3 Key Reasons Why DDoS Attacks Continue to Threaten Enterprises in 2024

Let's examine the following 3 key reasons in which DDos attacks continue to threaten enterprises in the article below....
3 Key Reasons Why DDoS Attacks Continue to Threaten Enterprises in 2024
Written by Brian Wallace
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks continue to pose serious web uptime risks, even with all the defensive solutions against them. Just recently, the servers of the popular game Final Fantasy XIV were hit by a massive DDoS attack described by Naoki Yoshida, the game’s director, as the “largest-scale” attack since 2010. Last October, Google Cloud announced another record-breaking DDoS attack that the company had thankfully noticed in time and managed to mitigate.

    Meanwhile, a recent industry report shows a 50% year-over-year increase in DDoS attacks during the first quarter of 2024. Why does DDoS remain such a potent and common threat? On the surface, the way DDoS attacks work seems to be a straightforward problem to solve, since their main goal is simply to overwhelm servers or network resources with illegitimate requests. However, the problem is more complex than it appears. 

    DDoS attacks evolve and find ways to evade existing detection and prevention solutions. Also, the way organizations use anti-DDoS tools impacts the effectiveness of their defenses. On the other hand, the growing sophistication of attacks cannot be an excuse for failing to address the DDoS threat. After all, leading DDoS protection services also evolve. 

    Here are three of the crucial reasons why enterprises continue to struggle when it comes to dealing with denial-of-service attacks.

    Failure to Deploy the Right Solutions

    Security firms work ceaselessly to counter the rise of new threats including new DDoS strategies. The leading DDoS protection services come with everything necessary to detect and prevent advanced DDoS attacks – including those that use multiple vectors, IoT botnets, dynamic IP addresses, short-burst attacks, and encrypted attacks. However, many organizations fail to deploy the right defenses. Worse, a considerable number of them maintain a false sense of protection.

    One study shows that nearly 56% of the protection faults discovered by DDoS solutions are classified as critical, while around 12% are considered severe. No DDoS protection solution can ever be perfect, but it is alarming to learn that an overwhelming majority of their flaws are critical or severe. There is a need for organizations to revisit the defenses they have in place and consider switching to options that deliver better outcomes.

    The right DDoS solution should have robust detection and mitigation capabilities. It should be able to analyze traffic in real-time, identify multi-vector attacks, analyze activity or behavioral patterns, and accurately distinguish legitimate traffic from malicious ones. In terms of mitigation, it should be backed by high-capacity scrubbing centers to absorb and sanitize huge amounts of traffic without becoming overwhelmed. It should also come with blackholing and rate-limiting functions to effectively block malicious traffic as well as automatic mitigation to minimize downtime.

    Moreover, it is important for a DDoS solution to have elastic capacities, to handle even the largest DDoS attacks. It is important to be flexible in handling an attack and be scalable to meet the changing needs of a growing organization. Additionally, it helps to have a global network infrastructure to ensure rapid and efficient mitigation regardless of the origin of the DDoS traffic.

    Cost Advantage for Attackers, Disadvantage for Defenders

    DDoS protection is not cheap. There are no adequately effective freeware options for it. Defending against DDoS requires active servers to handle web traffic whenever attacks are encountered. 

    The detection part may be addressed by free solutions, but mitigation is an entirely different challenge. There are no free services for traffic scrubbing and cleaning. The “free” services being offered by some providers are extremely limited – designed only to compel organizations to pay their way into the premium or enterprise version of the service.

    In contrast, DDoS perpetrators have the advantage of launching their attacks with minimal cost. Darknet prices for DDoS-as-a-service packages cost as low as $5 per hour or $30 per day. It is not necessary to undergo any training or learn a skill to deploy DDoS against a target. However, perpetrators can reduce the cost of an attack even further by creating their own malware. A multitude of basic DDoS attack scripts are readily available online. 

    Attackers might also employ social engineering tricks to direct large amounts of traffic or requests to a website or app with limited bandwidth or network resources. Additionally, attackers can use free tools to build botnets. This entails infecting a massive number of devices, mobile and IoT devices in particular, to make them overwhelm servers with incessant requests or traffic.

    There is a massive divergence between the cost of launching a DDoS attack and the cost of defending against it. Organizations have limited resources to sustain defenses, but threat actors have an abundance of free tools and resources to stage attacks. In this sense, it is understandable why many organizations cannot keep up with DDoS attacks.

    Misconfiguration and Human Errors

    DDoS solutions cannot be fully foolproof, but their vulnerabilities can be significantly worsened by misconfigurations. One example is the failure to update denylists, which leads to either the inability to detect anomalous traffic or the blocking of legitimate traffic. The faulty tuning of rate-limiting thresholds can impair the effectiveness of DDoS solutions, as it can also lead to erroneously allowing malicious traffic or the restriction of legitimate website visits.

    Additionally, automation in DDoS defenses can go awry. If automation parameters are not properly set, the effects may mean more harm than good. Automatic mitigation systems need to be carefully fine-tuned to make sure that they yield minimal false positives and do not lead to unnecessary and costly interruptions. It is also possible for automatic DDoS response systems to become entirely unresponsive because of mistakes in the configuration.

    On the other hand, the integration of DDoS tools with the rest of a company’s cybersecurity tech stack may also be problematic. Communication gaps between tools may exist, resulting in the lack of real-time information to enable timely and accurate security decisions.

    It is important to perform sufficient system testing and monitoring, to make sure that everything works as intended. Configuration issues may appear minimal, but their impact can mean the considerable degradation of threat detection and mitigation.

    In Summary

    DDoS continues to be a major threat in the current IT landscape because of three main reasons: the failure to choose the right protection solution, the inability to allocate enough resources for protection, and human errors. If it’s not obvious enough, all of these factors eventually come down to human decisions. 

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