DDoS attacks on the rise – how can you defend your business?



David Brace, Senior Solutions Architect at Continent 8 Technologies, explains that the number of DDoS events has increased significantly over the past year and highlights the steps companies can take to successfully address them

The so-called “new normal” of remote interactions has resulted in an estimated 30 percent increase in global internet traffic and a corresponding increase in cyber security incidents.

Over the course of 2020, the number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks detected worldwide doubled from quarter to quarter, peaking in September before leveling off again in the fourth quarter.

This trend is set to continue in 2021 with attacks of varying sizes and sophistication targeting organizations of all types, from global internet giants to local government agencies.

Worryingly, a second wave of ransom DDoS attacks has been recorded on businesses that were previously hit in the summer of 2020, with analysis of the ransom notes suggesting that the same threat actors were behind this latest wave of attacks.

With the number and complexity of attacks increasing, companies on the island need to ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to ensure they are protected as well as possible.

Before we look at the products, systems, and protocols organizations need to defend against DDoS attacks, let’s first look at what these attacks are, how they work, and who is behind them.

What is a DDoS attack?

A distributed denial of service attack occurs when a website or application is flooded with so many requests – these can be thousands per second – that the service ultimately becomes unusable.

DDoS attacks have the potential to completely take a company offline and cause disruption to products, services, revenue and reputation.

It is not uncommon for attackers to issue ransom notes to businesses before an attack, and if they don’t receive payment, they release the bots that flood the website with requests and take it offline.

It’s a simple and effective way to cause incredible damage to a company.

The evil actors behind DDoS attacks

One of the hardest things about being a victim of a successful DDoS attack is that you probably never know who is behind it. In our experience, however, they fall into the following groups:

• Organized crime groups

• Angry people

• hacktivists

• Competitors

• Script kiddies

• Nation states

The motivations for attacks can and do vary, but the most common are financial gain to knock out a competitor, or to harm or embarrass a company’s reputation.

The effects of a successful attack

A successful DDoS attack can be absolutely devastating for a company. It can take a service such as an online casino or an e-commerce site completely offline.

For other companies, it can see their customer databases being searched and stolen or sensitive data breached and published online for the world to see.

This has many negative side effects for governments and businesses, from a poor customer experience to significant damage to your reputation and loss of revenue.

They can also hit internal processes hard and lead to a significant reduction in productivity and, most importantly, risk potential compliance violations.

Why Malta-Based Organizations May Be More Vulnerable

While any organization can fall victim to a DDoS attack, Malta’s reliance on underwater infrastructure to provide internet services, coupled with data sovereignty and residency requirements, means companies on the island can be more vulnerable to DDoS attacks.

Moving to a cloud-based solution will undoubtedly help limit the risks associated with an attack, but it will not completely eliminate the threat as every device, service, or application connected to the Internet is the target of an attack can be.

With 96% of all IT functions being operated outside of the cloud and with limited bandwidth between Malta and the rest of the Internet, only a targeted attack can have a serious impact on your business.

How Continent 8 can protect your company from a DDoS attack

During a recent webinar hosted by Continent 8, Microgaming CEO John Coleman used the analogy that will help anyone who is not an IT specialist: “You can no longer rely on high walls to protect your home. It is important now to have bright lights, security patrols, bars on the windows, motion sensors, security patrols, alarm systems and watch dogs. “

This may sound extreme, but it is a great way to illustrate the increased level of cybersecurity solutions required to protect your critical data and systems.

· Layered defense

Organizations need a layered approach to protection that covers cloud-based services and services that run on physical infrastructure: web application firewall (WAF) services, network-level DDoS detection, and network-level DDoS protection all play a role in protecting yours Company and its services.

· Experience

The Continent 8s DDoS Defense Service is a mature, proven platform that has been built and developed over 16 years, using an optimized combination of technologies and our custom level of development.

This experience enables our team to develop bespoke protection services tailored to the needs of any business. Local engineers, supported by a global team, work in partnership with our customers to further develop these services to meet the ever-changing threat landscape.

· Global reach

With a robust global network spanning 4 continents and over 60 interconnected locations, Continent 8 connects Malta to the global internet via 3 separate submarine cable systems using a blended approach to ensure our service is not dependent on a single provider.

All traffic entering the network is checked and profiled at the entry point. This ensures that malicious traffic at the network edge is stopped and legitimate traffic can be delivered to the end destination with minimal disruption.

· Local presence

Continent 8 has a long history in Malta and provides technical services to local and global organizations. The team recently added Melissa Lamb as Sales Account Director. Working from the Continent 8 offices in Ta ‘Xbiex as part of the global sales team, Melissa is tasked with expanding our customer base in Malta and beyond and providing a personalized, bespoke offer to existing and potential customers.

Contact Melissa to learn more about the Continent 8 Secure offering.


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