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New security report reveals significant increase in frequency and complexity of DDoS attacks

January 2018 by Darren Anstee, Chief Technology Officer, NETSCOUT Arbor.

This morning Ciaran Martin, the head of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, warned that a major cyber-attack on the UK is a matter of “when, not if”. That might sound a bold statement, but given the rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape – it should come as a warning to businesses and the government.

NETSCOUT Arbor, which monitors a third of Internet traffic worldwide, has just released the latest edition of its annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report, highlighting the very real threat cyber-attacks pose, with DDoS attacks increasing in frequency and complexity during 2017. The report provides an insight into not only the rise in attacks but also the increasing reputational and financial impact they have on businesses across the world.

Key findings from the report include:

• Dramatic spike in frequency and complexity: There were 7.5 million DDoS attacks in 2017, with 57% of enterprises targeted*.Complexity stands out as a preferred tactic for attackers, with 59% of service providers and 48% of enterprises experiencing multi-vector attacks in the past year (20% increase compared to 2016).

• Attacks more impactful than ever: Successful DDoS attacks are more operationally and financially impactful for organisations, with 57% citing reputation/brand damage as the main business impact. Revenue loss due to DDoS nearly doubled, with 56% of businesses experiencing a financial impact between $10,000 and $100,000.

• Increased demand for security services, but lack of caution: Attack frequency has driven a demand for managed security services, with 38% of enterprises relying on third-parties, a jump from 28% the previous year. However, only 50% of respondents carried out defensive drills, and the proportion of respondents carrying out drills at least every quarter fell 20%.

• Huge cybersecurity skill shortage: 54% of enterprises and 48% of service providers have difficulties in hiring and retaining skilled personnel.

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