Last week in New Orleans the Corero team had the opportunity to meet with hosting providers from across North America at HostingCon Global 2016. This year we noticed an emphasis on network and cyber security, with nearly a dozen education sessions focused on better security for the provider, and their customers. Specifically, there were several interactive industry workgroup sessions where industry leaders framed the conversation with real-world concepts.
Corero COO Dave Larson presented a session on “Re-writing the Playbook for DDoS Mitigation Strategies,” in which he shared new research outlining the sophistication and frequency of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against service provider's customers, and demonstrated how customers are protecting over 200Gbps of Internet connections automatically from DDoS attacks. Larson also spoke at two of the conference workshops: one on Technology Speed, the other on Security issues facing the hosting provider community. In each situation, the audience was extremely attentive, because most of hosting providers have seen their platforms at least impacted, if not crippled, by DDoS attacks several times.
For any hosting provider, DDoS attacks are probably the number #1 cyber threat. That’s why many of them are looking closely at vendor solutions for DDoS mitigation. DDoS solutions have improved radically over the past 10-15 years. Gone are the days when black-holing or null-route routing was a reasonable option; that approach may remove some of the bad traffic from the network, but it enables, rather than prevents, a denial of service. Traditional scrubbing services, which some hosting providers still use, are insufficient to handle DDoS attacks.
New DDoS mitigation technology is automated, and inline. Deployed at the network edge, new anti-DDoS technology detects and blocks all DDoS traffic, preventing it from entering the hosting provider’s backbone infrastructure. Without such a solution, hosting providers are exposed to serious risks in two areas:
1) Web availability. Hosting providers are often targeted by DDoS hackers because the attack surface of a hosting provider is large; an attack on one of their customers can create collateral damage on another customer downstream. DDoS attacks drain network resources or cripple customer websites. Everyone knows that network or website service availability is crucial to ensure customer trust and satisfaction, and vital to acquire new customers in a highly competitive market. When an end user is denied access to Internet-facing applications or if latency issues obstruct the user experience, it impacts the bottom line both immediately and in the long-term.
2) Data security. The vast majority of attacks are so small that they often go unnoticed by human security agents; automated mitigation is the only thing that can catch such low-threshold, partial-link saturation attempts. More importantly, these small, short-duration attacks not only negatively impact network performance, but also are often used as a smokescreen for dangerous security breaches. That’s why DDoS attacks are not just a service availability issue but an extremely important security issue. Corero research shows that some of our customers are seeing 4 or 5 DDoS attacks on a daily basis; if not for the Corero solution, many times they would be unaware that the attacks were taking place.
DDoS as a Service = New Revenue Streams
As the volume and frequency of DDoS attacks continues to increase, customers are beginning to realize that DDoS attacks threaten their businesses. Consequently, they expect hosting providers to offer DDoS protection and, in many cases, they are willing to pay for it. Proactive hosting providers recognize this market demand and position themselves above their competitors by offering tiered DDoS protection services with premium pricing based on the level of advanced mitigation capabilities a customer requires.
One of the frequent questions we heard from folks at the event was “how can we add DDoS protection to our services portfolio?” Many hosting providers are looking for ways to differentiate from the competition, and security services have always been top of mind for enterprises moving to the cloud. With DDoS attacks more prevalent than ever, hosting providers are now able to provide complete protection to their hosted customers.
We also enjoyed hearing about how Corero customers are thrilled with the automatic, sophisticated and real-time DDoS protection they get with Corero SmartWall TDS. It’s always great to meet customers face to face to hear about their successes, and their perspective on longer term initiatives that include Corero.
To learn more about Corero’s solutions for Hosting Providers, contact us.