Many organisations lack DDoS response plan, Corero finds

Over-reliance on trusty firewalls

Many organisations have no formal plan for coping with DDoS attacks, lack up to date network maps, and probably depend on old technology to defend against the threat, a survey by Corero Network Security has suggested.

The precise figure for those without a formal plan was 44 out of the 100 global organisations polled, 54 of which also lacked a recent map of their networks that would be necessary to plan the response to a major DDoS event.

Forty-one percent had invested in DDoS defence systems, but of those almost 60 percent did not stress test equipment to make sure it could cope should an attack occur. Meanwhile, 44 percent were content to depend on firewalls to shield them from this form of attack despite the known inadequacy of older generations of equipment to fend off DDoS.

The pitch that many organisations are under-investing in security equipment is not a new one from vendors in this space; they have a lot to gain should firms spend money on new equipment and services. However, what does seem clear is that many organisations are unwilling or unable to invest in the expertise required to cope with DDoS attacks, a threat type that has recently evolved more rapidly than the technologies ranged against it.

Half of the hundred had no dedicated DDoS response team, which could just mean that this function was part of the general security function. But even those that did had few if any defined responsibilities, a lack of preparation that could lead to crucial delays in Corero's view.

"Technology on its own isn't going to be enough to deal with threats," suggested Corero Networks' COO, Andrew Miller. "There wasn't an awareness of what these attacks mean."

Firms that believed they might be a target for a major DDoS attack should at least run pen-testing against their systems, he suggested, including simulating attacks.

A weakness of the survey could have been its international focus but Miller said its findings had been surprisingly consistent across countries.

"It is concerning to see the lack of preparedness of some businesses to a type of attack which has the potential to cause significant lost revenues and serious brand damage," said Miller's colleague and Corero CEO, Ashley Stephenson.

"With an increase in malicious attacks on organizations from cyber criminals, ideological hacktivists, nation states and even competitors, there is no foreseeable end in sight to the use of DDoS as a common method of intentional disruption."

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