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Relentless threats drive demand for managed security services

27 Jan 16

The latest Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report from Arbor Networks has found relentless threats are driving demand for managed security services and incident response support.

The annual report looks into the global operational security community on a range of issues, from threat detection and incident response to staffing, budgets and partner relationships.

“A constantly evolving threat environment is an accepted fact of life for survey respondents,” explains Darren Anstee, Arbor Networks chief security technologist.

“The findings from this report underscore that technology is only part of the true story since security is a human endeavour and there are skilled adversaries on both sides,” he explains.

“Thanks to the information provided by network operators worldwide, we are able to offer insights into people and process, providing a much richer and more vibrant picture into what is happening on the front lines.”

Top 5 DDoS Trends

Change in Attack Motivation

This year the top motivation was not hacktivism or vandalism but ‘criminals demonstrating attack capabilities,’ something typically associated with cyber extortion attempts.

Attack Size Continues to Grow

The largest attack reported was 500 Gbps, with others reporting attacks of 450 Gbps, 425 Gbps and 337 Gbps. In 11 years of this survey, the largest attack size has grown more than 60X.

Complex Attacks on the Rise

Fifty six percent of respondents reported multi-vector attacks that targeted infrastructure, applications and services simultaneously, up from 42% last year. Ninety three per cent reported application-layer DDoS attacks. The most common service targeted by application-layer attacks is now DNS (rather than HTTP).

Cloud Under Attack

Two years ago, 19% of respondents saw attacks targeting their cloud-based services. This grew to 29% last year, and now to 33% this year – a clear upward trend. In fact, 51% of data centre operators saw DDoS attacks saturate their Internet connectivity. There was also a sharp increase in data centres seeing outbound attacks from servers within their networks, up to 34% from 24% last year.

Firewalls Continue to Fail During DDoS Attacks

More than half of enterprise respondents reported a firewall failure as a result of a DDoS attack, up from one-third a year earlier. As stateful and inline devices, firewalls add to the attack surface and are prone to becoming the first victims of DDoS attacks as their capacity to track connections is exhausted. Because they are inline, they can also add network latency.

Top 5 Advanced Threat Trends

Focus on Better Response

Fifty seven percent of enterprises are looking to deploy solutions to speed the incident response processes. Among service providers, one-third reduced the time taken to discover an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) in their network to under one week, and 52% stated their discovery to containment time has dropped to under one month.

Better Planning

2015 saw an increase in the proportion of enterprise respondents who had developed formal incident response plans, and dedicated at least some resources to respond to such incidents, up from around two-thirds last year to 75% this year.

Insiders in Focus

The proportion of enterprise respondents seeing malicious insiders is up to 17% this year (12% last year). Nearly 40% of all enterprise respondents still do not have tools deployed to monitor BYOD devices on the network. The proportion reporting security incidents relating to BYOD doubled, to 13% from 6% last year.

Staffing Quagmire

There has been a significant drop in those looking to increase their internal resources to improve incident preparedness and response, down from 46 to 38%in this year’s results.

Increasing Reliance on Outside Support

 Lack of internal resources this past year has led to an increase in the use of managed services and outsourced support, with 50% of enterprises having contracted an external organisation for incident response. This is 10% higher than within service providers. Within service providers, 74% reported seeing more demand from customers for managed services.

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