BT lifts lid on UK-wide scale of DDoS attacks

Attackers are employing effective techniques to bring down companies for days at a time

UK companies are being bombarded with more Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks than ever before, according to a BT-sponsored Vanson Bourne study.

The research shows two-fifths of global organisations were hit with DDoS attacks over the past year, with more than 75 per cent of them being targeted more than once in the same period.

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More than a third of UK businesses said DDoS attacks were a major concern for them, though only half have a response plan ready if they do come under threat.

Even fewer in their companies believed they had the resources to counter a sustained attack, with only 8 per cent of UK IT professionals confident of remaining operational.

Two-thirds of those polled agreed that DDoS attacks are becoming more effective at disrupting IT security measures and that attackers are adopting more complex methods, including multi-vector and multi-platform.

"DDoS attacks have evolved significantly in the last few years and are now a legitimate business concern. They can have a damaging effect on revenues and send an organisation into full crisis mode," said Mark Hughes, president of BT Security.

"Reputations, revenue and customer confidence are on the line following a DDoS attack, not to mention the upfront time and cost that it takes an organisation to recover following an attack. Finance, e-commerce companies and retailers, in particular, suffer when their websites or businesses are targeted."

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On average, according to the survey, organisations take 12 hours to fully recover from a powerful DDoS attack, effectively putting them out of action for an entire working day.

More than half of UK respondents to the Vanson Bourne survey admitted that DDoS attacks have completely shut down their systems for more than six hours.

Vanson Bourne conducted 640 interviews with IT decision makers in medium to large organisations in a range of sectors including retail and finance to compile the report.

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