Is there complacency surrounding European DDoS mitigation?


A new European report released today by CDNetworks, the global content delivery network (CDN) and cloud security provider, has revealed that spending on DDoS mitigation in the UK and DACH has increased sharply over the last twelve months.

This has led to widespread confidence amongst IT heads in their DDoS resilience. But despite the greater investment, these same companies also confessed to a high proportion of DDoS attacks being successful in the last 12 months, turning their confidence into complacency.

>See also: How to improve your DDoS defence

The research, conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of CDNetworks, and looking at businesses in the UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, found that recent high-profile DDoS attacks have been effective in driving investment in DDoS mitigation.

 49% have invested in DDoS mitigation technologies for the first time in the last 24 months.
 Almost two-thirds (64%) are likely to invest more next year than in the last 12 months.
 9% will be investing in DDoS mitigation for the first time in the next 12 months.
 The average annual spend is £24,200, with one-fifth of businesses investing more than £40,000.

This level of investment has led to a high level of confidence in repelling DDoS attacks, no matter the severity of attack. 83% of businesses described themselves as either “confident” or “very confident” in their current DDoS mitigation setup — despite 79% describing an attack as being likely or even certain.

In fact, 86% of businesses had suffered a DDoS attack in the last year. While the average business had been attacked six times, one in every twelve had detected more than 50 attacks over the last year alone.

>See also: DDoS attacks are an increasing concern for IT security pros

And despite increased investment, successful attacks are still very common: Over half (54%) of businesses have been the victim of a DDoS attack in the last 12 months that was able to take their website, network or online app offline.

This prevalence of successful attacks is possibly explained by the increase in frequency and size of individual DDoS attacks outstripping what the newly-invested-in DDoS technologies can repel.

CDNetworks’ own network monitoring data showed that the largest detected attack in the first half of 2016 was nearly three times the size of the largest of 2015 – 58.8Gbps versus 21Gbps. And this was not a freak occurrence – 31% of attacks in the first half of 2016 were measured at 50Gbps or more, while none of the attacks of 2015 reached this size.

“The results are both comforting and worrying,” said Chris Townsley, EMEA Director, CDNetworks. “It may have taken high profile attacks on Dyn and the overpowering of the likes of Twitter and CNN to spur businesses into action, but we’re glad that DDoS is now seen as an issue that needs to be addressed. However, the size and number of DDoS attacks are also increasing every year, turning DDoS into an arms race. Businesses cannot afford to be complacent or regard DDoS mitigation as a one-off investment as the trend for larger attacks shows the cybercriminals are currently winning the arms race.”

>See also: Dark DDoS: hacker tools and techniques – the challenges faced

The most common impacts of successful DDoS attacks were loss of commercial opportunity (81% could trace this impact directly to a DDoS attack), the cost of remedy and strain on the IT team itself (16% for both). The most intense impact was for the loss of commercial opportunity – 9% rated the impact as catastrophic.

The survey also revealed that nearly a third of businesses (31%) – and the largest proportion – believe that rivals are behind at least some of the DDoS attacks they are targeted by. The next most popular assumed reasons for being targeted were random targeting (23%), hate crime (22%) and blackmail (21%).


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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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