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Five Challenges Mid-Market Service Providers Must Solve Today

Over the past year, service providers have experienced a massive increase in DDoS attacks. The volume and scale of these attacks can have devastating impacts on a service provider’s business. Take one of the largest on-demand cloud computing platforms as an example: Amazon AWS. In October of 2019, Amazon Web Services (AWS) was hit by a major DDoS attack that lasted roughly eight hours and prevented users from connecting. In addition, that assault caused AWS to miscategorize legitimate customer queries as malicious. In February of 2020, AWS reported a 2.3Tbps attack, or in other words, nearly half of all traffic that British Telecom Group sees on its entire U.K. network during a normal working day.

Service provider networks are a prime target for the escalating rise in DDoS attacks. Generally speaking, by attacking one service provider, an attacker can knock thousands of businesses offline. This problem is a primary concern for mid-market service providers because they do not have the budget or resources to allocate to cybersecurity as Tier 1 telecommunication and ISPs.

1. Detection Capabilities

Mid-market service providers have limited resources in terms of security prowess and technological might, and the lack of tools needed to detect DDoS attacks is a major setback to service providers. Poor visibility and network analytics make it harder to identify and stop DDoS attacks quickly.

2. No Mitigation Capability

It’s a myth that small companies require less protection than large enterprises. Attackers use the same sophisticated toolkits to assault smaller businesses as they do larger ones.  Mid-market service providers must often rely on manual IP address blackholing to mitigate DDoS attacks, including malicious traffic, which unfortunately includes legitimate customers. Depending on the network environment of the service provider, multiple technology tools may be needed to address vulnerable assets; the investment and time required to do it just isn’t feasible.

3. Limited Expertise

Mid-market service providers often lack necessary in-house DDoS expertise to keep their customers secure. This leaves already overburdened network engineers with increased workloads, putting them at risk of not being able to quickly stop a DDoS attack.

4. Capex and Opex Constraints

Due to limited budgets and smaller operations teams, service providers are often forced to neglect or deprioritize cybersecurity, leaving their customers at risk with a simple firewall. This cost-savings, bolt-on approach to implementing cybersecurity might yield short-term financial savings that the finance department feels good about. However, it also leaves organizations in a “pay me now, pay me later” scenario that runs the risk of significant financial loss and damage to customer satisfaction and market reputation in the event of a successful cyberattack.

5. Shifting Workforces

Due to COVID-19, an increasing amount of workforces have become remote. Every remote IP address becomes a potential attack point that could lead to an attack on a large enterprise or the service provider itself.

Networks globally are threatened by increasing DDoS attacks. If mid-market service providers want to avoid reduced revenues, higher expenses and damaged reputations, they need to have a mitigation solution in place.

Read “5G & IoT: Real-World Rollouts Launch New Opportunities and Security Threats” to learn more.

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