Businesses should prepare better

Posted On 07 Jan 2014
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New research from Corero Network Security reveals that many businesses are failing to take adequate measures to protect themselves against the threat of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A survey of 100 companies revealed that in spite of the reports about the cost of downtime and the potential for DDoS attacks to mask greater threats, businesses are failing to put in place effective defences or plans to mitigate the impact of a DDoS attack against their organisation. More than half of companies lack adequate DDoS defence technology, and 44 per cent of respondents have no formal DDoS attack response plan. The survey asked respondents about the effectiveness of their plans to prevent, detect and mitigate the damage of a cyber attack including examining their incident response plans from the standpoint of: infrastructure, roles and responsibilities, technology, maintenance, and testing. The findings revealed a lack of planning on multiple levels: whilst nearly half of businesses lacked a formal DDoS response plan, the problem was compounded by out of date network visibility as more than 54 per cent of respondents have outdated or non-existent network maps. Furthermore, approximately one in three businesses lacked any clear idea of their normal network traffic volume, making it more difficult to discern between routine traffic peaks or high traffic volumes that could signal a DDoS attack. Corero also found that many companies have under invested in their security infrastructures and have done little to verify that the solutions they have implemented will work when needed. Respondents are continuing to rely on firewalls to mitigate the impact of DDoS attacks, reaffirming the findings of previous surveys. Approximately 40 per cent of respondents depend on firewalls, while 41 per cent have a dedicated DDoS defence technology in place. However, even amongst those companies that had invested in DDoS defence technology, many are failing to optimise the systems with regular tuning and updating. Nearly 60 per cent do not test their DDoS defences regularly with network and application-layer tests. Beyond the technology implementations and planning, Corero’s survey also found that nearly half of the businesses surveyed do not have a dedicated DDoS response team. For the organisations that do have a team in place, most of them do not have specifically defined roles and responsibilities for responding to DDoS attacks. This lack of preparation could lead to additional delays in initiating the appropriate response, leaving the corporate network in the hands of attackers until the response team coordinates its activities. ” With an increase in malicious attacks on organisations from cyber criminals, ideological hacktivists, nation states and even competitors, there is no foreseeable end in sight to the use of DDoS as a common method of intentional disruption,” said Ashley Stephenson, CEO of Corero Network Security.” It is concerning to see the lack of preparedness of some businesses to a type of attack which has the potential to cause significant lost revenues and serious brand damage.”

About the Author
Brian Sims BA (Hons) Hon FSyI, Editor, Risk UK (Pro-Activ Publications) Beginning his career in professional journalism at The Builder Group in March 1992, Brian was appointed Editor of Security Management Today in November 2000 having spent eight years in engineering journalism across two titles: Building Services Journal and Light & Lighting. In 2005, Brian received the BSIA Chairman’s Award for Promoting The Security Industry and, a year later, the Skills for Security Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to the Security Business Sector. In 2008, Brian was The Security Institute’s nomination for the Association of Security Consultants’ highly prestigious Imbert Prize and, in 2013, was a nominated finalist for the Institute's George van Schalkwyk Award. An Honorary Fellow of The Security Institute, Brian serves as a Judge for the BSIA’s Security Personnel of the Year Awards and the Securitas Good Customer Award. Between 2008 and 2014, Brian pioneered the use of digital media across the security sector, including webinars and Audio Shows. Brian’s actively involved in 50-plus security groups on LinkedIn and hosts the popular Risk UK Twitter site. Brian is a frequent speaker on the conference circuit. He has organised and chaired conference programmes for both IFSEC International and ASIS International and has been published in the national media. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk UK at Pro-Activ Publications in July 2014 and as Editor of The Paper (Pro-Activ Publications' dedicated business newspaper for security professionals) in September 2015. Brian was appointed Editor of Risk Xtra at Pro-Activ Publications in May 2018.