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African businesses beware! Everything you need to know about mitigating escalating DDoS cyberattacks

DDos attacks

By Bryan Hamman, Regional Director: Africa, NETSCOUT

In recent times, cyberattacks, particularly Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, have been on the rise across Africa. It’s no longer a matter of ‘if’ your organization will be targeted, but rather ‘when.’ This year, businesses in African countries like Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa have experienced the dire consequences of these incidents.

Understanding DDoS Attacks

A DDoS attack is an attempt to overwhelm an organization’s network, systems, applications, content, or services by inundating it with fake traffic. This renders genuine users unable to access these resources. Such attacks are highly destructive for any business reliant on the internet and have impacted organizations across various sectors, from government to financial services, media, telecommunications, and more.

The repercussions of failing to withstand a DDoS attack and recover efficiently can be severe, including revenue loss due to service downtime, compliance breaches, damage to brand reputation, increased costs, and negative public perception.

DDoS attacks are a global phenomenon, and cybercriminals continuously refine their attack methods. Thus, maintaining an organization’s availability and resilience in the face of an attack has become more critical than ever.

Four Essential Facts About DDoS Attacks

Fact One: Your cybersecurity solution may not cover all types of cyberattacks. While viruses and malware attacks may be covered, the question arises: “Do we have the right defenses in place for more sophisticated attacks like DDoS?”

Fact Two: DDoS attacks today are growing increasingly complex. They can be categorized into three main types:

  • Volumetric Attacks: These aim to flood internet-facing circuits with fake traffic, often detectable due to their larger size and short duration.
  • State Exhaustion Attacks: These target state tables in stateful devices, like firewalls or load balancers, disrupting legitimate connections and services.
  • Application Layer Attacks: These are smaller, harder to detect, and gradually exhaust resources in application servers, ultimately causing application failure.

Fact Three: Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may halt larger volumetric attacks but may struggle to detect smaller, short-lived attacks, State Exhaustion attacks, or Application Layer attacks before significant damage occurs.

Fact Four: Relying solely on firewalls is insufficient. Firewalls offer rudimentary DDoS protection, impacting the performance of essential functionalities. They lack detailed visibility into dropped DDoS attack traffic and cannot intelligently communicate with cloud-based scrubber solutions for large DDoS attack mitigation.

Adaptation is Key

Organizations must continually refine their cyberdefense strategies to counter evolving threat tactics. Threat actors adapt their methods, and defenders must enhance their defenses accordingly.

For African organizations of all sizes and across sectors, selecting the right approach and solution for adaptive DDoS protection is critical. This should align with the realities of modern attacks and be built on industry-best practices and sophisticated solutions to ensure survival in the face of the DDoS storm.

NETSCOUT assists organizations worldwide in defending against and mitigating the risks posed by DDoS attacks. For more information, visit NETSCOUT.

About author

Editor at TechArena. I cover all things technology and review new gadgets as I get them. You can reach me on email: kaluka@techarena.co.ke
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