While distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks aimed at major banks have recently garnered the majority of headlines around the nation, finance isn't the only industry grappling with the challenges of the prevalent threat, according to a new study.
The "2012 Annual DDoS Attack and Impact Survey," conducted by Neustar, a Sterling, Va.-based analytics firm, revealed that 35 percent of overall respondents have been hit by a DDoS attack in 2012.
Respondents to the survey included 704 IT and network security directors from North America and Europe.
Of the participating industries, 45 percent of respondents in telecom were hit by an attack, and more than 25 percent in the technology sector. The most prominent increases were in e-commerce, which increased from 16 percent in 2011 to 39 percent in 2012, and finance jumped from 32 percent to 44 percent.
While 63 percent of respondents said the attacks lasted less than one day, according to the study, significant losses of revenue can occur – up to $10,000 per hour – as well as increases in operational costs that stem from IT, customer service and risk management support.
As these threats continue to plague multiple industries, Susan Warner, director of DDoS product and market solutions at Neustar, said that the prominence of the recent DDoS attacks aimed at financial institutions have created a widespread sense of awareness, adding that they created a new level of fear, uncertainty and doubt at the consumer level.
"The real damage that these [bank] DDoS attacks are inflicting is that [attackers] went online and they called out the banks, and gave specific timelines as to when they would do it," Warner said during a session at this week's InfoSecurity Europe conference in London. "That removed any level of plausible deniability from the banks."In recent months, website disruptions attributed to DDoS attacks have affected major banks, such as JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo.
Warner said that one of the biggest misperceptions in the security industry is IT security professionals believing that their organization will not be a target. But, as customers demands continue to grow online, she said no organization is safe.
"They are driving the demand that we're delivering for a superior online experience, and when it's not there it hurts the customer loyalty and the company's bottom line," she said. "That's why DDoS will continue to be an effective weapon."