Arbor Networks, the security division of NetScout, has released its 11th Annual Worldwide Infrastructure Security Report (WISR) offering direct insights from the global operational security community on a comprehensive range of issues, from threat detection and incident response to staffing, budgets and partner relationships.
For the first time, nearly half of the respondents were from enterprise, government and educational organisations, with service providers amounting to 52% of those surveyed. Arbor’s long-standing customer relationships and reputation as a trusted advisor and solution provider make this report possible each year.
“A constantly evolving threat environment is an accepted fact of life for survey respondents,” says Arbor Networks chief security technologist, Darren Anstee. “This report provides broad insight into the issues that network operators around the world are grappling with on a daily basis.
“Furthermore, the findings from this report underscore that technology is only part of the true story since security is a human endeavour and there are skilled adversaries on both sides. Thanks to the information provided by network operators worldwide, we are able to offer insights into people and process, providing a much richer and more vibrant picture into what is happening on the front lines.”
The top five DDoS trends are:
* Change in attack motivation: This year the top motivation was not hacktivism or vandalism but ‘criminals demonstrating attack capabilities’, something typically associated with cyber extortion attempts.
Attack size continues to grow: The largest attack reported was 500 Gbps, with others reporting attacks of 450 Gbps, 425 Gbps and 337 Gbps. In 11 years of this survey, the largest attack size has grown more than 60X.
Complex attacks on the rise: 56% of respondents reported multi-vector attacks that targeted infrastructure, applications and services simultaneously, up from 42% last year. 93% reported application-layer DDoS attacks. The most common service targeted by application-layer attacks is now DNS (rather than HTTP).
Cloud under attack: Two years ago, 19% of respondents saw attacks targeting their cloud-based services. This grew to 29% last year, and now to 33% this year – a clear upward trend. In fact, 51% of data centre operators saw DDoS attacks saturate their Internet connectivity. There was also a sharp increase in data centres seeing outbound attacks from servers within their networks, up to 34% from 24% last year
* Firewalls continue to fail during DDoS attacks: More than half of enterprise respondents reported a firewall failure as a result of a DDoS attack, up from one-third a year earlier. As stateful and inline devices, firewalls add to the attack surface and are prone to becoming the first victims of DDoS attacks as their capacity to track connections is exhausted. Because they are inline, they can also add network latency.
The top five advanced threat trends are:
* Focus on better response: 57% of enterprises are looking to deploy solutions to speed the incident response processes. Among service providers, one-third reduced the time taken to discover an Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) in their network to under one week, and 52% stated their discovery to containment time has dropped to under one month.
 Better planning: 2015 saw an increase in the proportion of enterprise respondents who had developed formal incident response plans, and dedicated at least some resources to respond to such incidents, up from around two-thirds last year to 75% this year.
 Insiders in focus: The proportion of enterprise respondents seeing malicious insiders is up to 17% this year (12% last year). Nearly 40 % of all enterprise respondents still do not have tools deployed to monitor BYOD devices on the network. The proportion reporting security incidents relating to BYOD doubled, to 13% from six percent last year.
Staffing quagmire: There has been a significant drop in those looking to increase their internal resources to improve incident preparedness and response, down from 46% to 38% in this year’s results.
 Increasing reliance on outside support: Lack of internal resources this past year has led to an increase in the use of managed services and outsourced support, with 50% of enterprises having contracted an external organisation for incident response. This is 10% higher than within service providers. Within service providers, 74% reported seeing more demand from customers for managed services.