Posted on October 20, 2017 at 12:58 PM
The region suffered a total of 23 000 attacks in the past month alone.
DDoS attacks are a well-known threat amongst cybersecurity experts. Unless the targeted network has DDoS protections in place, the sudden urge of network data slows down significantly, to such an extent that it has the ability to cripple an entire network.
DDoS attacks have proven especially challenging for telecom operators. At best, DDoS attack are able to interrupt or slow down subscriber services significantly, however, they have the power to wreck much more damage. To keep these attacks from targeting telecom networks is a daily, all-consuming challenge.
According to Alaa Hadi, Regional Director of High Growth Market (Russia/CIS and the Middle East) at Arbor Networks, most of the cybersecurity industry works by waiting for an attack or problem to arise and then trying to deal with the attack. During his speech at the GITEX Technology Week, Hadi stated what Arbor Networks were doing to improve DDoS protections for their regional clients.
Hadi stated that Arbor Networks emphasized visibility which enables a more efficient method to address problems. According to Hadi, financial service providers can often go two to three without even noticing that their network has been compromised. By the time someone picks up on the attack, it’s either too late or too complex to fix.
Arbor Network’s ATLAS division analyzed data received by 335 different ISPs in order to analyze cybersecurity trends, as well as to monitor certain attack patterns. The statistics received from the Middle East, however, proved particularly noteworthy.
The research found that the Middle East suffered over 23 000 per month, a number which was significantly higher than 2016 statistics. These attacks were also increased during April and May. The most targeted areas in the Middle East were Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. To date, the global peak is 140Gbps which was targeted in Saudi Arabia. Of all the attacks, 38% were over 1 Gbps. Lastly, it was noted that most attackers used DNS and NTP reflection/amplification.
Hadi confirmed that ATLAS monitored over a third of all online activity worldwide, which includes over 400 ISPs. According to Hadi, the anonymous data is valuable to ATLAS as it allows Arbor Networks to expand on their visibility strategy. The data helps them to analyze possible future trends and threats in the industry. Hadi also emphasized how this strategy has helped their clients. Once you’ve established certain patterns, you can implement security measures to protect networks to the attacks.
Hadi also talked about how the very nature of DDoS attacks has changed. Traditionally, attacks just generated mass amounts of data, however, as of late attackers now target a specific part of the network which is vulnerable. The deliberate nature of the attacks makes them much more dangerous than previous attacks.
During 2016, the UAE experienced 5% of all worldwide DDoS attacks. Since this alarming number has been released, cybersecurity companies have to look for new ways and new, more sophisticated DDoS protections that could protect UAE networks more efficiently. Saudi Arabia has been particularly vigilant in their DDoS protection implementation. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia is frequently targeted, the strict security measures rarely allow DDoS attacks to disrupt their networks. While Telecoms companies suffer DDoS most frequently, both governmental and semi-governmental networks have recently come under attack. DDoS attacks have also been launched against the healthcare sector.
Hadi stated that it is very difficult to always have the right tools and knowledge to secure your network, the basics are vitally important.