Impact of Growing DDoS Attacks on MSSPs


DDoS attacks pose a substantial risk to Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP), driving the need for robust
protection services and strategic partnerships.

Growing Threat Landscape

As the global workforce shifted to remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, reliance on online services surged. Cybercriminals exploited new vulnerabilities created by remote work, leading to an increase in DDoS attacks across various industries.

Perpetrators now have easy access to sophisticated attack tools via for-hire services, resulting in a cottage industry supporting nefarious activities.

The number of DDoS attacks per customer grew by 94% in 2023 compared to 2022, building on the previous year’s growth of 99%. The number of attacks per customer has been trending at an average rate of 106 attacks per month or 3.48 attacks per day since Q1 2021. In Q1 of 2023, a typical Radware customer had to fend off an average of 49 attacks per day. The attack volume per customer increased 48% in 2023 compared to 2022.

DNS and HTTPS form the cornerstone of online applications and APIs, and attackers had a clear mission in 2023: hit where it hurts the most. DNS, by far, was the most targeted application protocol, followed by HTTPS. Application-layer DNS attacks leveraging pseudo-random subdomain (PRSD) attacks, also known as DNS water torture, were the most common attacks in 2023. Almost 95% of the attacks targeting DNS services leveraged DNS-A query floods.

Increased Demand for MSSPs

As the number and sophistication of cyberattacks continue to grow, many enterprises turn to service providers as their preferred cyber security service provider. Today’s attacks can reach hundreds of Gbps of traffic, often too large even for service providers to handle using premise-based equipment. These attacks can disrupt business continuity and cause economic losses across multiple organizations that the managed security service providers serve.

The scale and complexity of these cyberattacks combined with the evolving requirements for security operations lead to a shortage of expertise and advanced cyber security as a service model to address these concerns.

Many enterprises lack internal security resources, making MSSPs essential. The managed security services marketplace is expected to expand significantly, reflecting the need for external expertise in combating threats. MSSPs experienced a 69% increase in enterprise demand in 2020, particularly from education, healthcare, and other sectors.

Service Providers’ Motivations for Offering DDoS Protection

DDoS protection is essential for service providers to ensure uninterrupted services, protect their reputation, and mitigate financial risks caused by malicious attacks. As gatekeepers for businesses, both they and their customers are frequently targeted by DDoS attacks. There are many concerns that Service Providers) need to address such as:

  • Availability and Security Concerns: DDoS attacks aim to exhaust an application’s resources, rendering it unavailable to legitimate users. Ensuring uninterrupted service availability is critical for service providers. DDoS attacks can disrupt services, leading to customer dissatisfaction and potential revenue loss.
  • Cloud Migration: As more customer applications move to the cloud, service providers become responsible for ensuring the availability and security of these cloud-hosted services. DDoS attacks can disrupt these services, affecting user experience and business continuity.
  • Protecting Customer Services: Service providers host a wide range of services, including websites, email servers, DNS servers, business applications and more. DDoS protection helps safeguard these critical services from being overwhelmed by malicious traffic.
  • Competitive Edge and Market Differentiation: Offering robust DDoS protection sets service providers apart from competitors.
  • Attracting New Customers: Security-conscious customers seek service providers with strong defenses against cyber threats.
  • Preserving Reputation: Successful DDoS attacks can wreak havoc on a company’s reputation. Service providers need to maintain trust with their customers, and downtime due to DDoS attacks can erode that trust.
  • Financial Impact: Beyond reputation, DDoS attacks can have financial implications. Service providers may face costs related to service disruption, customer compensation, and mitigation efforts.
  • Compliance and Regulatory Requirements: Many service providers operate in regulated industries. Compliance standards often mandate robust security measures, including DDoS protection.

MSSPs are expanding their DDoS protection offerings. Approximately 11% of MSSPs now provide third-party DDoS mitigation services. This growth indicates that demand may outstrip MSSPs’ ability to deliver sufficient protection.

DDoS Protection Solution with Radware

Radware is the industry leader in DDoS protection. Radware on-premise and Cloud DDoS protection solutions are backed by a global scrubbing network of 21 scrubbing centers and 15 Tbps of scrubbing capacity and offers zero-day protection, advanced DNS and TLS support Radware also offers WAF, Bot and API protection to provide MSSPs with a single platform protecting to protect their customers.

These solutions are designed for managed service providers to jointly launch a market-leading network and application security services for their customers. The Cloud and On-Premise solutions enable MSSPs to both protect their own infrastructure and provide their customers with advanced network and application protection solutions to combat the threats of today and tomorrow.

Prakash Sinha

Prakash Sinha is a technology executive and evangelist for Radware and brings over 29 years of experience in strategy, product management, product marketing and engineering. Prakash has been a part of executive teams of four software and network infrastructure startups, all of which were acquired. Before Radware, Prakash led product management for Citrix NetScaler and was instrumental in introducing multi-tenant and virtualized NetScaler product lines to market. Prior to Citrix, Prakash held leadership positions in architecture, engineering, and product management at leading technology companies such as Cisco, Informatica, and Tandem Computers. Prakash holds a Bachelor in Electrical Engineering from BIT, Mesra and an MBA from Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.

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