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DDoS attacks a key concern for most Singapore organisations: BT survey

Zafirah Salim | June 30, 2014
88 percent of these organisations revealed that DDoS attacks have disrupted their systems for an entire working day.

Disruptive cyber attacks are becoming more effective at breaching security defenses, causing major disruption and sometimes bringing down organisations for days.

This is according to a recent study from communications services and solutions provider BT, which aims to explore attitudes and preparedness towards DDoS attacks of IT managers from organisations across UK, France, Germany, USA, Spain, Brazil, Middle East, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Africa and Australia.

The research also revealed that almost half of the organisations polled (41 percent) were hit by Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks over the past year, with 78 percent of them targeted twice or more within the year.

Majority of Singapore organisations (70 percent) see DDoS attacks as a main concern; and this is higher than the global average, which stands at 58 percent. The survey also revealed that while more than half of Singapore organisations (67 percent) have come up with a response plan to counter future DDoS attacks, only a third of them (33 percent) believe that they have sufficient resources in place to implement the counterattack.

According to the survey, DDoS attacks disrupt organisations in many ways. Some examples include taking down an organisation's website, overwhelming a data centre, or causing networks to become dysfunctional and useless. The respondents highlighted that they saw an increase in customer complaints when their network systems go down after suffering a DDoS attack. In fact, customer complaints and queries leaped by an average of 36 percent.

The severity of these attacks can be measured by the duration of recovery time. On average, organisations take 12 hours - longer than an entire working day - to fully recover from an especially powerful attack. In Singapore, a significant 88 percent of respondents admitted that DDoS attacks have brought down their systems for more than six hours - almost a full working day.

BT added that these attacks are also becoming more complex and difficult for organisations to fend off. More than half (59 percent) of those polled agree that DDoS attacks are becoming more effective at overturning their organisation's IT security measures. More attackers - an increase as much as 41 percent - are seen adopting hybrid, or multi-vector attack tactics, which involve attacks through multiple platforms. These attacks pose increased complexity and risk as they involve multiple attack methods deployed simultaneously.

"DDoS attacks have evolved significantly in the last few years and are now a legitimate business concern," said Mark Hughes, president of BT Security. "They can have a damaging effect on revenues and send an organisation into full crisis mode. Reputations, revenue and customer confidence are on the line following a DDoS attack. Finance, e-commerce companies and retailers in particular suffer when their websites or businesses are targeted."


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