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Not that anyone expected distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to wane during the COVID-19 pandemic, but the shift to at-home work and greater reliance on remote network connectivity has in fact led to a marked acceleration in daily threats. For service providers, who are tasked with delivering reliable service in support of cloud services, edge computing, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, mobile users, and distributed data sets, dealing with the expanded security perimeter and threat vectors of today’s enhanced network environment is enough to keep their security professionals awake at night.

As if containing capital and operating costs weren’t enough, service providers must also deal with the ever-present and ever-shifting threat of DDoS attacks, perpetrated by bad actors intent on finding new ways to disrupt and extort businesses. Mitigating such attacks has always proven to be difficult and costly in its own right. As a result, service providers need a modern DDoS mitigation strategy to detect and defend against an increasingly sophisticated adversary.

Taking a Distributed Approach to DDoS Detection and Mitigation

The more traditional approach of taking a centralized DDoS mitigation strategy against attacks is simply not sufficient against this formidable onslaught. Because of the size and complexity of service provider networks, communications often navigate across multiple links, creating exposures to attack that are increasingly difficult to defend. Instead, what is need is a distributed network defense approach to DDoS detection and mitigation that can identify attacks and critical metadata, enabling a rapid response. Such a defense should be able to inspect traffic, analyze the threat, and filter out suspect traffic at every endpoint and connection within the provider’s network.

As service providers increasingly focus on cloud services, edge computing, end users, and endpoint devices, the traditional approach of utilizing distributed detection solutions in concert with centralized mitigation centers within the network simply won’t cut it. However, mitigation measures that are distributed out to the network edge necessitate both infrastructure and intelligent defense capabilities that are capable of working hand in hand across locations and platforms.

A more modern DDoS threat mitigation strategy involves distributing both detection and mitigation functions throughout the network to intercept threats nearer to the source. In this way, network operators can stop attacks upstream, instead of having to incur the cost of peering and transit link traffic that is only going to be discarded once it reaches a centralized scrubbing center. By conducting the scrubbing as close as possible to the threat source, service providers can reduce any potential impact to traffic, helping to ensure high-quality service.

Increasing Service Value for Subscribers

An edge-based strategy for DDoS defense is advantageous for service providers beyond the efficacy of mitigating threats: It also can improve service value for subscribers. By speeding up detection and response to DDoS attacks, providers are able to assure service availability and reliability, enhancing the customer experience, reducing customer churn, improving stickiness, and growing revenue.

And because modern DDoS defense solutions take advantage of automation, threat intelligence, and distributed mitigation infrastructure, they are able to be more proactive, while reducing the burden on security resources. This frees up service provider staff to be more productive and efficient.

There is no doubt that DDoS attacks will continue to increase in volume, complexity, and bottom-line impact. For that reason, service providers will need to fight back with modern DDoS threat mitigation strategies that can protect the integrity of their service and offer an opportunity to enhance the business.

Learn more about smart DDoS protection for service providers

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