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DDoS attacks more frequent than ever before in 2020

(Image credit: Image Credit: Profit_Image / Shutterstock)

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks are becoming more potent, as criminals “sharpen their focus” on service availability. This is according to a new report from cybersecurity firm Netscout, which states that more than 4.8 million DDoS attacks were recorded in the first six months of the year.

That represents at 15 percent jump compared to the same period last year and suggests more than 10 million DDoS attacks will be launched in 2020 - the most ever seen in a single year.

Not only are these attacks growing in number, but they’re also becoming harder to mitigate. The report states that the average duration of these attacks has fallen by half, compared to last year, shortening the window for mitigation response.

The number of attack vectors exploited during a single attack has also “dramatically” risen, according to Netscout. In the last three years, there’s been a 2,815 percent increase in DDoS attacks using 15 or more vectors, while single-vector attacks dropped 43 percent in H1 2020.

Discussing potential mitigation practices, Netscout recommend that CSPs and ISPs use automated attack detection and intelligent orchestration of multiple methods of mitigation. This includes their own network infrastructure, dedicated DDoS mitigation products, as well as upstream peers.

“By implementing such an orchestrated mitigation strategy, companies can strategically assign different methods of mitigation to different attack vectors,” said Netscout.

“It’s clear that the first half of 2020 witnessed a radical change in DDoS attack methodology to shorter, faster, harder-hitting complex multi-vector attacks—a trend that will likely continue."

“This means that ISPs and CSPs must pivot in response. No matter the target, adversary, or tactic used, it remains imperative that defenders and security professionals remain vigilant to protect the critical infrastructure that connects and enables the modern world.”