SOURCE: Arbor Networks

Arbor Networks

January 29, 2013 09:00 ET

The Arbor Networks 8th Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report Finds DDoS Has Become Part of Advanced Threat Landscape

BURLINGTON, MA--(Marketwire - Jan 29, 2013) - Arbor Networks Inc.

  • Advanced Persistent Threats a Top Concern for Providers and Enterprises
  • Attack Sizes Plateau; Complex Multi-Vector Attacks on the Rise
  • Data Centers and Cloud Services are Increasingly Victimized
  • Mobile Operators Increase Capacity but Not Visibility

Arbor Networks Inc., a leading provider of network security and management solutions for enterprise and service provider networks, today released its 8th Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report (WISR) offering a rare view into the most critical security challenges facing today's network operators. Among the key findings this year, advanced persistent threats (APTs) are top of mind for both service providers and enterprises; distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have plateaued in size but become more complex; data center and cloud services are especially attractive targets; and mobile operators continue to be reactive in terms of network visibility. The report also covers the impact of BYOD as well as infrastructure issues such as VoIP and IPv6.

Based on survey data provided by network operators from around the world, this annual report is designed to help network operators make more informed decisions about their security strategies as they relate to the integrity of mission-critical Internet and other IP-based infrastructure. Arbor's long-standing customer relationships and reputation as a trusted advisor and solution provider make this report possible each year. Click here to access the Arbor Networks 8th Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report.

"Since our founding, Arbor has worked with the world's most demanding network operators. This annual report has been a true partnership with our customers and the broader information security community," said Arbor Networks President Colin Doherty. "Again this year, the report delivers valuable insight for service and cloud providers and mobile and enterprise network operators."

Key Findings:

Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) a Top Concern for Service Providers and Enterprises

  • 61 percent named 'botted' or otherwise compromised hosts as top concern
  • 55 percent named Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs) as top concern

Advanced threats are a well-established problem for enterprise network operators. This year's survey found an increased level of concern over 'botted' or compromised machines on provider networks. The increase in botted hosts is not surprising given the number and complexity of malware variants that exist, their rate of evolution and the consequent inability of Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Anti-Virus (AV) systems to fully protect them. Looking ahead, there is even more concern about APT, industrial espionage, data exfiltration and malicious insiders.

DDoS: Attack Sizes Plateau; Complex Multi-Vector Attacks on the Rise

  • Largest attack reported was 60 Gbps, same as 2011; 2010 attack peak was 100 Gbps
  • 46 percent reported multi-vector attacks

This year's results confirm that application-layer and multi-vector attacks are continuing to evolve while volumetric attacks are starting to plateau in terms of size. While 86 percent reported application-layer attacks targeting Web services, most concerning is that multi-vector attacks are up markedly. Attackers have now turned to sophisticated, long-lived, multi-vector attacks -- combinations of attack vectors designed to cut through the defenses an organization has in place -- to achieve their goals. Multi-vector attacks are the most difficult to defend against and require layered defenses for successful mitigation. This year's report includes a case study on the ongoing attacks against U.S. financial services organizations, a great example of a multi-vector attack.

Data Centers and Cloud Services are Increasingly Victimized

  • 94 percent of data center operators reported attacks
  • 90 percent of those reported operational expenses as a business impact

As more companies move their services to the cloud, they now have to be wary of the shared risks and the potential for collateral damage. This correlates directly to the types of companies being targeted by attackers, with e-commerce and online gaming sites increasingly targeted, according to survey results this year.

Mobile Providers Continue to be Reactive

  • 60 percent do not have visibility into the traffic on their mobile/evolved packet cores

There has been limited improvement in visibility or investment in detection and mitigation solutions specific to the mobile network since the last survey. The economics of consumer subscriber networks do not incent providers to implement security until a problem occurs.

The number of mobile devices, along with the sophistication and power of these devices, continues to increase year over year. We believe it is only a matter of time before botnets and DDoS become more prevalent within mobile infrastructure.

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Trend Creates New Challenges

  • 63 percent allow BYOD devices on the network
  • However, only 40 percent have the means to monitor those devices

In the growing trend commonly referred to as BYOD, half of respondents now allow personal devices on their networks. However, only 40 percent have a means to monitor usage of these devices. Additionally, only 13 percent actively block access to social media applications and sites. Clearly, BYOD is creating more entry points for hackers to enter the network.

DNS Infrastructure Remains Vulnerable

  • 27 percent experienced customer-impacting DDoS attacks on their DNS infrastructure -- a significant increase over the 12 percent of respondents from last year's survey

71 percent of respondents reported good visibility at Layers 3 and 4 but only 27 percent reported Layer 7 visibility. This lack of visibility coupled with a lack of dedicated security personnel create an ideal environment for attackers to exploit. Attackers now have many targets from which to create reflection attacks.

IPv6 Deployments Becoming Pervasive

  • 80 percent indicated that they either have already deployed IPv6 or have plans to deploy within the next 12 months

In last year's WISR, survey respondents acknowledged the first reports of IPv6 DDoS attacks on production networks. Even though IPv6 DDoS attacks were being reported, IPv6 security incidents were still relatively rare at that time. Considering that 75 percent of survey respondents are Service Providers, it's no great surprise that IPv6 deployments are accelerating today. This opens new opportunities for attackers to bypass network controls by switching between IPv4 and IPv6 networks.

Additional Resources:

Survey Scope and Demographics

  • Data covers October 2011 through September 2012
  • 130 respondents from a mixture of Tier 1, Tier 2/3, enterprise and other types of network operators from all around the world; a 14 percent increase from last year's respondent pool
  • 64 percent of respondents are network or security operations engineers, analysts or architects; the remaining are management or executives

About Arbor Networks
Arbor Networks, Inc. is a leading provider of network security and management solutions for enterprise and service provider networks, including the vast majority of the world's Internet service providers and many of the largest enterprise networks in use today. Arbor's proven network security and management solutions help grow and protect customer networks, businesses and brands. Through its unparalleled, privileged relationships with worldwide service providers and global network operators, Arbor provides unequalled insight into and perspective on Internet security and traffic trends via the ATLAS® Active Threat Level Analysis System. Representing a unique collaborative effort with 250+ network operators across the globe, ATLAS enables the sharing of real-time security, traffic and routing information that informs numerous business decisions.

For technical insight into the latest security threats and Internet traffic trends, please visit our website at and our blog at

Trademark Notice: Arbor Networks, Peakflow, ArbOS, How Networks Grow, ATLAS, Pravail, Arbor Optima, Cloud Signaling, the Arbor Networks logo and Arbor Networks: Smart. Available. Secure. are all trademarks of Arbor Networks, Inc. All other brand names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Arbor Networks
    Kevin Whalen
    Director, Corporate Communications
    Direct: +1 978 703 6663