Friday, 19th July 2019
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Cost to UK economy of DDoS cyber-attacks may exceed £1 billion per annum

Weaponisation of DDoS sees British companies impacted lose average of £140,000 due to DDoS attacks, NETSCOUT research shows.

The cost to the UK economy ofDistributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks may now exceed £1 billion each year, research from NETSCOUT reveals. 91% of major enterprises who had experienced a DDoS attack in 2018 experienced network downtime as a direct result. That downtime lasted for 30 minutes or more for nearly half the companies questioned, and an unlucky (or ill-prepared) 9% found their systems impacted for more than four hours. The average cost for each UK business that had seen downtime due to DDoS exceeded £140,000.

Darren Anstee, NETSCOUT CTO, Security, commented, “The tools to initiate DDoS attacks are cheap, freely available and easily deployed - as a result, there are more than ten thousand DDoS attacks every day around the world. The size and complexity of attacks continue to grow and businesses must make sure their key resources are adequately protected – including in the cloud, SaaS etc...”

“We know that DDoS attacks target businesses of all shapes and sizes, but we wanted to quantify the economic impact on the UK’s largest employers. Our research data revealed that around 86% of major UK enterprises questioned were attacked at least once in 2018. 90% of these UK businesses experienced downtime, which averaged 67 minutes for the year, and the downtime costs were estimated at £2,140 per minute.

“If we assume those impacts apply equally to the 8,000 UK companies with more than 250 employees, the total cost equates to approximately £900 million. However, we know that the wide availability of the required tools has ‘democratised’ DDoS. Much smaller companies are also under attack and so the true cost to the UK economy is likely to significantly exceed £1 billion per annum.”

NETSCOUT’s findings also show that DDoS attacks have ramifications beyond just service downtime. Respondents cited a series of measurable attack consequences, such as revenue loss (36.2%), increased operational expenses (38.6%), reputational impact (36.2%), surging insurance premiums (31.9%) and loss of customers (30.7%), highlighting the longer-term damage successful attacks can bring.

“If something is important to you, it’s important to hackers,” added Anstee. “As businesses place growing reliance on digital services, it’s hardly a surprise that attacks against the cloud, SaaS and data centres are increasing at an alarming rate. Attackers are continually evolving tactics to exploit new vulnerabilities in complex – and critical – IT infrastructures. It is essential that companies have visibility across their entire IT infrastructure – physical, virtual, cloud etc. – and into all inbound and outbound traffic, so that they can quickly and efficiently tackle threats.”

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