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Immunize Your Organization Against DDoS: The Key Elements of Real-Time DDoS Defense

In 2020, we saw the COVID-19 pandemic disrupt business operations across nearly every industry, creating enormous economic and logistical strains on organizations worldwide. The change was sudden and dramatic, which meant that many companies had to pivot quickly in response to work from home orders and accommodate a fully-remote workforce.

With a large portion of the workforce continuing to operate remotely, IT professionals have been forced to expand their services by setting up VPNs and remote desktop protocols to enable staff to work with personal devices at home. They have also had to educate their colleagues about the increased dangers of cyberattacks with this highly virtual model. Additionally, many organizations are dealing with economic uncertainty and reduced revenues, making it tougher to ensure their cybersecurity. Any strain on corporate IT resources can create fault lines in an organization’s cyber security posture, and many cyber criminals are eager, willing, and able to take advantage of any such weaknesses.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) is consistently considered high on the list of IT professionals’ concerns, and it will likely remain that way long after the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Sophisticated short-duration, low-volume DDoS attacks with the ability to evade manual and legacy solutions are now commonplace and present a very real risk to business continuity and an organization’s bottom line. Attacks lead to interruption or, at the very least, reduced responsiveness of the targeted applications and services. Organizations that are the victims of DDoS attacks typically suffer damage to their brand reputation, as well as experience a loss of customer trust, and revenue. Organizations also incur added costs in terms of the labor needed to mitigate and recover from these attacks.

Today’s Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have evolved to be nearly unrecognizable from the early days of cyber-attacks. While the motives behind attacks are increasingly unclear, the techniques are becoming more and more complex, and the frequency of attacks is growing exponentially. This is particularly true considering automated attacks, which allow attackers to switch vectors faster than any human or traditional IT security solution can respond. The combination of the size, frequency, and duration of modern attacks are a serious security and availability challenge for any online organization. Minutes or even tens of minutes of downtime or latency significantly impact the delivery of essential services. When you combine these factors, victims are faced with a major security and service availability challenge.

Like COVID-19, the fight against DDoS is ongoing. There is a proven way to “vaccinate” your organization against DDoS, however, there are several factors that go into choosing an effective DDoS protection solution. Organizations must view DDoS protection as an investment in risk management and as a means to maintain business continuity. To successfully detect and mitigate DDoS attacks, large and small, it’s necessary to have an automated, always-on DDoS mitigation solution. Recent technology developments have made it possible to see and stop DDoS attacks when they attempt to enter your network before they can do any damage. With this in mind, we have compiled a few critical elements of  DDoS defense to consider that will enable your business to withstand an attack in real-time.

1. Detection

Detection is the first step in DDoS mitigation. Attacks that usually would go unnoticed—specifically small-scale, sub-saturating attacks— leave the door open for hackers to conduct security breaches. Therefore, it is critical to implement a system that monitors network traffic for both small-scale and volumetric attacks. As packets attempt to enter the network, it is important to automatically classify the data in order to decide if it is malicious or benign traffic. This granular level of analysis is essential. The inspection of all traffic enables the system to allow provide an un-interrupted flow of good traffic.

2. Mitigation

Recent technological developments have made it possible to reduce the time to mitigation from minutes to seconds. Reducing the time to mitigation is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent a devastating attack. Hackers need only a few seconds to penetrate your network and amplify the damage via data theft, malware, or ransomware.

3. Analysis

There are many types of DDoS attacks and each type has a different profile. Was the attack volumetric or sub-saturating? Was it a Smurf Attack or a DNS Flood, or some combination of the two? It is critical to have a DDoS protection solution that not only blocks all types of DDoS attacks, but also names the type of attack vectors, analyzes the digital fingerprint, and gathers intelligence to prepare against emerging threats.

Corero SecureWatch Analytics, part of the SmartWall Threat Defense System, does exactly that. SecureWatch is capturing and indexing data on all the traffic the system sees when under attack, and during peacetime, provides detailed analysis of any security incidents. It continuously records traffic for subsequent analysis of network flows and trends, providing detailed visibility into detected threats and patterns over time. That kind of visibility, historical reporting, and analysis takes your DDoS resiliency plan beyond just attack mitigation.

4. Flexible deployment

When it comes to DDoS solutions, not all are flexible. Fortunately, Corero technology can be deployed in-line at the network edge or in tandem with a 3rd party monitoring, detection or route management solution.

Legacy approaches to DDoS mitigation are less effective than today’s solutions because they rely heavily on manual observation and action, which result in delayed mitigation (and therefore, latency in network performance). An effective DDoS mitigation solution automatically stops attacks in their tracks and shows you the attack attempts.

5. Cost-effective

Traditional DDoS solutions are usually out-of-band scrubbing centers. In this approach, IT security teams observe suspicious or attack traffic and re-route the bad traffic to a scrubbing center and return the good and legitimate traffic to its intended target. There is often a lengthy delay between detection of the attack and when the actual remediation efforts begin. This approach is resource-intensive and expensive because it costs a lot of personnel time to watch traffic 24/7.

Organizations around the globe are faced with considerable strain on their time and resources, but with the growing threat of DDoS attacks, putting their valuable resources into solid DDoS protection is a worthy investment. This is one area that security professionals should invest in to help secure their networks. And if they do invest in DDoS protection it is important for organizations to invest in proven security solutions that are highly automated and real-time, rather than relying on human intervention.

Corero and LightEdge: A Dynamic Duo that Keeps You Protected and Growing

For over a decade, Corero has been providing ultramodern, highly effective, real-time automatic DDoS protection solutions for enterprise, hosting and service provider customers around the world. Our SmartWall® DDoS mitigation solutions protect on-premises, cloud, virtual and hybrid environments. For more on Corero’s diverse deployment models, click here.  If you’d like to learn more, please contact us.

LightEdge’s network remains head and shoulders above the rest. Its network goes all the way back to 1996 when they were founded as an ISP and they spent over two decades perfecting our network and infrastructure to be the most scalable, redundant, and secure in the US. Today, LightEdge has narrowed its focus to supporting the most highly-regulated organizations with its data centers and compliant cloud offerings. Over all this time, one thing has stayed the same – everything is built around their unrivaled network.

If you’re looking to learn how to leverage both LightEdge’s unparalleled network and Corero’s best-in-class DDoS protection, schedule a call with one of our representatives and we’ll show you how


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