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The size, frequency and complexity of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks is increasing. According to figures from Arbor's ATLAS network, in the Middle East, by the end of 2013, the average attack size was 2.8 Gbps, higher than the global average of 2.3 Gbps. Because of this, security and availability are now among the top requirements of IT departments in businesses across the region. Unfortunately, when it comes to today's range of sophisticated DDoS attacks, traditional security products, such as firewalls or intrusion prevention systems, are proving to be inadequate.
Enterprises are now more concerned about this than ever before and internet service providers (ISPs) can help them combat these threats, while simultaneously creating lucrative new revenue streams. DDoS attacks that impact the availability of services represent a significant opportunity for ISPs. In the face of the ever-present challenge of retaining existing customers while attracting new ones, offering more high-value services such as managed security could even prove to be a competitive advantage.
The market demand for managed security services is real and growing. Moreover, the managed security and security monitoring services segment will continue to yield the highest percentage of total revenue in the managed security services provider (MSSP) market. Service providers have some inherent advantages that enable them to capitalise on this demand because they own the 'pipes' that transmit data across the Internet. This makes ISPs uniquely positioned to deliver a comprehensive solution that can combat the three primary types of DDoS attacks.
The three types of DDoS attack
'Volumetric' DDoS attacks are usually generated by Internet bots or compromised PCs that are grouped together in large-scale botnets. Because of the high-bandwidth and distributed nature of these attacks, the congestion is likely to occur upstream in the provider's network and therefore cannot be stopped at the enterprise or data-centre edge.