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How to evaluate a DDoS mitigation solution

How fast could your IT team stop a DDoS attack? IDG Research found that it takes an average of 10 hours before a company can even begin to resolve an attack. On average, an attack isn't detected until 4.5 hours after its commencement and typically an additional 4.9 hours passes before mitigation can commence. With outage costs averaging $100,000 per hour, it means that a DDoS attack can cost an Internet-reliant company $1 million before the company even starts to mitigate the attack.

Last year I launched the Akamai Security Podcast. Episode 1 was an interview with Akamai CEO Tom Leighton, who discussed the legacy of Co-Founder Danny Lewin, Akamai's role on 9-11-01, and his vision of Akamai as a major player in the security industry. This week being the anniversary of 9-11, it seems appropriate to re-share.

Listen HERE.

Related content:

9-11 Anniversary: Danny Lewin's Life and Legacy
Internet Security Central To Danny Lewin's Legacy

Akamai Offers Further Guidance to Blunt Linux DDoS Threat

Yesterday's advisory about attackers exploiting Linux vulnerabilities for DDoS assaults got a lot of attention. After hearing the feedback, we decided a follow-up post was necessary to help admins mount a better defense.

I spoke with David Fernandez, head of our Prolexic Security Engineering Research Team (PLXsert), and he offered additional details on the countermeasures.

First, for the basic details of the threat, check out yesterday's post.

Now for the next steps...

Linux Systems Exploited for DDoS Attacks

Linux users have a new threat to worry about.

According to Akamai's Prolexic Security Engineering Research Team (PLXsert), the bad guys have discovered a weakness in Linux systems they can exploit to expand their botnets and launch DDoS attacks. PLXsert released an advisory outlining the danger this morning.

  • The full advisory is available HERE.
  • Also read Akamai Security Advocate Dave Lewis' CSOonline blog post about the threat.

Let's make one thing absolutely clear at the outset: the time to think about the best options for cyber-threat mitigation is NOT when your network is being attacked. In the best-case scenario you will already have a mitigation strategy in place for defending against both network-layer and application-layer attacks. The most important thing to know when you are building a multi-layered approach to securing web applications is that security solutions aren't one-size-fits-all. You have several options to mix and match. Akamai's free eBook, "Threats and Mitigations: A Guide to Multi-Layered Web Security", gives you options for making the choices that best fit both your business and IT infrastructure requirements.

Reminder: Social Engineering Isn't Just An Online Threat

Shortly after DEF CON last month, friend and journalist Steve Ragan made an observation in his Salted Hash blog: People standing in the many long lines at the event were forgetting a basic social engineering risk.

6 Ways Young Upstarts Can Get Their Big Security Break

Interviewing Akamai InfoSec's summer interns recently, I was reminded of a six-step guide I wrote a few years ago for CSOonline on how young people can get their break in the industry. I think the suggestions are as valid today as they were then.

Also see:

What a Broken Arm Teaches Us About Incident Response

I originally wrote this for CSOonline's Salted Hash blog in 2011. But given all my focus on incident management of late, a re-share seems appropriate.

You might find it weird that I'd find a teachable infosec moment in my son breaking his arm. But he did do it at a security meet-up, after all.

Earlier this week, we published a new white paper titled, "Weighing Risk Against the Total Cost of a Data Breach," on Akamai.com. Ordinarily, a white paper wouldn't be a particularly interesting subject for a blog post, but this one explores a topic that has generated a lot of questions from our customers - how do I financially justify a Web application firewall solution to my management?

Is Your Web Security in the Dark Ages?

The data center perimeter is dead - web assets cannot be protected by a fortress wall - but a historical view of web protection lives on in the way many IT departments continue to defend their infrastructures. Websites and web applications increasingly live outside the data center. Cloud-based applications and websites are at constant risk from web threats that are becoming more damaging and sophisticated by the day.