The threat of DDOS attacks and how to mitigate them

Posted on July 02, 2018

Ddo S Wave

Ever since computers became mainstream in Australian offices, the threat of viruses and other malicious intrusions have been an issue that IT managers have needed to mitigate.

And the latest threat businesses have to fear are Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which can shut down an entire network and cripple productivity.

These attacks are effectively a tidal wave of data, with multiple sources sending enormous volumes of requests to an online service or network until it cannot cope and shuts down. So what can you do to protect your business network from this kind of threat?

Recent DDoS attacks on Australia

Australia has become a major target for these kinds of attacks in recent years, with the biggest DDoS incidents to date recorded in February this year.

DDoS traffic surged to 335Gbps and 29.4 million packets per second (Mpps) on February 27, which was 10 times higher than the average for the rest of that month. That was followed up by 7200 DDoS incidents recorded in April.

Data has shown that DDoS traffic rises about 25 per cent every year in Australia, and in 2017, there were an average of 12,000 attacks per month —  or 400 per day.

By 2020, at the current rate that DDoS incidents are rising, we can expect to  experience around 30,000 attacks per month.

One of the most mainstream attacks that made headlines was the DDoS incident that shut down the 2016 Federal Government Census, preventing millions of Australians from filling out the online form at the time.

Who are the attackers targeting?

According to the most recent Akamai State of the Internet report, retail companies are the prime target of DDoS incidents — making up 37.72 percent of all attacks from quarter four 2016 to 2017.

High technology industries are next at 10.75 percent, followed by financial services (10.16 percent), those in the hotel and travel industries (7.89 per cent) and then the public sector (4.35 percent) — like the Census attack.

In total, there was a 14 percent increase in DDoS attacks on Australian businesses from 2016 to 17.

The Internet of Things means there are more devices to target

The Akamai State of the Internet report also describes the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices in the modern world as “a vexing problem”.

As more devices — like security cameras, climate control systems and AV equipment — become connected devices, the threat of DDoS has a greater reach into businesses.

The report stated it would likely take a decade to properly secure IoT devices, and until then, "We can expect ... IoT-focused malware to wreak some havoc through connected devices that are not properly secured.”

How to keep DDoS attacks from ever reaching your network

As malicious criminals keep adapting their strategies, it is important that your protection shifts and evolves ahead of them to achieve optimum protection.

Vocus’  DDoS Protection services do precisely that, with ongoing investment into detection and protection.

Remotely triggered black hole (RTBH) filtering is the first level of protection, which detects malicious threats before it reaches your network and drops the traffic off before it ever reaches you.

You will not be kept in the dark either, with the Network Operations Centre (NOC) sending automatic updates when any potential threats are detected. Support is available 24/7 through the NOC as well.

Once any attack is detected, frontline mitigation will commence immediately to protect your network.

To learn more about DDoS Detect and DDoS Protect services, phone Vocus on 1800 032 290

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