DDoS aggression and the evolution of IoT risks

Few organizations globally are being spared DDoS attacks, according to a Neustar survey of over 1,000 IT professionals across six continents.

With the bombardment fairly constant throughout 2015, it is no longer a matter of if or when attacks might happen, but how often and how long the attack will last. Faced with this ongoing onslaught, the report demonstrates that increasingly DDoS-defense savvy organizations are now arming themselves accordingly.

DDoS aggression

The research results show that although revenue loss caused by a DDoS related outage is usually the main concern, 57% of all breaches involved some sort of theft including intellectual property and customer data as well as financial information. More troubling, following the initial breach, 45% of organizations reported the installation of a virus or malware – a sign that attackers are interested in causing ongoing harm.

The research highlights that although DDoS attack tactics continue to evolve from single large attacks intended to take a website offline to the multi-vector attacks we are seeing today, organizations are fighting back. The good news is 76% of companies are investing more in DDoS protection than in 2014 and 47% of the attacked organizations are participating in security consortiums to share information on threats and counter measures.

DDoS aggression

DDoS aggression: Headline findings

  • 73% (7 in 10) of global brands and organizations were attacked, which should put virtually every organization with a digital presence on notice.
  • 82% of organizations experiencing a DDoS attack were then attacked repeatedly, with 45% reporting they were attacked 6 or more times. In EMEA, 47% of organization have been struck more than 5 times.
  • More than half (57%) of organizations reported theft after attack, including loss of customer data, finances or intellectual property.
  • 50% of organizations would lose at least $100,000 per hour in a peak-time DDoS related outage (33% would lose more than $250,000 per hour), and 42% needed at least three hours to detect that they were under DDoS attack.
  • 76% of organizations are investing more than last year in response to the DDoS threat.
  • 71% of financial services firms attacked experienced some form of theft and 38% found viruses or malware activation after an attack. With big money, customer trust and regulatory implications on the line, 79% of financial services organizations are investing more this year than last.

DDoS aggression

Why IoT offers a second chance to improve security

In addition to examining the DDoS trends of 2015, for the first time the survey also asked respondents to consider what the future portends for companies deploying IoT connected devices, providing insight into why security needs to be a central tenet for devices in the future.

The survey found that while 63% of companies have IoT devices already deployed only 34% have security measures in place, indicating the IoT is opening up new threat vectors but too few organizations are focused on preventing connected devices from being compromised.

“By 2017, 81% of organizations will have devices deployed to collect and analyze data so today, we have the opportunity to learn from our mistakes and make security a cornerstone of every IoT device moving forward. From design conception, every IoT device, sensor, and software system needs a multi-tiered security driven approach, including timely patches and updates. Just as important, or perhaps more so, is for security to be an intrinsic part of every network. Every IT professional knows it can take just one successful hack on an IoT device to access and compromise an entire network. As IoT devices continue to become ingrained into our electrical grid, hospitals, assembly lines and other essential areas of life, the stakes are simply too high to leave security to chance,” said Hank Skorny, Neustar IoT expert.

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