The recent crossfire incident where GitHub found itself battling to stabilize service exemplifies the critical importance of defending your network against DDoS attacks. While most US-based security experts unequivocally point the finger at CNNIN’s complicity, simply identifying the origin of threats isn’t enough to protect your servers or your data.
Seventy-one hours into the attack, GitHub tweeted “Mitigation is holding and server is stable,” but a few hours later an updated status revealed the situation was far from over. The DDoS attack landscape continues to morph into a more sophisticated, complex environment that needs constant assessment and modification.
To defend your enterprise, you’ll need a comprehensive suite of hardware and software solutions designed to integrate complementary components that effectively manage risks associated with bidirectional conversations. Four areas that IT teams face every day include explosive user growth, smart device challenges, the privatizing of government services and open source technology and tools that enable cyber-espionage.
Open Source Technology and Tools
Open source tools facilitate innovation and expansion; however the same environment presents virtually limitless opportunities for unscrupulous hackers. As community developers rewrite software tools, new attack weapons emerge, almost in real time, to exploit the new creations. There is a trend toward non-state sponsored development and deployment in the open source arena. Especially troubling for IT decision makers is the difficulty of removing open-source tech tools from the Internet once they’re introduced.
Privatizing Government Services
While outsourcing government services to private enterprises has many advantages, loss of control poses myriad security risk. One risk is the accessibility challenge. Some military design information works its way into civilian hands in the form of devices and applications. There are past examples of one or two actors transforming a military concept into a rudimentary cyber-attack vehicle. Newer attack vectors means mitigation becomes more difficult and bandwidth intensive. Global dissemination will likely increase going forward, as well.
Smart Device Challenges
The dependency on physical and virtual infrastructure for daily operations demands vigilance. Fewer enterprises own and operate their own servers today. And cloud-based interfaces have numerous layers of technology. Integrating diverse devices for deliverables and maintenance requires customized solutions that monitor conversations with new technology – tablets, smart phones, VoIP solutions, e-printers and other peripheral devices.
Increased User Pools
Internet user demographic studies reveal that increased access to the Internet indicates a voluminous expansion is on the horizon. An influx of new web users from Africa and the Middle East is expected to create complex “unintentional” cybercrime activity. For example, new users may not be aware of cyber justice protocol, or more likely, their ideology may differ from Western concepts. Designing security solutions that block DDoS attacks is essential for both populations.
Vetting employees and contractors is important but won’t protect your enterprise from DDoS attacks – the landscape is constantly changing. Perhaps, what the key take away from the recent hijacking incident at GitHub tells us is that unintentional participation is one of the most dangerous threats. When hacktivists can piggyback the browsers of uninvolved, unaware surfers to literally flood websites with massive volumes of traffic, it shows the threat vector literally includes everyone on the web – the unknown population just got much, much bigger.
Use Experts to Build a DDoS Defense
Working with a systems integrator is crucial for all organizations, from retail to government agencies. Patriot Technologies uses our vast security expertise to build a security architecture that not only meets compliance standards but goes way beyond to achieve maximum security.