Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bank robbery

Movies about bank robberies have become so popular that nowadays we could consider them as a genre in itself. Although there are some variations, we always find several common points: a group of criminals in which each one has different abilities, a specific objective, the quarrels between criminals... It is not necessary that it is a bank that’s robbed, it can be a house, a Casino or even a museum, but we will be facing the same type of movies.

However, another common point that has this "gender" is that it always focuses on criminals but ... what about the victims? Today, in our study of the week we want to change the focus thanks to the report collected by Neustar and Harris that gathers information on how DDoS attacks affect their organizations.

The survey was responded by more than 1,000 company executives, and it covers a wide variety of sectors ranging from the technology industry to the financial sector, through the health sector or the energy industry. In the words of Barry Lyon, Head of Research and Development at Neustar Security Solutions, "The question that organizations must ask nowadays is how well prepared they are to handle these highly disturbing events. Are they ready for the day their customers call and ask why the web is inactive?"

First, we check how the trend in this type of attacks is changing, discovering three very striking points:
  • Volumetric attacks are increasing: almost half of the DDoS attacks were more than 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). On the other hand, 15 percent of the attacks were at least 50 Gbps, almost double compared to last year.  
  • There is nowhere to hide: 849 of 1,010 organizations surveyed were attacked without any industry particularly affected. This means a 15 percent increase since 2016. Of all those affected, 727 companies were hit more than once. 
  • Customers monitor DDoS attacks: 40 percent of respondents received customer attack alerts, an increase of 29 percent compared to 2016.
The report continues to focus on how it affects and how companies react to such attacks:
  • It is a risk game: Almost half (43%) of organizations report a loss of revenue of at least $ 250,000 per hour on average. On the other hand, half of them take at least three hours to detect an attack and 40 percent takes at least another three hours to respond to the threat. 
  • The rise of ransomware and the race against crime: ransomware instances reported that DDoS attacks increased 53 percent since 2016. Of all those attacks, more than the half involved some kind of loss or theft with a 38 percent increase in customer data and intellectual property theft. 
  • We need a bigger boat: 99 percent of organizations have some form of DDoS protection. However, 90 percent of organizations are investing more than they did a year ago and 36 percent think they should invest even more.
Although the last quarter of the year is considered "season of DDoS", the attack data collected by Neustar highlight a series of key indicators that presage that this year will be a challenge in tackling DDoS threats. According to the data, this year is off to a fast start (the first quarter is generally considered “pre-season”) with a significant increase in the average size of each attack and the variety of vectors of such threats:
  • Emergence of new attack vectors: Cybercriminals are constantly looking for new ways to turn legitimate infrastructure elements against their owners. Generic Routing Encapsulation (GRE) flood attacks and Connectionless Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (CLDAP) reflection attacks are emerging as the new hot attack trends for 2017.
  • Attacks become more complex: Multi-vector attacks have become the almost universal experience for Neustar mitigation operations, demonstrating that attackers continue to launch more sophisticated attacks to penetrate organizations defenses.
When telling a story of robberies, we will always feel more attracted to the figure of thieves. It is a more attractive and morbid approach. However, although in most movies criminals have a "good" background, we know that this is not usually the case. So let's leave the empathy with the cybercriminals for the movies and focus on facing them in real life.


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