DDoS ‘Tax’ Adds to an Organisation’s Attack Burden, says NETSCOUT

Risna Steenkamp, General Manager: ESM Division at Networks Unlimited Africa

Did you ever think about the ‘tax’ you pay as an organisation in the event of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack? In a nutshell, DDoS attacks by threat actors don’t only have a negative effect on businesses and their customers – they also take up quantities of internet bandwidth without paying for it. This means that the cost of this traffic falls on the shoulders of every business that does pay for the internet service.

This is according to the NETSCOUT ‘2020 1H Threat Intelligence Report’, in which NETSCOUT, a leading global provider of service assurance, security and business analytics, introduces its DDoS Attack Coefficient. The figure summarises the amount of DDoS traffic going through regional networks at any given time, and the resultant ‘DDoS tax’ that attack victims pay as a result of DDoS traffic. 

DDoS attacks are an attempt to exhaust the resources available to a network, application or service, so that genuine users cannot gain access. NETSCOUT explains: “…how much traffic on the global internet is due solely to DDoS attacks? To find out, we created the DDoS Attack Coefficient (DAC). DAC represents the total sum of DDoS traffic traversing any given region or country in one minute. This traffic imposes an unending DDoS tax on every internet-connected organisation and individual around the world. If we observed no DDoS attacks in a region for a one-minute interval, the DAC would be zero. But that’s not what we saw.”

According to the report, NETSCOUT found a spike in DAC throughput and DAC bandwidth consumed by DDoS attacks in March, a slight drop in the following months as new norms took hold, and then huge increases in June around the globe as attackers found their footing.

NETSCOUT products and solutions are distributed throughout Africa by value-added distributor, Networks Unlimited Africa. Says Risna Steenkamp, General Manager: ESM Division at Networks Unlimited: “The dramatic increase in multi-vector DDoS attacks in the first half of this year once again shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has really played into the hands of threat actors. 

“The report clarifies that attackers focused on healthcare, e-commerce and educational services, which have all, of course, come to the fore during the sudden rise in remote working.

“Another fact outlined by the study is the staggering figure of over 929,000 DDoS attacks occurring in May alone, which represents the single largest number of incidents ever seen in a month. This only underscores the critical importance of having solutions in place to support any organisation’s security measures at all times, and ensure business continuity even when under assault.”

To download the full report, please click here.

Staff writer