time to find the crashing point of your website or application and determine the maximum capacity of your resources.
  • LoadView reports give you useful insights about various system resources under high traffic conditions for efficient optimization and capacity planning.
  • You can also analyze individual user transactions with LoadView to determine the user behavior under load conditions and refactor your code to eliminate any resource blocker that can be a potential vulnerability for DDoS attack.

 

LoadView is a fully-managed load testing tool, so you don’t have to worry about managing your own infrastructure for load testing to plan for DDoS attacks. Moreover, anyone can use LoadView regardless of their programming knowledge as it comes with a point-and-click EveryStep Web Recorder to generate test scripts for user transactions automatically.

 

 

Conclusion: Can You Plan for DDOS Attacks with Load Testing?

Cybersecurity has become a major concern for every organization. DDoS attacks can cause losses of an average of $20,000-$40,000 per hour. This is threatening for any business as they may fail to recover from this loss.  The good news is that you can adequately plan for DDoS attacks and have proper measures in place for defending and recovery. LoadView is a load testing tool that can be very effective in planning DDoS attacks and ensuring business continuity.

 

Get started with LoadView.  Sign up for the free trial and get $20 in load testing credits to start.