DDoS attacks are becoming more frequent as digital transformation accelerated during the pandemic. The number of devices that went online surged, and more and more organizations became reliant on digital services.
Another reason for this alarming trend was the shift to remote work. The war contributed to DDoS attacks – the number of such attacks in Ukraine increased more than sixfold year-on-year.
DDoS attacks also increased in scope, and in 2023, they’re expected to reach new heights. Cybercriminals perform DDoS attacks using botnets, which are easy to access and cheap. It’s not difficult to attack because the barrier to entry is relatively low, given insufficient security measures across the board. WordPress sites face very high risk because of the platform’s popularity worldwide.
Ways to protect your WordPress site
You can protect your WordPress site from DDoS attacks by being proactive. Ways include changing your hosting company, using a content delivery network (CDN), and installing a firewall.
Don’t believe everything you hear (read)
Most hosting providers laud their performance, but it comes with great variation. Some servers will struggle under even a slight strain, making them very ineffective and unreliable in the event of a DDoS attack.
Quality web hosting providers offer at least some protection at the server level. For example, some WordPress hosts provide hardware firewalls or integrate with Cloudflare to ensure DDoS protection for all customers.
You should consider switching to a new hosting provider as soon as possible if you feel your current one is compromising your website’s performance.
Use a CDN
CDNs work by caching copies of websites on their data centers. The best ones have centers across the globe, serving as intermediaries between websites and their visitors.
If it’s possible, the network will present a cached copy of your site, decreasing the pressure on it. In addition, these networks were developed with performance in mind, leading to lower overall loading time.
The network protects from DDoS attacks by keeping the traffic surge from overwhelming your website. It can mitigate attacks by detecting abnormal traffic patterns. Cloudflare and other CDNs can serve as a reverse proxy, offering additional protection from such attacks for WordPress sites.
Install a firewall
A firewall consists of software defending computers from unauthorized third-party access using a predefined set of rules.
Firewalls can be set up to limit how many people can access your website during a certain time and keep bots away. If a reasonable number is set, it may suffice to prevent most DDoS attacks and ensure a satisfactory user experience simultaneously.
Plugins are one method to achieve this in WordPress. The plugin Wordfence’s Rate Limiting function will restrict the number of automatic crawlers and users accessing your website.
You need more than the above suggestions to operate a major e-commerce platform. You’ll be best off registering for a dedicated DDoS protection service. Some CDNs provide DDoS protection, but there are entire companies with services built around the function.
Major e-commerce operators can’t afford any downtime. For everyone else, the cost of a dedicated anti-DDoS service is too high.