DDoS top security fear as businesses weigh reputational damage risk

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are the most worrying type of online attack for businesses and reputational damage and unhappy customers are among the most feared outcomes of such an incident, a new customer survey has revealed.

The survey, conducted by TechValidate amongst customers of content distribution network (CDN) provider Limelight Networks, found that one-third of respondents said their primary business concern was that a cyberattack would affect their company's brand or reputation.

Fully 27 percent feared a service outage and 20 percent were concerned that the attack could create unhappy customers, with just 19 percent concerned about revenue loss and only 1 percent worried about fees or penalties incurred during the attack.

CDNs were playing an increasingly important role in customer planning and were seen as the first line of defence by customers, with 53 percent seeing their CDN provider as the first line of defence against DDoS attacks and 22 percent outsourcing to a partner.

A quarter of respondents still felt it was better to handle such attacks inhouse, with 31 percent saying they were doing just that and 16 percent saying they were using an on-premise security appliance. Yet 31 percent said they were adopting a hybrid approach combining cloud and on-premise capabilities, with 14 percent outsourcing the process to a cloud security provider.

Those results suggest a growing recognition of the ability of third parties to erect defences against DDoS attacks, which have rapidly come onto the CSO's radar in Australia as new attacks, improving broadband and exploding use of data-amplifying reflection techniques increase the frequency and severity of outgoing DDoS attacks.

“This survey highlights the immense pressure on enterprises to ensure content availability and protect brand reputation as cyberattacks increase and metastasise,” Limelight CMO Kirby Wadsworth said in a statement. “Thousands of attacks occur every day, impacting brand image, revenue, business viability, and even careers.”

CDN provider Akamai has also weighed in on the growing DDoS threat, warning recently that Australian companies are unprepared to deal with such attacks after a survey of Australian IT security executives found that just 1 in 3 companies rates itself 'very experienced' in dealing with DDoS attacks.

This article is brought to you by Enex TestLab, content directors for CSO Australia.

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