The US government has released new guidance aimed at helping public sector entities defend against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to prevent disruption to critical services.

The document, created by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), addresses the specific challenges faced by federal, state, and local government agencies in combatting DDoS attacks.

DDoS attacks involve overwhelming a target system with a flood of traffic to render it unavailable to users. They are difficult to trace and block, and are commonly used by politically motivated attackers, including hacktivists and nation-state groups.

The guidance highlights three main types of DDoS attacks that public sector entities should be prepared for: volume-based attacks, protocol-based attacks, and application layer-based attacks. It also provides recommendations on how to prevent DDoS incidents, such as conducting risk assessments, implementing network monitoring tools, and educating employees on recognizing and reporting suspicious activities.

In the event of a DDoS attack, the guidance advises public sector entities to maintain service availability by increasing bandwidth capacity, implementing load balancing solutions, establishing redundancy and failover mechanisms, and regularly backing up critical data. Additionally, entities are urged to develop comprehensive incident response plans that outline steps to take during a DDoS attack, including notifying internet service providers, keeping stakeholders informed, utilizing content delivery networks, and documenting information about the attack for post-incident analysis.

By following the guidance outlined in the document, public sector entities can better protect themselves against the growing threat of DDoS attacks and reduce the risk of disruption to essential services.


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