DDoS attacks can be as damaging as malware cyberattacks, and blocking DDoS threats should be a top priority because they pose a substantial risk to business operations. Since the global pandemic, DDoS attacks are trending faster, intense and more damaging. Attackers are discovering the destructive potential and acting foul with ransom related DDoS attacks. The year 2020 showcased several crippling attacks bypassing the most robust mitigation solutions.
In today’s always-on world, disruption is unacceptable; however, mitigation solutions fail to avoid downtime, and organizations rely on disaster recovery actions instead. The zero-second SLAs sound promising, but they act only after a DDoS attack is launched. Despite having the most robust mitigation solution deployed, DDoS attack identification is challenging and often time-consuming, leaving networks vulnerable to damaging downtime. Organizations must overcome the limitation of mitigation policies and avoid any outages.
Below are the reasons organizations must prioritize Ultimate DDoS protection and improve its overall efficiency.
The DDoS Threat Landscape
A) Victims Across all Industry Verticals – In 2020, DDoS attacks targeted a wide range of industry verticals – the US Department of Health and Human Services, Amazon Web Services, New Zealand Stock Exchange, Crypto Exchanges (OKEx, Bitfinex, BitMEX), Hungarian Financial and Telecom Companies, Russian TV Station Dohzd and many more.
The digital transformation turned out to be an opportunity for DDoS attackers. With more people working and studying online, attackers shifted their focus on DDoSing websites popular by visitors. The Analytics Insight Magazine reports verticals such as gaming, online casinos, computers, eCommerce, and cryptocurrency exchanges are considered as prime targets for cyber attacks. The cyber industry continues to witness a surge in DDoS attacks targeting telecom, healthcare, finance, and educational services.
According to a leading mitigation service, the industries that experienced a large number of DDoS attacks in the year 2020 were the financial services, which recorded a 222% year-over-year increase; the education sector, with a 178% jump; and the Internet and telecom sector, which experienced a 210% increase over 2019.
B) The Frequency of DDoS Attacks – DDoS attackers took advantage of the global pandemic shift. Their notoriety increased rapidly by exploiting vulnerable IoT devices and botnets for hire. Netscout’s 1H 2020 Threat Intelligence Report records more than 4.8 million DDoS attacks in the first six months of 2020, a 15% increase from the same period in 2019. However, in the year 2020, NETSCOUT’s ATLAS Security Engineering and Response Team (ASERT) observed record-breaking 10 million DDoS attacks, i.e. nearly 1.6 million more attacks compared to the total count of 8.5 million DDoS attacks in the year 2019. The ASERT team analysis concluded that attack frequency was up 20% across the whole of 2020. Still, excluding the pre-pandemic months of January, February and most of March, attack frequency grew by 22% year-on-year.
C) Increase in and Multi-Vector Attacks – There is a development in DDoS attack methodology, in that attacks are getting shorter, faster, and more complex, a trend that will likely continue. Attackers are increasingly launching multi-vector DDoS attacks. Using multiple vectors, attackers simultaneously launch more than one type of attack and increase the chances of a successful DDoS attack. Netscout reports a 2,815% increase in DDoS attacks using 15 or more attack vectors in the last three years and 126% year over year. Compared to 1H 2019, the average duration of a DDoS attack was down 51% in 1H 2020, shortening the mitigation response window and making organizations suffer from downtime.
D) The Magnitude of Destruction – Unfortunately, the consequences get more damaging as attackers find novel techniques to render services unavailable. Companies lose revenue, customer trust, and brand reputation because of bad press. Besides, poor service experiences urge customers to leave the brand and opt for better-performance alternatives.
Large DDoS attacks such as the one that targeted Amazon Web Services (2020) are known to create maximum damage; however, smaller attacks occurring frequently produce more damaging consequences due to continuous service unavailability. The Nexusguard Threat Report Q2 2020 confirms that there was a 570% increase in smaller attacks compared to the same period last year, making detection and mitigation via traditional threshold-based methods a failure.
Additionally, the cost of downtime is high. According to the Hourly Cost of Downtime Survey, conducted by Information Technology Intelligence Consulting, four in 10 enterprise organizations indicate that a single hour of downtime can now cost their firms from $1 million to over $5 million – without any legal fees, fines or penalties. The report alerts that hourly downtime costs of $25,000; $50,000 or $75,000 (not including litigation and civil or criminal penalties) may be severe enough to put the SMB out of business.
A recent study by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty explains the financial aftermath of cybercrime for companies. It adds that ransomware and DDoS attacks are the main cost drivers to cybercrime losses and contribute to 85% of the damage. The New Zealand Stock Exchange DDoS attack in September 2020 is an infamous example of extortion and the magnitude of destruction demonstrated.
E) Security Compliance – Governments are stepping forward to ensure the protection of business services and end-users by enforcing compliances against denial of service. For instance, under the GDPR, organizations are legally required to deploy an operational DDoS security infrastructure to ensure availability and uptime. The Recital 49 section of the EU EDPR includes preventing unauthorized access to electronic communications networks and malicious code distribution and stopping ‘denial of service’ attacks and damage to computer and electronic communication systems.
Article 32 of the EU GDPR discusses the compliance of technology and organizational measures deployed to ensure a level of security must be delivered appropriate to the risk; that its availability must be timely in the event of an incident; and that a process must be put in place for testing, assessing, and evaluating its effectiveness.
The new Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) guidelines addresses organizations to establish recovery objectives after determining a disruption’s impact. Common measurements include recovery point objective (RPO), recovery time objective (RTO), and maximum tolerable downtime (MTD). Where applicable, these measurements should be evaluated for alignment with third-party service providers’ contracted recovery expectations.
Moreover, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), United States, alerts organizations to adopt a heightened state of cybersecurity because of the recent work-from-home shift. CISA encourages organizations to review their cybersecurity solutions when considering alternate workplace options because VPNs used for remote working are less likely to be updated more exposed to more vulnerabilities and easily targeted for cybercrime activities.
Prioritize Ultimate DDoS Protection to Avoid Downtime
All organizations still suffer from downtime in two prime events. First, there are maintenance windows required to identify potential DDoS vulnerability points, and in the second event, business disruption occurs because of a successful DDoS attack.
The Ultimate Goal of DDoS Protection is to identify and close every potential DDoS vulnerability point with no need for downtime and before an attacker targets that vulnerability point, avoiding any downtime created due to DDoS attacks.
Get Improved DDoS Protection with RADAR™
The anti-DDoS strategy must include DDoS protection that is ongoing, always-on and assures business continuity. Organizations can benefit largely by detecting vulnerabilities, fixing the gap, and blocking DDoS attackers from exploiting them.
MazeBolt’s RADAR™ is the Ultimate DDoS Protection Solution that prioritizes the value of no downtime and business continuity. RADAR™, MazeBolt’s transformative technology, is the only 24/7 automatic DDoS attack simulator on live environments with ZERO downtime/disruption. Compatible with all mitigation solutions, it automatically detects, analyzes, and prioritizes the remediation of DDoS vulnerabilities.
Organizations gain the actionable intelligence needed to quickly and easily understand the DDoS mitigation gap. Security teams can use the insights to fine-tune their mitigation policies, block all vulnerability points before a DDoS attack, and protect organizations from downtime.
In conclusion, organizations can improve the overall efficiency of DDoS Protection by deploying RADAR™ because it detects, remediates and re-validates DDoS vulnerabilities with no downtime. RADAR™ ensures complete DDoS Protection and reduces DDoS risks every second.
Connect with our team to discuss RADAR™ for your DDoS Protection.
MazeBolt is an innovation leader in cybersecurity and part of the DDoS mitigation space. Offering full DDoS risk detection and remediation. Working with any mitigation system to provide the ultimate DDoS protection coverage. Supporting organizations in avoiding downtime and closing DDoS vulnerabilities before any damaging attack happens.