Cybersecurity Awareness: DDoS attacks rise sharply with increased ferocity, sophistication and volume in 2020

Cybersecurity Awareness: DDoS attacks rise sharply with increased ferocity, sophistication and volume in 2020

David Salisbury
Product Portfolio Manager - Security

The overwhelming shift to remote or home working coupled with an increase in reliance on Cloud services and online platforms during 2020 has resulted in a significant increase in volume-based DDoS attacks of strength and severity.

This has left many local businesses reassessing their cybersecurity strategies. Major DDoS mitigation vendors such as Kaspersky, Neustar, Netscout, Cloud flare, century link, Radware, Arbour are all reporting between a 200-575% increase in the number and size (‘attack volume’) of attacks in 2020.

What is a DDoS attack?

A DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service attack) attack, a type of cybersecurity attack, is a malicious attempt to make an online service, website or platform unavailable. Cyber-criminals achieve this by overwhelming the target (including its server, service, website or internal network) with high volumes of traffic from multiple sources.

Volume-based attacks

These are the most common DDoS attacks. These attacks are measured in bits per second (bps). Hackers are able to utilise multiple sources (computers and connections from anywhere in the world) any direct huge quantities of simultaneous traffic to flood the available bandwidth on a company’s website. Genuine user traffic is unable to pass through and the attack traffic overwhelms and takes down the website, making it unresponsive.

A 5Gbps attack volume is now, astonishingly, considered a 'small attack', which is sufficient to overwhelm a customer's internet connection before it even arrives at a customer's firewall. Yet this demonstrates the proliferation of cyber-attacks in recent years and demonstrates the ever-growing need to be vigilant and prepared as a business.

Here at JT, we are also seeing a significant increase in attacks on our protected customers. We have also been able to identify that many of these attacks are reportedly explicitly targeted at customers remote access solutions such as Citrix and VPNs. This approach is a direct result of attackers knowing these platforms are critical to our customers' business continuity response to COVID-19 with home workers that could easily be held to ransom.

Many traditional firewalls find themselves quickly redundant when faced with attacks in excess of 15Gbps (a now frequent volume), which will overwhelm a customer's internet connection before it even reaches their firewall.

How can businesses in the Channel Islands protect against this growing cyber-threat?

JT's tried and tested DDoS Mitigation Service has been successfully blocking attacks vastly more volume-intensive, some in excess of 4.3Tbps. This 'always-on' DDoS Mitigation Service provides the quickest time to protection possible and can easily be added to an existing customers IP feed without the need for extra equipment or changing IP address. They are spotting and blocking attacks on a network level before they can overwhelm a customer's dedicated internet connection.

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Cybersecurity Consultancy

Cybersecurity consultancy

Not sure where to begin with your cybersecurity strategy? Or looking to enhance the strength of your existing cybersecurity posture against cyber-threats?

We also offer businesses in the Channel Islands a Cybersecurity Consultancy Service where our dedicated, expert team will assess your business’s network and specific cybersecurity needs – from a one-off piece of consultancy advice to a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) service. Our consultants will sit down with you to understand your priorities and agree how we can cost-effectively deliver them.

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