While business leaders increasingly name cloud platforms and SaaS applications as key enablers of digital transformation, they may not be doing enough to protect this infrastructure from attack. A new report out this week shows that these transformative tools are squarely in the crosshairs of cybercriminals seeking to disrupt their availability.
According to the Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report released by Netscout, digital services are under an onslaught of distributed denial of service (DDoS) cyberattacks that could threaten their uptime. DDoS attacks are achieved by a number of technical measures from the criminals, but the general goal is to overwhelm system resources in order to interrupt availability of services.
“As companies place growing importance on doing business in a connected world, it’s not surprising to see that attackers have followed,” the report explained. “Service providers faced similar issues when it came to protecting cloud-based services, as we saw the number of attacks on these services jump significantly.”
The study showed that last year the rate of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks against third-party data centers and cloud services jumped significantly in 2018 from the previous year. Approximately 34 percent of organizations experienced attacks against cloud services last year, compared to just 11 percent in 2017. Meanwhile, the rate of attack against SaaS services increased four-fold to 41 percent.
Most distressingly for those driving digital transformation for the sake of improved customer experience, nearly four in ten organizations reported that their customer-facing services and applications were targeted by DDoS attacks last year.
Netscout researchers identified a number of motivating factors driving the bad guys to turn the heat up with DDoS attacks. They found cybercriminals do it for criminal extortion, to distract cybersecurity and IT pros while conducting attacks on other systems, to manipulate financial markets, and even to knock down services of competing business organizations . In fact, last year the firm found there was a two-fold increase of attacks motivated by competitive rivalry.
Whatever the motivation, DDoS attacks and associated outages are costing enterprises a fortune. The average cost of downtime caused by a DDoS attack last year was $221,837.