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Fact or fiction? Mission-critical myths about DDoS attacks

JOHANNESBURG – 28 August 2017 - For anyone in ‘denial’ about the power of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks in South Africa - attempts to exhaust the resources available to a network, application or service so that genuine users cannot gain access - let’s take a quick browse through some local headlines from the recent past. A quick search brings up the following: “SA ranks high for DDoS attack concerns” (July 2014) “SA a target for DDOS” (May 2015) “South African IP addresses appear on massive DDoS-for-hire list” (September 2016) Let’s dissect some DDoS myths.

1: South Africa is not a major target for DDoS attacks
The above headlines definitely argue otherwise. No business entity can afford to be complacent: in today’s cloud-based, always-on business environment, DDoS attacks can pull down an organisation’s online systems and bring workflow and mission-critical processes to a halt. In the process, of course, reputation becomes a casualty.

2: DDoS attacks are the latest weapon in the hactivist’s arsenal
No, DDoS attacks have been around since 2010 or so. Since then, we’ve seen an increase in DDoS attacks that has led to innovation in the areas of tools, targets and techniques. Today, DDoS has evolved into a series of attacks that include very high volume attacks which cause congestion, as well as attacks that are more difficult to detect, as they target applications as well as existing security infrastructure such as firewalls and IPS.

3: Small organisations are not at risk
Not true. Over the past few years, the world has seen crippling attacks on all types and sizes of organisation, from corporates to small businesses, banks, hospitals, governments, schools and universities and even non-profit organisations.

4: We have a firewall
Traditional perimeter security solutions are vital aspects of an integrated security set-up, but they are not designed specifically to cater for DDoS attacks. Attackers look for gaps in traditional security solutions and take advantage of networks that are left unguarded.

5: We just increased our bandwidth, we are fine
It’s unlikely that anyone has enough bandwidth, especially when we look at some of the latest statistics: Arbor’s 2017 Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report has confirmed sightings of attacks of 800 Gbps in scale. This is a 60 percent jump on the previous year’s largest reported attack, and they are predicted to only get worse in the future. Bandwidth alone will not save your network.

So much for some of the DDoS myths. The fact is that DDoS attacks are growing in scale and sophistication all the time. Arbor research shows that more than a quarter of all DDoS attacks are actually used as a diversion tactic to cover up data theft, as attackers use a combination of techniques.

Unfortunately, many organisations only address the issue of DDoS protection after they have already been hit, when the damage is done. As well as direct financial losses, a DDoS attack can bring costs to recover from an attack, supply chain disruption, and brand damage and loss of consumer trust. It’s critical to ensure that your business implements specialised DDoS protection as a key component of your security solutions.

After all, you don’t want your business making headlines for all the wrong reasons, right? And that’s a fact.

For more information about Arbor in Africa, please contact Bryan Hamman at bhamman@arbor.net.


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About Arbor NetworksArbor Networks, the security division of NETSCOUT, helps secure the world’s largest enterprise and service provider networks from DDoS attacks and advanced threats. Arbor is the world’s leading provider of DDoS protection in the enterprise, carrier and mobile market segments, according to Infonetics Research. Arbor’s advanced threat solutions deliver complete network visibility through a combination of packet capture and NetFlow technology, enabling the rapid detection and mitigation of malware and malicious insiders. Arbor also delivers market-leading analytics for dynamic incident response, historical analysis, visualization and forensics. Arbor strives to be a “force multiplier,” making network and security teams the experts. Our goal is to provide a richer picture into networks and more security context so customers can solve problems faster and reduce the risks to their business. To learn more about Arbor products and services, please follow us on Twitter @ArborNetworks. Arbor’s research, analysis and insight, together with data from the ATLAS global threat intelligence system, can be found at the ATLAS Threat Portal. Trademark Notice: Arbor Networks, the Arbor Networks logo and ATLAS are all trademarks of Arbor Networks, Inc. All other brands may be the trademarks of their

 

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