Protect Your Network from Cyber-Attacks

DDoS attacks are increasing in complexity and scale

The internet is a vital lifeline for businesses in this digital age and last week hackers demonstrated how vulnerable all companies are when they launched a complex, multiple-part DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack of historic proportions that disrupted access to major websites such as Twitter, Netflix, PayPal, Airbnb, Spotify, Yelp. Millions of internet users were impacted as IT teams across the country scrambled to resolve the outages and restore traffic to their websites.

A DDoS attack is an attempt by an attacker to exhaust resources available to a network, application or services so that genuine users can’t gain access. The majority of attacks today are launched from multiple different hosts simultaneously; and in some cases a botnet is used to exponentially increase the attack to hundreds or thousands of machines. Last week, hackers took DDoS attacks to epic proportions that concerned security experts as hackers exploited IoT (Internet of Things) devices and attacked DNS provider Dyn.

A constant and growing threat

Previously, we’ve recognized DDoS attacks as a constant and growing threat over the years. Arbor Networks, Inc. has regularly published statistics on DDoS attacks and in their first half of 2016 statistics, they reported the size and number of DDoS attacks have proliferated in the last couple of years with the largest DDoS attack reaching a new high of 579 Gbps, an increase of 73% from the largest attack recorded in 2015. “The data demonstrates the need for hybrid, or multi-layer DDoS defense,” Darren Anstee, chief security technologist at Arbor Networks, said in a statement. “High bandwidth attacks can only be mitigated in the cloud, away from the intended target. Arbor Networks also produces a real-time Digital Attack Map showing the volume of DDoS attacks that occur routinely.

Cyber security remains a top priority

With DDoS attacks leading concerns on cyber security issues, cyber-attacks continue to grow at a rapid pace, according to the data from an infographic by the Online Safe Degree program at Eastern Kentucky University, there are 80 to 90 million cybersecurity related instances yearly and approximately with 400 new threats occurring every minute and 70% of these attacks go unnoticed. These cyber-attacks cost an estimated $300B to one trillion a year.

The ramifications of cyber-attacks

The costs and ramifications of cyber-attacks are alarming and the trend is only expected to increase as companies of all sizes transform themselves into digital businesses. The need for security professionals to change their approach to data security and work more closely with their company’s business leaders were encouraged in a recent Gartner article, Six Trends in Cyber Security. “Security now means taking a holistic approach to all aspects of security,” said Earl Perkins, research vice president at Gartner, during a presentation at Gartner Security & Risk Summit. “Digital security is the next evolution in cybersecurity to protect this pervasive digital presence.” Perkins recommended that companies “spend less time on prevention and invest in detection and response.”

Comprehensive network security is a must
Last week’s attacks were unprecedented in size and scope and promise to be just the beginning of what we can expect in the future. Whether it’s from DDoS attacks, email phishing, ransomware, or the next wave of attack from a creative hacker, protecting your network from cyber-attacks is a top priority. A secure reliable network begins with your infrastructure and planning for business continuity with redundancy and diversity. Simultaneously, you need to assure you have a strong defense with a comprehensive security plan with the tools and resources to protect your network.

Often assuring you have the in-house resources can be a challenge in a budget-sensitive corporate environment. Electric Lightwave’s Network Security Suite was built to effortlessly integrate our best-in-class suite of security solutions with proactive monitoring focused on protecting your network. Our suite includes Cloud Firewall Service, DDoS Mitigation Service and Proactive Security Monitoring from our Security Operations Center team. Our experts work as an extension of your team, focused on monitoring and maintaining your network security.

To find out more about what DDoS attacks, take a look at A Timeline to a DDoS Attack, DDoS Mitigation Best Practices or speak with our team at Electric Lightwave.