The biggest threat to your SLAs - DDoS Attacks (Part II)

Stephen Gates
By | January 23, 2015

Posted in: Network Security Trends , Hosting Provider DDoS Protection

It’s obvious that latency and outages caused by DDoS attacks can severely impact uptime measurements.  A sustained outage caused by an attack could result in an organization losing or reducing its uptime certifications. The reality of the impact of DDoS to a provider’s APS ratings is staggering if you put it into perspective.  According to the Ponemon Institute, the average reported datacenter outage, or incident length is 86 minutes.  Just one 86 minute event per year, would impact your APS rating significantly, as your performance standards would be knocked down to APS 400; three events puts you into APS 350, and a more common scenario of 1 event per month would keep you outside of the lowest rating of APS 300. How much downtime are you willing to risk as a result of a DDoS attack? What’s your UptimeSafe certification rating?

Each numeric APSsm rating corresponds to a specific UptimeSafe Availability & Performance Standard as follows:
                                       Availability & Performance Standards

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What’s the recommendation regarding DDoS attacks and SLAs?

It’s simple. Deploy inline, real-time DDoS detection and protection technology at the very edge of your network; most often at your ISP handoff, deploying protection directly on your raw Internet pipes coming from your upstream ISP.  Deploying purpose-built, real-time DDoS protection technology is becoming a universal standard for all hosting providers.


The Corero Security Operation Center observes DDoS attacks threatening our Hosting Provider customer on a daily basis.  These attacks are not necessarily saturating the Hosting Providers’ 10Gbps Internet links –contrary to what many may believe. Rather, these attacks are categorized as partial-saturation DDoS attacks, often in the 3-5 Gbps range (per pipe) causing latency, reducing performance and threatening outage’s  throughout the entire hosted environment. Typical duration of these attacks are on the order of under 30 minutes in length – not long enough to engage cloud scrubbing services to solve the problem before it’s too late.


Partial Saturation DDoS Attack Partial Saturation Attacks on a Hosting Provider 10G Pipe (in Blue)

The Corero SmartWall® Threat Defense System (TDS) transparently blocks DDoS attack traffic before it enters the Hosting environment and stops DDoS attacks instantaneously without incurring false positives.  Hosting Providers that take advantage of the Corero SmartWall TDS are enabled to defeat DDoS attacks in real-time; before their customers are even aware an attack has taken place. The Corero SmartWall TDS delivers superior DDoS attack visibility and reporting and alerts the provider immediately upon attack detection.   With the efficient (¼ wide 1 RU) footprint, low power, low BTU, and unparalleled performance of the SmartWall TDS, Hosting Providers are protecting their business and their customers.

The Competitive Advantage  

Hosting Providers face stiff competition from their industry peers.  One Hosting Provider may charge a few cents less per month than their competitors in the hope of attracting customers based solely on the financial circumstances.  However, there is an opportunity for Hosting Providers to differentiate and stand out from the pack by offering this real-time protection and subsequent uptime certifications. This equation enables premium service offerings for the provider customers to take advantage of.

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