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October 13th, 2020

Cyber Security Insights Businesses Need Today

No matter how many alarms the government rings about increased cyberattack activity, ultimately, the responsibility lies with individual businesses, as well as the infrastructure and security solution providers behind them that are enabling these organizations to protect themselves from attacks.

  • In July, the FBI warned businesses about Distributed Denial of Service attacks, and the impact they can have, including, “unusually slow network performance (opening files or accessing websites).”
  • In mid-September, the Justice Department announced charges against five Chinese nationals in connection with the hacking of more than 100 American and foreign companies as well as of nonprofits and universities.
  • In October, “The US Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued a warning over a huge surge in activity by the gang behind the Emotet trojan. Historically, the Emotet spam botnet has been linked to the distribution of banking trojans, but these days it spews malware-laden spam and then sells access to infected computers to any criminal group, including ransomware operators.”


As the above warnings make clear, attackers are stepping up their game and cyberattacks are increasingly distributed and sophisticated, making it harder for businesses to keep pace. According to Neustar’s latest CyberThreats and Trends Report: Jan-Jun 2020, there was a 151% increase in the number of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks between January and June 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. These attacks include the largest that Neustar has ever mitigated, at 1.17 Tbps as well as the longest duration attack at 5 days and 18 hours.

The report demonstrates that attackers are watching and targeting changes to enterprise infrastructure. The work-from-home shift that occurred in March put an immediate strain on enterprise IT teams, leaving them scrambling to provide remote access for thousands, and in some cases tens of thousands of employees.

VPN infrastructure is dated, and difficult to scale, requiring a mix of hardware and network changes, along with deployment of agents on endpoints. All of this has put the VPN front and center for attackers, looking to leverage the chaos for opportunities. From their perspective, home networks are much easier targets than enterprise networks. When employees use personal devices to access SaaS business services, that leaves a blind spot for the security team and the enterprise. For attackers, that is another opportunity. It shows in the data.

Neustar saw the number of attacks sized 100 Gbps and above increased by 275%, and the number of smaller attacks, sized 5 Gbps and below, grew by more than 200%. These smaller attacks represented 70% of all attacks mitigated by Neustar in the first half of 2020. Poorly secured virtual private network (VPN) access, spurred by the work-from-home environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic, were likely contributors to this growth.

The Need for Intelligence

DDoS attacks are global scourge, fueled by tens of thousands of hijacked computers and servers that are used in botnets to launch highly distributed attacks. They can degrade digital services or take them offline completely. At a time when digital is the primary channel to reach customers, few organizations want to deal with such a high-profile failure. As a result, the stakes to maintain availability have never been higher.

Neustar’s UltraDDoS Protect is a DDoS mitigation service that scrubs malicious internet traffic, allowing clean, legitimate traffic to flow to infrastructure. Ultra DDoS offers 12+ Tbps of DDoS mitigation, one of the largest dedicated data scrubbing networks in the world. Neustar can offer companies all over the world and across every industry much more than infrastructure protection. Our recent addition of UltraWAF adds further application security leveraging the same service platform with enhanced intelligence to improve protection and increase ease-of-use.

We are a trusted partner delivering next-level IP intelligence that can be applied across the organization. Neustar’s IP Intelligence data family uses 40 attributes that can be used for a wide variety of growth and defensive business applications.

Growth applications of IP decisioning data includes being able to deliver a better customer experience by enabling geographically targeted, localized content and reducing friction throughout the customer journey. It can also help ensure eligibility for access to media and content distribution, which is another area exploding because of the work-from-home captive audience.

In terms of enhancing security and reducing risk, IP decisioning data helps identify potential threats and prevent access by unauthorized users, it can identify potentially fraudulent transactions and enable compliance by restricting or blocking unauthorized access to websites or content that could result in fines or penalties, while providing authorized users easy access.

This is the type of next-level intelligence that leaders from industries as diverse as financial services to retail and ecommerce, from OTT and streaming media to government rely on Neustar for.

Global capabilities and experience are the keys to success and Neustar is the leader in these areas, delivering the scale, visibility, and analytics—backed by 15+ years of experience—needed to combat today’s kinetic cyber threat activity.

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