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January 30, 2014

Arbor Networks: Data Centers Big Targets for DDoS Attacks

Arbor Networks has released its ninth annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report (WISR) and has found that data centers are at high risk of attacks.

“From the ISP to the enterprise, IT and security teams are facing a dynamic threat landscape and very skilled and patient adversaries. Our ninth annual report showcases that very clearly,” said Matthew Moynahan, president of Arbor Networks (News - Alert). “There is no single, magic bullet solution and it is a mistake to think technology alone can secure a network. Multi-layered defenses are clearly needed, but so is a commitment to best practices for people and process.”

Arbor interviewed around 220 IT professionals at service providers, cloud providers, enterprise networks, hosting companies, and other major providers.

The survey found that Advanced Persistent Threats (APT (News - Alert)) attacks had increased by 36 percent over the previous year. The respondents said that attacks by botnets, large armies of computers infected by a malware program, were their top concern.

Mobile networks are also becoming a major target, with distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks on networks doubling over the past year. Twenty percent of the companies surveyed said that they actually suffered outages due to these kinds of attacks.

IT staff are increasingly worried about employees connecting their own mobile devices to the network under BYOD schemes. Of those surveyed, 57 percent said they didn’t have any solutions to deal with employee-owned devices.

DDoS attacks also due more than cause outages. They chew up a lot of data. The largest reported attack consumed 309 gigabits per second at its peak, with some respondents reporting attacks of 100 gbps.

Data centers by virtue of their size and the value of the data they contain, are also large targets. Of those surveyed, 70 percent of data centers reported a DDoS attack in the last year, with a third of them exceeding their total Internet capacity. Ten percent also reported more than 100 attacks per month.

DNS infrastructure, responsible for turning domain names like into IP addresses, are also vulnerable. A third of DNS providers suffered user-visible attacks, and more than a quarter said that no security plan was in place.


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