DDoS attacks increase in frequency across the globe

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27 April 2016 | 0

The third survey report on distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks globally by real-time information services provider Neustar has found that the majority (73%) of global brands and organisations were attacked, with 82% of those attacked suffering multiple attacks. Nearly half (45%) of those attacked said they were attacked six times or more. In the EMEA region, nearly half (47%) of organisations say they were attacked five times or more.

The report entitled “The Threatscape Widens: DDoS Aggression and the Evolution of IoT Risks”, found that more than half (57%) of all breaches involved some sort of theft, including intellectual property and customer data as well as financial information. Perhaps more troubling was that following the initial breach, 45% of organisations reported the installation of a virus or malware, an indication, the report argues, that attackers are interested in causing ongoing harm.

“Attacks are unrelenting around the world but organisations are now recognising DDoS attacks for what they are — an institutionalised weapon of cyber warfare,” Rodney Joffe, Neustar

“The findings of our most recent report are clear: attacks are unrelenting around the world but organisations are now recognising DDoS attacks for what they are — an institutionalised weapon of cyber warfare — and so are protecting themselves,” said Rodney Joffe, head of IT Security Research, Neustar.

“We present the data from our third DDoS survey as a means to inform the public of the dangers associated with DDoS attacks, and advance a conversation about the importance of multi-layered cybersecurity. This should be a discourse that reaches from security through to marketing, as when a DDoS attack hits, the reverberations are felt like a domino effect throughout all departments.”

According to the survey, half of organisations would lose at least $100,000 (€88,300) per hour in a peak-time DDoS related outage, while a third would lose more than $250,000 (€220,735) per hour.

Worryingly, some 42% needed at least three hours to detect that they were under DDoS attack, despite the fact that more than three quarters (76%) of organisations are investing more than last year in response to DDoS threats.

The majority (71%) of financial services firms attacked experienced some form of theft and 38% found viruses or malware activation after an attack. With significant funds, customer trust and regulatory implications at risk, 79% of financial services organisations are investing more this year than last, said the report.

The report also looked at the Internet of Things, and how its usage is increasingly opening up attack vectors for organisations. The survey found that while 63% of companies have IoT devices already deployed, only 34% reported having security measures in place.

“Although IoT is already here, the Internet was never built with security in mind; ease of use and convenience were paramount,” said Hank Skorny, IoT expert, Neustar. “By 2017, 81% of organisations will have devices deployed to collect and analyse data so today, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and make security a cornerstone of every IoT device moving forward.”

“From design conception, every IoT device, sensor, and software system needs a multi-tiered security driven approach, including timely patches and updates. Just as important, or perhaps more so, is for security to be an intrinsic part of every network. Every IT professional knows it can take just one successful hack on an IoT device to access and compromise an entire network. As IoT devices continue to become ingrained into our electrical grid, hospitals, assembly lines and other essential areas of life, the stakes are simply too high to leave security to chance,” said Skorny.



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