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Wednesday, 24 January 2018 11:39

Frequency, complexity of DDoS attacks rising: report Featured

Frequency, complexity of DDoS attacks rising: report Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

The exploitation of IoT devices and innovation from DDoS attack services are leading to more frequent and complex attacks, according to a newly published infrastructure security report from application and network performance management company Netscout.

“Attackers focused on complexity last year, leveraging weaponisation of IoT devices while shifting away from reliance on massive attack volume to achieve their goals. Attackers have been effective, and the proportion of enterprises experiencing revenue loss due to DDoS nearly doubled this year, emphasising the significance of the DDoS threat,” said Darren Anstee, NETSCOUT Arbor chief technology officer.

“The results of the WISR survey, together with our ATLAS data, demonstrate why an integrated multi-layer defence from the data centre to the cloud is required.”

Key features of the report for 2017 include:


    57% of enterprise and 45% of data centre operators saw their internet bandwidth saturated due to DDoS attacks.


    There were 7.5 million DDoS attacks in 2017, according to data from Arbor’s ATLAS infrastructure which covers approximately one-third of global internet traffic. Service provider respondents experienced more volumetric attacks while enterprises reported a thirty percent increase in stealthy application-layer attacks.


    Fifty-nine percent of service providers and 48% percent of enterprise experienced multi-vector attacks, a 20% increase over last year. Multi-vector attacks combine high volume floods, application-layer attacks and TCP-state exhaustion  attacks in a single sustained offensive, increasing mitigation complexity and attacker's chance for success.


    Successful DDoS attacks are having greater operational and financial impact.

           57% cited reputation/brand damage as the main business impact, with operational expenses second.

           56% financial impact between $10,000 and $100,000, almost double the proportion from 2016.

           48% of data centre operators said customer churn was a key concern following a successful attack.

           Network and security teams, the guardians of the connected world, are challenged by an active and complex threat landscape, as well as persistent staffing issues.

           88% percent of service providers utilise Intelligent DDoS Mitigation Solutions and 36% utilise technology that automates DDoS mitigation. Increased investment in specialised tools automation is driven by the sheer number of attacks faced in service provider networks.

        Attack frequency is also driving demand for managed security services. Thirty-eight percent of enterprises relied on third-party and outsourced services, a jump from 28% the previous year. Only 50% carried out defensive drills, and the proportion of respondents carrying out drills at least every quarter fell 20%.

        44% of enterprises and 48% of service providers have difficulty hiring and retaining skilled personnel.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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