Network and cloud security solutions and software tools are considered to be critical and valuable contributors to the success of an organization. As per IDC’s Worldwide Cloud Predictions for 2020, 95% of Indian organisations plan to increase their cloud spending in the coming 12 months and 50% of Indian enterprises are expected to operate in a hybrid multi-cloud environment by 2021. With workloads increasingly moving to the cloud, organizations will have to think of advanced cloud security solutions, to cope with new security challenges. Security teams will need to reassess their security strategies as traditional security tools may not address challenges of dynamic, virtual and distributed cloud environments.
Attacks, threats and vulnerabilities are constantly evolving in the India cyber domain. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks plague organizations of all sizes, and across all industries. The frequency, intensity and sophistication of modern attacks―and the attackers―threaten the most crucial aspect of running an online business: 24/7 availability. The push in adoption of internet of things (IoT) exacerbates this problem. A recent report by the Israeli cybersecurity firm Check Point Research highlights that hackers target 1 Indian firm over 1,500 times a week. As cybercriminals step up the rate of attacks in 2020, the financial organisations are most prone to cyber-attacks in the coming years.
In response to the attack complexity and intensity, and growing concerns over the fallout from a major DDoS attack, organizations are expanding their security defenses. Living under a constant fear of frauds, organisations are increasingly trying to ensure that the most important apps and data are secure and receive the bandwidth they need.
Yet the question remains: how do you choose the correct DDoS defense solution for your business? What makes one solution better than another? This article highlights the four critical considerations needed for evaluating DDoS solutions.
Surgical precision to protect legitimate users
By nature, DDoS attacks are largely brute force and are often perceived as crude. Legacy DDoS defense solutions were designed to protect network infrastructure from attacks, leaving legitimate users without a connection to the online resources they need. Maintaining service availability for users during a DDoS attack is the primary reason to deploy a DDoS protection solution.
Effective DDoS defenses must be precise, with the ability to intelligently distinguish legitimate users from attacking bots. A surgically precise DDoS detection and mitigation solution understands your environment in both peacetime and wartime and can eliminate false positives and false negatives. Additionally, surgical precision can lower operating costs, since frontline defenders won’t be pulled off critical tasks to combat false and missed incidents.
Scalability to combat modern threats
With attacks increasing in size and sophistication, DDoS defenses are nearly useless if they can’t scale to attackers’ capabilities. Businesses must be prepared to defend against frequent and sophisticated attacks as small as 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) – and those rare occurrences when they exceed 1 Tbps. Along with depth in mind, DDoS defenders must rethink their strategy and scale for the intensity and breadth of an attack.
With a goal to cause as much damage with as little effort as possible, it’s often easier for attackers to throw many millions of small packets of attack traffic against the network’s firewalls and servers rather than launch one massive volumetric flood.
Attacks from weaponized IoT devices can cause the most devastation―by exploiting the first “D” in DDoS: distributed. Since legacy defenses defend against thousands of coordinating DDoS attack agents and not millions of weaponized IoT endpoints, this persistent barrage of attack traffic can slip through.
Employing a hybrid DDoS defense solution ensures capabilities of scaling to meet even the largest of attacks. Combining an always-on, on-premises solution with a cloud scrubbing service for when the Internet pipe is overwhelmed ensures that the network can stand up to attacks at any scale.
Automation to improve efficiency
Efficiency is imperative since no organization has unlimited people or resources. Yet, legacy DDoS defense requires a lot of manual intervention during wartime. Not only does a DDoS attack diminish availability, it also takes people away from valuable work.
Organizations need automated DDoS protection strategies that eliminate the manual intervention required to defend against attacks. Leveraging automation based on pre-set policies maximizes effectiveness while minimizing the chances of false positives, thus preserving resources by keeping them focused on important tasks.
Affordability to maximize your budget
Enterprises know they need DDoS defense, but the expense of obtaining it creates a huge obstacle as DDoS defense solutions are quite costly. However, shedding legacy systems in favor of modern, nimble DDoS defense solutions can have a high return. One way to shrink DDoS defense spending is to reduce the total number of appliances needed to meet the organization’s capacity requirements. This not only reduces hardware costs, it also reduces power, cooling and data-center-space requirements, all of which helps to further decrease overall expense.
The Indian cybersecurity market is likely to grow by one and a half times the global rate by 2022. With India among the least cyber-secure countries in the world, businesses require a new approach to tackle modern DDoS attacks. They’re bigger. They’re faster. They’re wider. They’re more powerful than ever before and legacy systems can no longer keep up. But rethinking your DDoS strategy isn’t easy; it takes careful consideration, thoughtful planning and a robust strategy.
By examining and prioritizing the four key pillars of impenetrable DDoS defense: precision, scalability, automation and affordability, you can find the right DDoS protection to go toe-to-toe with today’s unyielding threat environment.
By Sanjai Gangadharan, Regional Director, A10 Networks SAARC