Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks have been around for a long time, and are increasing at an unprecedented rate. According to the VeriSign Distributed Denial of Service Trends Report, in fourth quarter of 2015, there was an 85% increase in DDoS attacks compared to 2014. Not only are they increasing in quantity, they are also becoming more sophisticated. Often DDoS attacks are tied to ransomware, hacktivism, and nation-state to nation-state cyberwarfare. Repeat attacks against the same organisation are also on the rise.
Every industry is at an increased risk of DDoS attacks. Industries like IT services, cloud face the most number of DDoS attacks. The latest DDoS attacks are much more difficult to detect than ever before. If you are a victim of DDoS attacks, you should be aware of these 7 myths on DDoS to help you be better prepared:
Myth 1: DDoS attacks only occur on a large scale—with hundreds of gigabits.
Reality: The truth is most modern DDoS attacks are not large at all, averaging only between 30 to 40 Gbps. The issue is that they are often difficult-to-detect, low-and-slow application attacks or volumetric attacks, which use multiple systems or botnets to flood network layers with traffic. These attacks, which can easily be launched with minimal resources, can still create significant impact.
Myth 2: Our network or service is not down, so we’re not being attacked.
Reality: Unusually slow network performance is likely due to a DDoS attack. Sophisticated DDoS attacks are designed to strike simultaneously at any time, slowing down response times, which can result in decreased customer satisfaction—a big cause for concern.
Myth 3: DDoS attacks are really not so bad. No one will notice the difference, so there is no need to worry about them.
Reality: Actually, the average downtime of a DDoS attack—which could include crashes, slowdowns, and denied customer access—is 17 hours and can stretch up to 36 hours long. All those hours translate to substantial revenue loss and diminished customer loyalty.
Myth 4: The best protection against multi-vector DDoS is cloud protection.
Reality: External cloud DDoS solutions work great for volumetric attacks, but not for application layer attacks. An advanced multi-vector DDoS protection is a hybrid solution, which gives complete control over data streams—with no delays—and reduces concerns about the safety of critical data.
Myth 5: DDoS is a network administration issue.
Reality: From a technical standpoint, that’s true. But, since DDoS attacks are by nature malicious and can potentially compromise an organisation’s operations, security teams, including the CSO, need to join forces with the network IT team to mitigate, respond, and remediate. An overwhelming 95% of respondents of a recent A10 Networks and IDG survey agreed that DDoS is a problem not driven by security teams and network teams.
Myth 6: Having a firewall and intrusion detection system (IDS) protects against DDoS.
Reality: Today’s complex DDoS attacks often leverage spoofed traffic that originates from multiple sources, and firewalls can’t scale up to handle that. Multi-vector DDoS attacks also quickly drain CPU resources of legacy devices, rendering firewalls and IDS ineffective. Today, firms must think about scalable solutions rather than simple firewalls because DDoS attacks have grown in volume and in sophistication (example: application layer attacks). This is confirmed by a recent A10 Networks and IDG survey —where respondents mentioned that they face all three types of DDoS attacks: network layer attacks (35%), volumetric attacks (34%), and application layer attacks (30%).
Myth 7: Not wanting to invest too much; so a “good-enough solution” will do the job.
Reality: The most dangerous multi-vector DDoS attacks include volumetric and application layer attacks, so a defense that only handles routine, easy-to-detect threats is not sufficient. To mitigate today’s and tomorrow’s DDoS attacks, an aggressive mitigation plan is needed.
Prepare for the Future
When it comes to DDoS attacks, it pays to prepare for the future. These threats will continue to evolve and become even more sophisticated and evasive. A system that incorporates protection against the full spectrum of multi-vector DDoS attacks is ideal which will block the attack before any harm occurs.