BT: DDoS On The Rise, But Only Half Of UK Businesses Have Protection In Place

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Almost a third of global organisations are attacked by DDoS more than once a year, suggests research by British Telecom

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks are becoming more frequent, but only about half of UK businesses have put relevant security measures in place, suggests research by BT.

According to the telecoms giant, 41 percent of medium-to-large organisations around the world were hit by DDoS attacks over the past year, with 78 percent of these targeted twice or more in the same 12-month period.

One in five organisations reported that they have had their systems taken down for an entire working day.

In denial

DDoS attacks occur when multiple compromised systems attempt to flood the bandwidth or resources of a target server with traffic. When a server is overloaded with connections, new connections can no longer be accepted and the website becomes unavailable.

This can paralyze business operations and cause financial losses for the website’s owners. Such attacks are aimed at a wide range of organisations, from financial institutions to major online gaming services. Especially powerful DDoS can affect latency across large geographic areas.

ddos-attackMore sophisticated attackers use DDoS tools for extortion, or to harm their business rivals. Websites selling DDoS services are widely available online, and TechWeek frequently receives unsolicited emails from botnet operators available for hire.

According to BT’s survey of 640 IT decision-makers across eleven countries and regions, DDoS has been identified as an increasingly serious threat, with 58 percent of organisations saying they were worried about their websites being taken down through brute force.

Almost 60 percent of respondents thought DDoS attacks are becoming more effective, and BT added that instances of hybrid, or multi-vector, attacks have increased by 41 percent during the past year.

However, UK businesses seem to be oblivious to the danger, with just 36 percent saying they see DDoS attacks as a key concern. At the same time, just under half (49 percent) have admitted to having a response plan in place. Less than one in ten UK decision makers said they strongly believe they have sufficient resources in place to counteract an attack o this type.

“Reputations, revenue and customer confidence are on the line following a DDoS attack, not to mention the upfront time and cost that it takes an organisation to recover following an attack,” said Mark Hughes, president of BT Security. “Finance, e-commerce companies and retailers in particular suffer when their websites or businesses are targeted.”

According to the survey, on average, it takes an organisation 12 hours to fully recover from an especially powerful DDoS attack. In the UK, 58 percent of respondents admitted that DDoS attacks have brought down their systems for more than six hours.

Earlier this year, communications specialist Neustar published a similar report, in which it claimed that 32 percent of UK firms have suffered DDoS attacks costing at least £240,000 a day.

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