I have good news and I have bad news. We’ll start with the good. Data center outages as a whole have grown somewhat less frequent, according to a new report released by The Ponemon Institute.
Unfortunately, they’ve also gotten more expensive, averaging out at around $9,000 per minute. And while UPS failure is still the leading cause, there’s a new source of failure looming just over the horizon – and it’s likely only going to get worse.
Distributed Denial of Service attacks. How they work is simple, though the mechanisms through which they’re delivered can actually be quite complex. Basically, a system is only equipped to deal with a certain amount of traffic – flood it with enough requests, and it will become overloaded, eventually shutting down.
Currently, these account for one fifth of data center outages on their own. The motives behind them vary – some are carried out by criminals intent on stealing valuable data. Others are politically-charged, meant to send a message. And still more are simply meant to cause frustration and chaos.
Whatever the reasons, if your data center’s targeted by a DDoS attack and you don’t have DDoS mitigation tools in place, then it’s only a matter of time before your servers are brought down. And it’s only going to get worse from here. As we begin bringing more and more connected devices online – and as those devices continue to have spotty or nonexistent security – we’re going witness botnets the likes of which the world has never seen.
“Security on IoT devices is not evolved and is not a top agenda item for developers,” explains IT Business Edge’s Carl Weinschenk. “IoT developers also have to keep things as inexpensive as possible, and security may be one area in which they look to cut costs. This is a real danger.”
In order to defend against attacks of this size, data centers will likely need to invest in costly DDoS mitigation appliances. And even then, those appliances aren’t necessarily perfect. They can be circumvented or overwhelmed.
Experts are aware of the dangers of IoT, and there’s a push for better security controls and regulations. But change takes time. For now, all we can do is wait.
Cybercriminals are getting better at what they do – and that’s bad news for data center operators. DDoS attacks are currently one of the leading causes of data center outages, and they’ll likely only grow more prominent moving forward. In order to protect yourself, you need DDoS mitigation technology.
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