Many websites may have to strengthen their protections to guard against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks this year, as the number and severity of these incidents is on the rise. This is according to new figures from Prolexic, a firm specialising in combating this threat. It claimed the average attack bandwidth websites experienced stood at 48.25 Gbps in the first three months of 2013.
It was noted this was an increase of 718% over the previous quarter, which may indicate the originators of these attacks are becoming more sophisticated, with access to more botnet resources and a better understanding of how to make their attacks more effective.
Higher packet rates
The study also revealed the average packet-per-second rate also increased, reaching 32.4 million. President of Prolexic Stuart Scholly noted that when these two metrics are combined, it means even the largest organisations may struggle to cope.
"Nearly everyone has been focused on bandwidth and gigabits per second, but it's the packet rate that's causing the most damage and presenting the biggest challenge," he added. These packet rates are beyond the capabilities of all but the most expensive infrastructure and networking equipment.
What this may mean is that traditional techniques for mitigating the impact of DDoS attacks may no longer be as effective. This could be reflected in the fact the average duration of these attacks has also increased, with Prolexic's research claiming this has climbed from 32.2 hours in the final quarter of 2012 to 34.5 hours.
This could be one of the most important factors for companies, as the longer their website is offline, the more potential revenue they could be losing, so if you fall victim to an incident, it's important to take mitigation steps swiftly. Compared with this time last year, the number of attacks reported against companies' infrastructure has increased by 26.75%, while overall DDoS attacks increased by 21.75%. Volumes were particularly high over the past six months, which the company stated highlights a general trend of heightened activity and greater risk of attack.