Ponemon Institute, Radware study shows organisations vulnerable to DDoS attack


November 18, 2012

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks have become a major threat to cyber security and modern vulnerability management in recent years, costing enterprises around the world an estimated 3.5 million dollars per annum.

Yet new research from the Ponemon Institute and Radware has found that many organisations are still not taking the necessary steps to reduce the chance that they will be affected by such an attack.

According to the report, which is entitled Cyber Security on the Offense: A Study of IT Security Experts, 65 per cent of organisations have experienced an average of three DDoS attacks over the past 12 months.

Each of these attacks bring with it an estimated average downtime of 54 minutes, at a potential cost to the affected organisation of $100,000 per minute.

However of the 705 senior IT professionals surveyed as part of the study, 63 per cent willingly rated their offensive countermeasure capabilities of their organisation as being "below average".

Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, believes that the results reveal an alarming gap between the level of preparedness in the industry and the increasing severity of cyber-attacks.

"The report's findings make clear that now is the time for organizations to begin making critical changes to their security approaches in order to stave off the potentially devastating costs associated with a lack of preparedness and adequate defences," said Mr Ponemon in a statement released November 14.

Those comments were backed up by Radware chief technology officer Avi Chesla, who claims that modern cyber threats are advancing so rapidly in sophistication that many organisations are being left vulnerable and unprepared.

"From hacktivists to cyber criminals, companies live under the constant threat of assaults that contribute to lost revenue and serious reputational damage," said Mr Chesla.

"It's critical that organizations take immediate action after reading this report."

One potential way many organisations may look to guard themselves against the risk of digital attacks is through investing in external cyber security evaluations and assessments in order to determine where vulnerabilities are arising.

Of those IT professionals surveyed, around 70 per cent said that a percentage of their cyber security defences were being managed outside security services providers.

The most commonly used techniques being employed by these security experts were cited as being remote perimeter management (50 per cent) and vulnerability and penetration testing (43 per cent).

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