Recently had a DDoS Attack? Time to Prepare for The Next One (and there WILL be a next one)

DDoS attacks are on the rise. Not only are there more attacks, but the attacks are trickling down from large media or software companies to affect even the little guys.  

Attacks are increasing partly due to the rise of so-called “booter” or “stresser” services, meaning that attackers no longer need to rely on malware-infected computers to make their attacks. They can abuse unsecured or misconfigured services and devices that use protocols like SSDP, NTP, DNS, and CHARGEN. To say that this is a dramatic rise is an understatement: these types of attacks comprised only 6% of attacks in Q3 2014, but one-third in Q3 2015. As we head into Q3 2016, we may be seeing more than half of the attacks being comprised of stresser services.

Once Attacked, You Will Be Targeted Again

Analytics company Neustar released a report last month announcing that once an organization has been attacked, it has an 82% chance of being attacked again. As Neustar Head of IT Security Research said in a statement, “The findings of our most recent report are clear: attacks are unrelenting around the world but organizations are now recognizing DDoS attacks for what they are – an institutionalized weapon of cyber warfare.”

It is increasingly clear that DDoS attacks can not only severely disrupt business, but also result in thefts of customer data or intellectual property. In a Neustar survey of over a thousand IT professionals, they discovered that 57% of attacks resulted in data theft. And 45% of companies uncovered viruses or malware that had been installed during an attack, creating security risks even while not under attack.

Security Investment A Must

As the magnitude of the threat becomes apparent, the report shows that 76% of companies have increased their DDoS protection budget since 2014. This is good news, and all companies should be following this example.

Additionally, nearly half of those companies now share information through security consortiums, an alliance that may aid in efforts to battle this ever-increasing security challenge.

The most worrisome finding in the report was the fact that companies tend to adopt technology before adopting the security needed to protect the organization. Internet of Things (IoT) security was called out as a particular risk, but it’s the headlong adoption that is the issue, not the IoT in particular.

Security needs to be multi-layered and woven throughout every aspect of the organization.

 

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