How to find the right DDoS partner to turn security into performance drivers

Terrence Gareau, Chief Scientist and Donny Chong, Asia Pacific Product Director, Nexusguard

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

Whether you're an ISP, a managed security service provider or a web service provider, achieving true business success will rely on one thing: How do you protect yourself from online threats and honour your accessibility and uptime commitments without compromising business gain and opportunity?

Downtime is not an option in any sector. From e-commerce to finance, healthcare to government — your customers expect uncompromising performance that is faster, more secure, and can scale instantly. Yet the volume and sophistication of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks today is unprecedented, and growing by the minute. IT and security teams need new expert partners who can offer current insights, intelligence and understanding of the threat landscape in order to look past the immediate threat of DDoS attacks, and guide them on a path towards greater performance, reliability and true business gain.

So what are some of the key business risks facing service providers? And how can IT teams mitigate these as effectively as possible while adding value for customers in what is an increasingly competitive industry? What should IT professionals be asking of their knowledge partners to set a path to true business gain with security and readiness as competitive differentiators?

Surveying the threat landscape
The threat landscape has never been more treacherous. Intelligence from the Nexusguard Security Operations Centre tells us that attackers are advancing zero day exploits into 'zero-day-plus-one' attacks at record speed. Attacks are outpacing even those IT teams working at their most efficient pace, and teams could not possibly be expected to keep up with the rate of attack. This was precisely how opportunistic threats like Heartbleed and Shellshock were exploited to turn unsuspecting web servers into bot machines capable of launching DDoS attacks within hours. Add to this the falling cost of botnet-for-hire schemes that threaten to attack unsuspecting businesses for as little as twenty-dollars per attack and teams are overwhelmed in their efforts to stay ahead of swiftly evolving threats.

Hackers are increasingly focusing on complex, multi-vector attacks which require specialised platforms and expertise to mitigate effectively. Reflection techniques including DNS amplification, Distributed Reflective Denial of Service (DRDoS) — which fire legitimate service queries to vulnerable public servers, spoofing the target IP as the source IP — Network Time Protocol (NTP) and User Datagram Protocol (UDP) traffic attacks have also become a popular way of overwhelming victim organizations. Today's attackers are agile, resourceful and extremely determined: ready to change tactics at will to avoid detection. So while NTP reflection attacks were popular in 2014 and at the beginning of this year, they've begun to wane of late as more and more NTP servers are patched. In response, attackers have moved on to the next attack surface and next vulnerability.

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