Is your business’s website frequently targeted by distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks? When a DDoS attack occurs, it can cause a myriad of problems if ignored. The server on which your business’s website hosted will receive a flood of fake requests from various internet protocol (IP) addresses. All of these requests will consume the server’s resources, resulting in slower speeds or even a nonfunctional website. You can protect your business’s website or other web-accessible properties from DDoS attacks, however, by using a content delivery network.

What Is a CDN?

A CDN is cloud-based hosting service that involves the use of a network of servers. It differs from traditional multi-server web hosting by storing and serving cached copies of static content. When a visitor tries to access your business’s website, the CDN will send him or her copies of its static content.

CDNs consist of dozens — sometimes even hundreds — of individual servers. Each of these servers contains copies of static content. They are called “content delivery networks” because they use a network of servers to deliver static content to users.

What Is a DDoS Attack?

A DDoS attack is a cyber attack that involves spamming requests to a server. Performing any form of interaction with a server, even just visiting the website with it hosts, will send a request. DDoS attacks capitalize on this mechanism by spamming a server with these requests.

The DDoS Mitigation Benefits of Using a CDN

A CDN can help mitigate the effects of a DDoS attack in several ways. As previously mentioned, CDNs don’t use a single server. Rather, they use a network of servers, with some CDNs containing thousands of servers. With so many servers, it’s unlikely that they will all be targeted by the DDoS attacks.

DDoS attacks typically target a single server. After all, they are designed to spam a server’s IP address with requests from other IP addresses. Unless a hacker knows the IP addresses of all the CDN’s servers, he or she won’t be able to take it down. Rather, one of the servers may go offline, but the other servers will remain active and unaffected.

Some CDN providers also use software to further identify and protect against DDoS attacks. They’ll scan traffic and requests while looking for signs of suspicious activity. If there’s a DDoS attack underway, the CDN may block the problematic traffic so that it doesn’t take down your business’s’ website.