Don’t Let DDoS Attacks Hack the Holidays

Will cyber criminals be naughty or nice with your network this holiday season? Don’t let your guard down. If the past is any precedent, cyber criminals will be very busy Grinches, wreaking havoc around the world. There are plenty of rotten, mean weapons in the cybercriminal toolbox, and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are some of the easiest and most commonly used among them.

As the holiday shopping season peaks, retail e-commerce sites are often impacted by sub-saturating, low-threshold DDoS attacks. Such attacks may not always fully bring down a website, but they can severely impact user experience. Online commerce depends on sites being responsive and always available; frustrated customers will quickly abandon an unresponsive site and go to another. More importantly, sub-saturating attacks can serve as a smokescreen to mask a dangerous security breach that is intended to steal sensitive data such as customer information and credit card data. Online retailers around the globe should adopt strong defensive measures now, to protect their websites, and other key trading systems, against DDoS attacks that could reduce online business during the holiday season, which retailers depend upon for a substantial percentage of their annual sales.

Cyber criminals are also fond of targeting gaming systems, and DDoS is one of their favorite weapons. Video gaming networks Xbox Live, PlayStation, etc. have been hit hard in past years. Such attacks often land on Christmas Day or New Year’s Day, which are peak usage days for gamers. The motive for such attacks is often not for the money, but the twisted pleasure of creating mayhem. Criminals need not launch massive attacks to cause problems for gamers and the gaming companies; the slightest interruption in connectivity can make the platform unusable and thus bring complaints from gamers on social media. It’s clearly bad for the online gaming companies; they take a hit in terms of both finances and reputation.

What can gaming companies do to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals? They can follow in the footsteps of Jagex, a UK-based online gaming company that publishes popular gaming communities including Runescape and War of Legends. With the Corero SmartWall® Threat Defense System in place, Jagex can absorb any DDoS attack up to 400% of its normal daily capacity and keep all services to users running smoothly, without any disruptions. This has led to an immediate decrease in player-impacting DDoS events and better retention of existing customers. “We can now absorb roughly 95% of all DDoS attacks made on our systems with zero impact to our services, which means customers are getting a much more seamless experience,” said Barry Zubel, Head of IT at Jagex. “That in itself is a huge result for us.”

Some companies have beefed up their DDoS defenses in recent years, but cyber criminals have become more sophisticated too, making it harder to mitigate the attacks. Small attacks are getting stealthier while large attacks are getting larger (someday soon the world’s first 10 terabits per second attack will likely occur). Companies must defend against both types of DDoS attacks. This requires always-on DDoS protection that filters out malicious traffic without impacting regular users, eliminates attacks in real-time, and prevents costly outages, latency, or downtime.

With dedicated, automatic, real-time DDoS protection in your cyber security defenses, you’ll stop some Grinches from stealing the holidays!

Corero provides best-in-class, innovative DDoS protection solutions for customers across the globe; to learn how you can protect your organization from the DDoS threat, contact us.