How to Maximize the Effectiveness of Your DDoS Security

Global organizations are expected to increase their spending on DDoS protection and mitigation solutions from $3.8 billion in 2022 to $13 billion in 2032.

But are DDoS protection and mitigation providers, however, a panacea to DDoS attacks?

Blizzard just reported another DDoS attack this month that erased its Overwatch players’ accounts. This was after an attack last month that took its World of Warcraft and Overwatch players offline for hours, two DDoS attacks in August, and another in May.

It’s critical for you to maximize your organization’s DDoS security and make the most of the DDoS mitigation solutions so you don’t run the risk of a DDoS attack.

Organizations Lack Visibility into their Attack Surface

DDoS mitigation providers do not have a strategy in place to identify existing vulnerabilities and remediate them. The primary reason for this is that DDoS mitigation relies on static configuration settings, while the attack surface of your organization is dynamic. The result is a growing percentage of DDoS attacks that can bypass an organization’s DDoS defense and attack the target network.

Known as the DDoS vulnerability gap, it is compounded by:

• Constant changes to an organization’s network
• Increased complexity of attacks via botnets for ransom DDoS, zero-day, and low-rate attacks
• Ability of attackers to use the thousands of IoT devices to launch more complex multi-vector, higher-rate attacks

You only know your DDoS mitigation is working if your company is attacked – and hopefully blocks the attack swiftly and successfully.

The Limitations of Current DDoS Vulnerability Testing

The one exception is red team testing. Red team testing runs a simulation to see if your organization is prepared to block these attacks. These attacks cover a wide spectrum of attack vectors, including HTTP/HTTPS, Application, DNS, IP Flood, UDP Flood, TCP Flood, and many more.

Limitations of red team testing:

  •  Traditional DDoS testing is not continuous. Red team testing services test at a static time and place, while networks are dynamic. Your organization is constantly adding and removing IPs, services, networks, and servers, so the test is only accurate for a particular point in time.
  • It requires 3-hour maintenance windows which are usually done only a few times a year. During that time the company website cannot be used. Continuous testing is not a realistic option for global organizations such as banks or e-commerce whose customers need constant access to their websites.
  • Red team testing only checks a small percentage of your attack surface. Most red team testing only checks one target at a time. A bank with 50 IPs can have 7,500 possible vulnerabilities. Red team testing only runs 25 tests per 3-hour maintenance window. That’s less than 0.4%% of your network’s total possible vulnerabilities.  
  • Red team testing does not tell you what part of your DDoS mitigation isn’t working. What part of your mitigation is susceptible to vulnerabilities? Is it your CDN, WAF, scrubbing Center, or IPS? Do you know why? Current solutions on the marketplace do not offer full visibility to understand how effective their technology is in defending you against these attacks.

A Proactive Approach to DDoS Security

If mitigation providers are not able to defend against your organization’s ever-expanding attack surface, then what can your organization do to gain ongoing visibility into your dynamic attack surface in addition to remediation insights?

Here are three main steps you can take for a proactive approach:

  • Get full attack surface coverage. Ensure your mitigation layers are always up-to-date through automatic and continuous testing of every attack vector on live production environments with zero downtime.
  • Gain an understanding of your vulnerability level. In our experience, environments have between a 30 – 70% vulnerability level. Stay on top of those vulnerabilities by receiving a report that discloses known vulnerabilities of the environment you are protecting along with remediation strategies to eliminate these vulnerabilities efficiently.
  • Validate remediations to ensure they were performed correctly. Re-test your remediations to make sure vulnerabilities have been correctly patched. This ensures you always have full visibility into your DDoS readiness.    

Eliminating the DDoS Vulnerability Gap

Regardless of the type of DDoS mitigation you have in place, your organization should feel confident that you have complete visibility into your DDoS risk. Most mitigation providers rely on a reactive rather than proactive approach. Instead of static protection settings, mitigation layers must stay updated constantly through continuous testing of every attack vector against every target with no operational downtime. Vulnerabilities should be constantly identified, remediated, and then validated to ensure full DDoS readiness. Together these steps will ensure that your organization has full attack surface coverage that eliminates the DDoS vulnerability gap.



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