DDoS attackers are improving their arsenal and successfully targeting companies to cause damaging downtime. DDoS attacks are becoming more intense, multimodal, and in some cases taking the shape of demanding ransom. Since the global lockdown onset, organizations are experiencing a massive digital transformation and identifying DDoS vulnerabilities has become more difficult. Because of limited visibility, networks are more vulnerable than before and getting DDoSed despite having the best mitigation solutions deployed.
What is a DDoS Mitigation Gap?
A DDoS mitigation Gap is calculated as a percentage of DDoS attacks bypassing a company’s DDoS mitigation defenses and penetrating the target network. For example, if 10 DDoS attacks hit an organization and its mitigation policy blocked only 8 of them, the network exhibited a 20% DDoS mitigation gap. Organizations can improve their DDoS protection strategy effectiveness by analyzing and maintaining a minimum DDoS mitigation gap.
Why DDoS Mitigation Gaps Occur?
Dynamic Business Environments - In a real-time, always-on business world, organizations continuously transform business operations to keep up with the cut-throat competition. The transformation includes deploying new servers, software, applications, and IT updates every other week. In October 2020, software intelligence company Dynatrace conducted an independent global survey of 700 CIOs to analyze the need for digital transformation; the report reveals that 89% of CIOs say the digital transformation has accelerated in the last 12 months, and 58% predict it will continue to speed up. Simultaneously, the recent work from home phenomenon also adds up more vulnerable devices to the infrastructure.
Despite advanced technology available, mitigation solutions do not have automatic fine-tuning and require manual reconfiguration. Vulnerability identification remains a challenge because setting up a 24*7 human-operated DDoS testing is expensive and impractical. New identified vulnerabilities in the network can be fixed only when mitigation solutions are fine-tuned real-time, otherwise pre-configured solutions soon become obsolete. The magnitude of the DDoS mitigation gap increases as organizations undergo of digital transformation regularly.
DDoS Attack Vectors Becoming Complex — Another reason contributing to widening the DDoS mitigation Gap is the increase in intensity, complexity, and sophistication of DDoS attack types, making attack detection a challenge.
The NETSCOUT Threat Intelligence Report mentions 4.8 million attacks in the first half of 2020, and confirms that complex 15-plus vector attacks have spiked 126 percent year over year and 2,851 percent since 2017, complicating mitigation strategies. Netscout further adds it observed DDoS attacks rise above 10 million annually in 2020, nearly 1.6 million more attacks than seen in 2019.
DDoS attack vectors strike networks on three different layers of the OSI model. Attacks hitting different layers have distinct characteristics. DDoS attackers exploit the multi-vector technique within each of these three OSI layers, significantly complicating attack identification and mitigation.
(see Figure 1 for attack characteristics and attack type by OSI layer examples).
Multi-vector attacks are on the rise because the tactic improves DDoS attackers’ possibilities to damage a network successfully. For example, attackers launch different vectors at once or modify the vectors in response to the mitigation solution. The attack strategy changes every few minutes. In this way, if one vector fails, the other hits the target network within seconds before mitigation can react. A deployed mitigation solution is configured to block identified vectors; however, it lacks real-time reconfiguration to prevent DDoS vectors variations, therefore increasing the DDoS Mitigation Gap.
Hybrid Mitigation Solutions are Not Sufficient
Organizations deploy a combination of DDoS mitigation systems to combat the complexity of DDoS Attacks. Cloud-based Scrubbing centers and Content Distribution Networks (CDN) mitigate high bandwidth Layer 3 & Layer 4 DDoS attacks. Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) mitigation devices prevent the more complex Layer 7 attack vectors.
(See a recommended DDoS Mitigation posture depicted in Figure 2 below).
Hybrid mitigation solutions can achieve optimal performance only when the different components (as illustrated in Figure 2 above) are fine-tuned and accurately synchronized with the production network. These mitigation solutions perform only after a DDoS attack is detected, but identifying DDoS attacks is another challenge altogether.
Companies invest heavily in deploying mitigation solutions; however, without disrupting their services, officers cannot test if their mitigation solution is working under different attack scenarios or not. Current DDoS vulnerability detection tools require maintenance windows and cannot avoid downtime. In the past, enterprises couldn't think of real-time verification of their defense tools without disruption, because this new technology is only available now.
How to Minimize the DDoS Mitigation Gap
In most DDoS attack scenarios, open channels are not detected real-time, and vulnerabilities remain unblocked; DDoS attacks, therefore, bypass the most robust mitigation solutions. Because businesses are transforming rapidly, the DDoS Mitigation Gap will continue to expand on vulnerable networks. However, it is critical for security personnel to detect and remediate the gap before attackers can exploit it.
A new patented technology is now available to minimize the DDoS Mitigation Gap and block DDoS attacks entirely. Organizations can detect ongoing attack surface risks and ensure remediation, all with no downtime, by deploying MazeBolt’s ultimate DDoS Protection - RADAR™.
RADAR™ detects DDoS vulnerabilities non-disruptively and continuously and lowers the vulnerability level to 2% and below. Because of the improved network visibility security officers can block vulnerabilities BEFORE a damaging DDoS attack; and minimize the DDoS Mitigation Gap.
Click here to learn more about RADAR™
MazeBolt is an innovation leader in cybersecurity and part of the DDoS mitigation space. Offering full DDoS risk detection and remediation. Working with any mitigation system to provide the ultimate DDoS protection coverage. Supporting organizations in avoiding downtime and closing DDoS vulnerabilities before any damaging attack happens.