Enterprises and organizations of all types face a growing risk from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks -- just ask the folks behind the Pokémon Go gaming phenomenon (and those playing it) after its servers were taken down by an alleged DDoS attack last weekend and the companies that monitor cyberattack activity. (See AT&T: Corporate IT Attacks Up 48% in 2014 and this Verisign infographic.)
Communications service providers (CSPs) are among those under threat and they need to protect their networks, investments and customers to counter malicious activities. While news of some high-profile attacks leak out into the wider world -- the attack in late 2015 on UK triple play operator TalkTalk and the attack on Telekom Austria earlier this year are two such examples -- many attacks and breaches are dealt with behind closed doors. (See TalkTalk Plummets on Security Woes.)
The rising volume of DDoS attacks also provide CSPs with a business growth opportunity in the managed security services market, as they are ideally placed to invest in the technology and processes that enable them to defend their enterprise customers from cybersecurity threats. (See Orange Ups Security Game as Threats Mount .)
And with the introduction of NFV capabilities offering "lower cost points and greater flexibility" related to offering a suite of security services, "many CSPs are now actively re-evaluating whether there is a new market for them," according to a recent Heavy Reading report, "DDoS Attacks: Opportunities & Threats for CSPs."
But existing managed security service revenues and any enhanced opportunities are also under threat, notes the report's author and Heavy Reading Chief Analyst Patrick Donegan, as hyperscale data center players are starting to win business in the DDoS protection market: CSPs that offer managed security services "need to leverage their touch points in the wide area network (WAN) to ensure that they remain competitive in the DDoS protection space in the coming years," notes Donegan in the report. "CSPs do have unique assets, but these alone are no guarantee of long-term success," he adds.
Donegan notes that companies such as AWS, MSFT and Rackspace are buying and deploying more security equipment, including DDoS protection gear, in order to meet their service commitments to their tenants and that in itself poses a threat to the potential business upside for CSPs. "Where enterprises are getting DDoS protection either from their hyperscale data center provider or from new vendor entrants to the cloud-based DDoS provider market, MSSPs [managed security service providers] may start to find that demand for DDoS protection from among their own menu of security services may be at risk," he surmises.
The threat is heightened by the tendency for the hyperscale data center operators to "innovate and show leadership" in the networking value chain and for the CSPs to convince themselves that they have unique capabilities that make them immune to data center operator competition, "only to be subsequently out-thought, outspent and outmaneuvered by those Internet players."
Check out the report to find out more about this topic, as well as research into the impact that SDN and NFV will have on the vulnerability of networks and for an evaluation of the key vendors in the DDoS Protection Market, including Arbor Networks (part of NetScout Systems), Allot Communications, Check Point Software, Cisco Systems, ECI Telecom, Fortinet, F5 Networks, Infoblox, Palo Alto Networks, Radware, Sandvine and more.
— Ray Le Maistre, , Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading