Report: Telecom Still the Top Target for DDoS Attacks

Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, the most common cyberattack that companies experience, have increased an alarming 387% between Q1 and Q2 of this year, according to the Zayo Group Holdings’ annual DDoS Insight Report released today. Telecom companies, followed by academia, were the prime targets, according to the report.

In some industries, there was a shocking 1,300% increase in attacks. Increased digitization, political unrest and the growth of work from home are key contributing factors to this increase, the report says.

Telecom DDoS Attacks

Telecom companies, in part because of their critical role in communications and internet services, were attacked more than 37,000 times, which was roughly half of the total attacks in the first half of 2023. The telecommunications sector also experienced the largest aggregate attack, which was 978 Gbps.

“When your business will get hit by a DDoS attack is a game of probability,” Anna Claiborne, Zayo’s senior vice president of packet and product software engineering, said. “With a huge rise in attacks in 2023 and more attacks over 100Gbps, the odds are not in your favor.

“While there are a myriad of statistics on the cost of remediating a DDoS attack,” she continued, “the long-tail loss of customer confidence after an attack is difficult to quantify and even more difficult to fix. Running any business on the internet without DDoS protection is a risk, and you have to ask yourself if it’s one worth taking.”

In addition to the telecom sector, retail and media had the largest attacks, with an average size of 3 Gbps.

The education sector, which had the highest frequency of attacks during the first half of 2022, was a close second to telecom. Cloud and software-as-a-service (SaaS), which are used in education for online programs and virtual classrooms, among other things, saw what Zayo characterized as “significant” growth in attacks between the second half of 2022 and the first half of 2023.

Overall, DDoS attacks increased 314% over that time. And, compared to all last year, attacks were up 200% in the first half of 2023.

In 2023, the longest attack was against the government. Last year it was against health care. The average duration of an attack across all industry sectors increased by 216% between the first and second quarters of 2023. The largest jump in the amount of time an attack occurred was in the finance industry, from 41 minutes to 108 minutes.


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