IT Professionals Fear Negative Customer Experience from DDoS Attacks, Survey Says
May 21, 2012
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A new survey of IT professionals by Neustar shows that more than half of respondents fear a negative impact to customer experience from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

In a DDoS attack, hackers seek to shut down a company’s Web resources – typically websites, but also email servers - by unleashing extremely high volumes of malicious Internet traffic or surgically targeting Web applications.

A DDoS has the potential to cause lasting damage to customer service, online revenue streams and brand reputation.

Executed in Q1 2012, the survey covered IT professionals in more than 25 industries such as finance and banking, retail, telecommunications, travel and IT.

Notable findings include:

- More than 300 respondents reported they had been attacked

- The top concern was the impact attacks have on customer service – with 51 percent listing it as their greatest concern associated with the attacks

- 35 percent of those attacked said the attacks lasted more than 24 hours – with 11 percent of attacks lasting more than a week

- Specific to retailers, 67 percent who had experienced a DDoS attack pegged the costs of website outages at more $100,000 per hour – equating to loses of $2 million a day

“The potential negative implications of DDoS attacks can be devastating for both marketers and IT professionals,” said Alex Berry, senior vice president, Enterprise Services, Neustar. “Many companies have been hit hard - with consequences lasting far longer than the attacks themselves. It’s important that companies are proactive about protecting their online presence, as well as their customers, to ensure the constant delivery of online services and necessary brand vigilance.”

Overall, the survey shows that a significant number of companies face the risks of DDoS attacks, yet few have solutions designed specifically to combat attacks, with many relying solely on firewalls and intrusion detection systems.

Less than 5 percent of respondents have a purpose-built DDoS mitigation solution, for example, an on-premise DDoS mitigation appliance. This explains why so many attacks last days – in fact, 35 percent respondents experienced attacks that lasted more than 24 hours.

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