Distributed Denial of Service Attacks Caused 22% of Unplanned Data Center Outages in 2015

Data centers, whether large-scale ones like Amazon or smaller ones for independent enterprises, are crucial for businesses. Unfortunately, they are also increasingly vulnerable. The “2016 Cost of Data Center Outages Report,” published recently by Emerson Network Power in conjunction with the Ponemon Institute, states that unplanned data center outages cost companies nearly $9,000 per minute. Considering that it often takes much longer than a minute to fix a data center outage, those costs add up quickly. According to the report, “The average cost of a data center outage rose from $505,502 in 2010 to $690,204 in 2013 to $740,357 in the latest study. This represents a 38 percent increase in the cost of downtime since the first study in 2010. Maximum downtime costs are rising faster than average, increasing 81 percent since 2010 to a current high of $2,409,991.”

The report delivers research not only on the costs of such outages but also the causes. It named UPS system failures as the leading cause (25%) of data center outages. But the second most common cause of outages was cybercrime, specifically Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, which caused nearly one quarter (22%) of all the unplanned disruptions last year. Network World reported, “That's up from just 2% in 2010 and 18% in 2013, the last times the two organizations performed the survey.”

Fortunately, there are DDoS protection solutions such as the Corero SmartWall® Threat Defense System, which detects and stops DDoS attacks in their tracks. When one considers that the average cost of a data center outage is three quarters of a million dollars, and the maximum cost is over two million dollars, it makes sense for data centers to invest in DDoS protection solutions.