DDoS attacks are experiencing a dramatic surge this year

13 Sep 2018

DDoS attacks can wreak havoc on business websites. Image: NAAN/Shutterstock

The frequency of DDoS attacks has surged compared to last year.

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are a major pain for IT teams and leaders. A DDoS attack is an attempt to make an online service unavailable by overwhelming it with traffic from multiple sources.

According to research from Corero Network Security, the frequency of these has risen by 40pc year on year.

A growing volume of DDoS attacks

While frequency has increased, the duration of the attacks decreased, with 77pc lasting 10 minutes or less and 63pc of those lasting five minutes or less. A concerning detail is that having faced one attack, a fifth of organisations will be targeted again within 24 hours.

DDoS attacks target victims for various reasons. Whatever the motivation, current data suggests that there is currently a 21pc chance of a repeat attack in 24 hours and a 37pc chance of a repeat attack within 90 days.

According to the research, more nation state attacks are occurring and a growing number of experts are warning of the potential for devastating DDoS attacks on critical national infrastructure.

Attacks have a major impact on businesses

CEO of Corero, Ashley Stephenson, said: “Organisations are dependent on the internet as a means to conduct business and deliver consumer/citizen services. Any event that affects this ability to function will have a significant impact on that business.

“With internet resilience coming down to a fraction of a second, it’s easy to see why DDoS attacks are considered one of the most serious threats to internet availability today, resulting in damage to a brand’s reputation, customer trust and revenue.”

Stephenson added that short duration attacks mean that many organisations are failing to identify that they have been hit by a DDoS attack. This leaves them vulnerable as they are neither mitigating the attack nor the damage to user experience, causing revenue erosion.

Corero said that frequent, modest-sized, short-duration DDoS attacks are the modern-day problem, as they regularly cause the most damage. It added: “As organisations develop their DDoS resiliency plans, and choose their methods of DDoS protection, time-to-mitigation must be a critical factor.”

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects