Blog , 08 Nov 2016

Cybersecurity is an ISP’s Top Priority

Tobias Knecht,

Founder and CEO, Abusix

Cybersecurity is becoming an increasing concern for financial and governmental institutions, but it’s always been a top priority for ISPs. The reason for this is that ISPs and their customers are obvious targets. In a survey done by the Internet Services Providers Association, it was reported that over 90% of ISPs come under some form of attack, and 85% of those surveyed said it was the responsibility of ISPs to take a “proactive role in cybersecurity”.

The ISPA chair James Blessing reinforced this saying “Cyber security is critical and this survey shows how it has become an even bigger issue for ISPs”. Without effective cybersecurity, it’s impossible for ISPs to function, as this type of network abuse completely destroys the trust ISP’s customers’ place in them.

Distributed Denial of Service Attacks: undermining confidence

In order for ISP’s customers to feel confident, they need to know their data and information is secure and that their network or website availability is at 100%. Maintaining this trust is essential for the success of any ISP’s business. One of the biggest cyber threats an ISP faces are Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, where end-users are denied access to internet-facing applications – resulting in lost revenue.

5 reasons you need to protect your ISP from DDoS attacks:

  • They hurt your customers: DDoS attacks can last just minutes but they immediately lead to loss of revenue for your customers – and it can be quite substantial if the attack lasts hours. According to a report from the Ponemon Institute, the cost of a data center outage has increased from $505,502 in 2010 to $740,357 today.
  • They are increasing rapidly: DDoS attacks are on the increase and they happen fast. Verisign reported more attacks in Q4 2015 than in any quarter since it started reporting at the beginning of 2014.
  • They are becoming more complex: The ready availability of new tools means even relatively basic hackers can launch sophisticated attacks against ISPs that have experienced IT security teams.
  • They are harder to detect: Hackers are constantly revising their techniques and many are working with the support of various governments and terrorist organizations. These hackers can launch subtle attacks that last for extended periods of time and cause significant damage in loss of revenue.
  • They are leveraging IoT devices: The Internet of Things (IoT), or smart devices, are escalating at an unforeseen rate. By 2020 Gartner predicts there will be 21 billion IoT devices – and they’re being used by hackers to conduct DDoS attacks.

Cyber attacks are escalating in intensity

Akamai’s 2016 State of the Internet Security Report demonstrates that Internet and web attacks are escalating both in number, severity and duration. The report showed there has been a 125% increase in DDoS attacks year-on-year and a 35% increase in attack duration – with the average attack lasting 16 hours.

Hackers are no longer deterred when they see an ISP’s defenses. They just keep on attacking, determined to erode them. The only way to get on top and deal with persistent, eroding attacks is with products like AbuseHQ from Abusix which gives an ISP’s Network Abuse Team, real-time notifications of possible threats, allowing preventative action to be taken faster than ever before.

The most recent 2016 Cyber Attack Statistics from show the top motivations behind cyber attacks to be:

  • Cybercrime
  • Hacktivism
  • Cyber Espionage
  • Cyber Warfare

Juniper Research has also revealed that cybercrime is estimated to cost businesses over $2 trillion by 2019 which is almost four times the estimated cost of the breaches in 2015. The research also reported that the majority of these breaches would come from existing IT and network infrastructure and that the average cost of a data breach in 2020 would exceed $150 million as more business infrastructure gets connected.

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