SGS: Safe-Guard Scheme for Protecting Control Plane Against DDoS Attacks in Software-Defined Networking. Software-defined networking (SDN) achieves flexible and efficient network management by decoupling control plane from the data plane, where the controller with a global network view is responsible for planning routing for packets. However, the centralized design makes the controller become a potential bottleneck, and adversaries can exploit this vulnerability to launch distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to the controller. Existing solutions are fundamentally based forged traffic analysis, increasing computational cost and being prone to produce false positives. This paper proposes a safe-guard scheme (SGS) for protecting control plane against DDoS attacks, and the main characteristic of SGS is deploying multi-controller in control plane through the controller’s clustering. SGS procedures are organized in two modules: anomaly traffic detection and controller dynamic defense. Anomaly traffic detection focuses on switches in data plane to distinguish forged flows from legitimate ones by innovatively adopting four-tuple feature vector. Controller dynamic defense mitigates DDoS attacks’ effects on control plane by remapping controller and sending the access control message to switches. The simulation results demonstrate the efficiency of our proposed SGS with real-time DDoS attack defense and high detection accuracy, as well as high-efficiency network resource utilization.