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Trends in DDoS Attacks to Keep on Your Radar

July 19, 2017

There is an abundance of news relating to cybercrime and business in the last few years. Hackers are finding new ways to attack enterprises every day. While ransomware continues to grab headlines, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are becoming a major problem, too.

DDoS is responsible for 22% of downtime reported in 2016, according to the Ponemon Institute. The costs of that downtime to the affected businesses have increased 38% since the first study in 2010. Like all cyberattacks, DDoS attacks are evolving. Here are four trends you need to know about.

From our partners at TierPoint:

#1 DDoS as a Diversion: DDoS attacks are being used to distract your security staff. While everyone is busy trying to bring your website back online, they aren’t watching your networks. This leaves you wide open to other types of cyber assault.

#2 DDoS and Ransomware Team Up: In this scenario, attackers use DDoS to disable your systems, promising to free them up once a ransom is paid. You might think attackers would target big businesses with deep pockets, but small and midsized businesses are not immune. The average ransom demand in 2016 was a mere $679. Hackers know that if they charge minor amounts, many businesses will take the “easy” way out and pay up instead of reporting the attack.

Unfortunately, paying the ransom will only encourage more of these attacks in the future, and there are no guarantees the hackers will call off the attack. According to the FBI, ransomware payments rose precipitously, from just $24 million in 2015 to $1 billion in 2016.

#3 Attack of the Botnets: While the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Big Data hold great promise for business, cyber security experts are also sounding alarm bells. Threat actors have discovered they can slip malware into connected devices, from nanny cams to smart watches, turning them into an army of “bots” they can use to execute denial of service attacks.

Think this sounds like a science fiction movie plot? It has already happened. In October 2016, hackers used tens of millions of unsecured, connected devices to target a widely-used DNS provider in an attempt to “bring down the internet.” In reality, the attack affected roughly 1200 websites, but among them were Twitter and Netflix. This attack hit home for many of us, as it directly impacted big, mainstream sites who many assumed were impervious to such outages. Furthermore, Gartner estimates that more than 1 million net-enabled devices will be purchased every hour by 2021, virtually ensuring that these bot-based armies will continue to advance.

#4 DDoS for Hire: This one may be the scariest of all. If you don’t have hacking skills yourself, you can now buy DDoS as a Service for as little as $20 – $30 a month. It’s a felony, but that doesn’t deter everyone. In a recent interview with investigative reporter and cybersecurity guru Brian Krebs, Allison Nixon, Director of Security Research at business risk intelligence firm Flashpoint, had this to say:

“The problem is that this kind of firepower is available to literally anyone willing to pay $30 a month. Basically what this means is that you must have DDoS protection to participate on the Internet. Otherwise, any angry young teenager is going to be able to take you offline in a heartbeat. It’s sad, but these attack services mean that DDoS protection has become the price of admission for running a Web site these days.”

DDoS is a major threat to your uptime. The most effective method of protection from DDoS attacks is network monitoring. Whether you self-monitor or hire a monitoring expert to oversee your infrastructure, your traffic and data consumption need to be watched.

Corporate Technologies Group can help.

At Corporate Technologies Group, we are bandwidth experts. We know more isn’t always the solution. We believe you can’t manage what you don’t measure, and that is especially true when it comes to bandwidth. We have specialized solutions to ensure your data flow is not being interrupted by latency, packet loss, or jitter resulting from excessive or inappropriate resource use. We can help locate the source of your network issues before they become a problem for you, eliminating downtime and increasing productivity. Call us today to get your network performing optimally.

Download our Network Monitoring Overview White Paper to learn more.

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