What’s below the tip of the DDoS iceberg?

During a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack, computers, computer networks, or servers are subjected to massive amounts of traffic, rendering them unusable. With the current reliance on the Internet for day-to-day operations in almost every industry, these cyber attacks pose a major threat to businesses. But these attacks are only the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface, smaller attacks against mainstream organizations are on the rise.

Ddos attacks can do a lot of damage in the form of errors or slowdowns. This can jeopardize brand reputation and customer trust. DDoS attacks are increasing in size, complexity, frequency and duration. According to a 2021 study by Corero, a DDoS security technology provider, DDoS attacks have increased by at least 300 percent since 2019. Building automation engineers and operators in major industrial companies are also feeling an increase in DDoS attacks. The threat of the attacks being used for extortion is also increasing. This is consistent with the recent spate of ransomware cyberattacks, most notably the Colonial Pipeline attack in the United States.

Cybercriminals are more sophisticated than ever. They have strong financial resources and are equipped and trained. As a result, we regularly see data breaches in large organizations. There are extremely large, high-profile attacks that last longer, such as the 2.3 Tbps attack addressed by AWS in February 2020. However, this is becoming less and less common. The biggest problem is frequent, smaller attacks that affect organizations across all industries on a daily basis.

Daily attack

“There is a 29 percent chance of a repeat attack within a week”

Corero’s study shows that 95 percent of attacks are 5 Gbps or less. The attacks are carried out in rapid succession to avoid protective measures. They are often short-lived, for example 82 percent of DDoS attacks are less than ten minutes long, according to a study from 2021. Due to the short duration, there is also a high chance that it will happen again. There is a 29 percent chance of a repeat attack within a week. Additionally, these attacks come at a time when companies are trying to deal with employees who are increasingly working remotely. Even manufacturing employees are increasingly working from home if this option is available. In the past, they always worked securely on a local network, but these companies are now exposed to the Internet. The VPN access platforms that fall under this are particularly vulnerable and a target for DDoS attackers.

Cooperation

In order to limit the impact of ddos ​​activities, companies should actually work with an ISP. Traditional security platforms are not designed to withstand DDoS attacks. This means that manual protection is no longer sufficient. That’s why ISPs are equipped with cost-effective, real-time, automated security. In this way, companies can withstand the constantly evolving DDoS threats. Protection is activated on the ISP’s network. In this way, ‘bad’ traffic from the DDoS attacks does not get beyond the edge of the network. The ‘good’ traffic can then be sent back to the network.

Always on mentality

“The increased use of telecommuting combined with reliance on the Internet is driving a wave of DDoS attacks”

Various sectors have experienced many benefits while working from home, including the manufacturing industry. In this connection, they must take into account all the associated risks. The increased use of remote work combined with the dependence on the Internet is driving a wave of DDoS attacks. Businesses must be aware of the threat and understand that traditional security measures are not enough against the consequences of a successful DDoS attack. An integrated and automated ddos ​​protection platform that never shuts down is indispensable. It is wise to invest in this. Not only is it more secure, but it gives businesses security. Additionally, it allows them to focus on their most important business priorities without distractions during this critical period.

(Author Mark de Haan is senior vice president Central Europe at GTT.)

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