Online Web Info - DDoS Attack - Protection

The shortcomings of Firewalls and IPS when it comes to DDoS protection

505c327cdee1921092012.jpgThe reliance on security products e.g. Firewalls, Web Application Firewall (WAF) filters and IPS - Intrusion Prevention System by many security teams is undeniable. These devices are expected to safeguard institutions from a number of threats/attacks such as the Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS). While these techniques remain rigorous security strategies, they are unable to combat contemporary DDoS attacks

For example, the purpose of IPS devices is to thwart attempts at breaking in that can result in data theft. On the other hand, firewalls are meant to hinder unauthorized access to services and data. Both of these products are crucial security tools but they fail to tackle the central concern when it comes to DDoS threats – network availability. Since IPS devices and firewalls are “stateful” on line solutions, they too are susceptible to DDoS attacks in addition to being targets themselves.

Their job involves tracking every packet across every connection. A firewall must trace every connection to comprehend the nature of the incoming packets while the IPS device must trace state to prevent intrusion attempts via stateful protocol evaluation, signature-based detection and other detection modes. For more hosting security tips visit

Some of the reasons as to why Intrusion Prevention Systems and Firewalls do not offer DDoS protection are as follows.

They are themselves are susceptible to DDoS attacks. They are also developed to protect against the known threats. New/emerging threats aren’t taken care of. The protection they offer is restricted to certain attacks since they are designed to point out threats/attacks within single sessions and not across sessions. They address only particular application threats. There is discord when together with cloud DDos mitigation systems. Skillful security experts are needed. Knowledge of the different attack types is vital before the attacks happen.
Irrespective of state tables growing over time, the arms race will persist as hackers gain control of larger botnets and come up with varied attack vectors. IPS devices and firewalls will be brought down even by mild DDos attacks and will be the first weak links during DDoS attacks e.g. the sockstress attack approach quickly crushes the state table of the firewall through opening of sockets to fill up the connection table. Similarly, the slowloris attack exposes connections to the targeted web servers and the connections are kept open by way of partial HTTP requests. The intermediate IPS mechanism can be overwhelmed by this.

Although a firewall state table and an IPS state table can be weaknesses where DDoS protection is concerned, they still remain crucial if the devices are to perform their tasks such as: preventing unauthorized access to important resources, preventing the loss of data and enforcing corporate security policy etc, all of which are critical security challenges.
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