DDoS Protection Trends and Strategies for 2024

DDoS Protection Trends and Strategies for 2024

As we step into 2024, the digital battleground faces an ever-evolving threat of DDoS attacks. During the last year, we at Gcore witnessed a paradigm shift in the nature and intensity of these attacks, underscoring a critical need for advanced DDoS defenses. Let’s take a look back at what changed for these attacks in 2023 and what we can expect for DDoS protection in 2024.

In 2023, we witnessed a surge in the frequency and intensity of DDoS attacks, as well as a disturbing shift in tactics and targets. Here are some key trends that emerged in 2023 and will likely develop further in 2024.

Sophisticated Methods

Gone are the days of basic botnets flooding servers with simple requests. Attackers are now crafting complex attacks by wielding IoT-powered botnets, leveraging cloud infrastructure, and exploiting protocol vulnerabilities for unprecedented attack power and complexity.

The HTTP/2 Rapid Reset vulnerability first exploited in August 2023 is a prime example of a new, sophisticated method, pushing attack volumes to a staggering 201 million requests per second—three times the previous record!

Targeted Disruption

Random attacks are becoming a thing of the past. Instead, hackers are now carefully selecting their targets, focusing on industries with high financial stakes and real-time dependencies. Gaming, finance, and telecommunications were particularly hard hit in 2023. At Gcore, we also saw evidence of specific targeting in repeat attacks on certain customers—and on us! This deliberate targeting suggests a shift towards disrupting critical infrastructure and inflicting maximum damage.

Volume Gone Wild

In 2023 we started measuring DDoS attacks in a new unit, terabits (1 terabit = 1,000 gigabits,) demonstrating the steep increase in attack volume from previous years. Attacks are reaching unprecedented sizes, exceeding 1 Tbps in some cases, overwhelming all but the most robust defenses.

Amplification

Attackers increasingly exploit vulnerable servers to amplify their traffic, multiplying their attack power with minimal effort. Techniques like UDP flood and TCP ACK flood were used to launch devastating attacks.

Beyond Downtime

DDoS attacks are no longer just about crashing websites to cause downtime. They’re often used as a smokescreen for data breaches or extortion attempts. Apart from sheer downtimes, DDoS attacks are often followed by data leaks, raising concerns about the evolving motives and potential consequences of these attacks.

DDoS as a Service on the Rise

DDoS as a service refers to the hiring of services on the dark web to launch DDoS attacks against the user’s targets. In 2023, DDoS as a service emerged as a formidable challenge, enabling even non-technical adversaries to launch potent attacks.

If the DDoS landscape of 2023 paints a sobering picture, 2024 unfortunately promises to amplify the current challenges. Attacks are simultaneously becoming more sophisticated, powerful, and targeted, and they’ll continue to trend in this direction.

The difficulty for businesses and cybersecurity experts alike is how to stay one step ahead of the rapidly evolving landscape of DDoS threats. Relying on a proven provider is the obvious choice, but how will providers deal with the changes in the attack landscape? Here’s how we expect to see DDoS mitigation change in 2024.

Cloud-First Scalable Defense

A cloud-first defense strategy offers scalability, an advantage when dealing with volumetric attacks that can quickly exceed the capacity of on-premises hardware. Cloud-based defenses can absorb and mitigate large-scale attacks, distributing the load across a global network. With attack volumes growing rapidly, we can expect to see increased demand for and provision of cloud-based DDoS defense systems in 2024.

The approach is cost-effective, making it particularly beneficial for SMBs lacking the resources for extensive on-premises solutions. Instead of investing heavily in physical infrastructure, companies can leverage the flexibility of a cloud service, paying for the protection they need and scaling their expenses as required.

Threat Intelligence: Sharing Is Caring

In the fight against DDoS attacks, sharing threat intelligence is critical. Access to a global base of threat intelligence helps all organizations stay ahead of attackers who are constantly coming up with new ways to circumvent security measures. The increase in attack sophistication we predict for 2024 means this approach will only become more important.

While businesses sometimes believe that concealing information offers a strategic advantage over their competitors, that’s not the case with DDoS. With the trend towards novel attack methods, you’re unlikely to suffer the exact same technique twice. It makes more sense to join broad efforts to stop DDoS attacks for everyone’s mutual benefit—perhaps your next attacker will be stopped thanks to someone else’s shared report.

Automated Workflows

Attacks occur and peak quickly, and it is not humanly possible to respond to them effectively in real time. Thus, in 2024, automated mitigation and response workflows will be critical. Automated mitigation workflows already instantly respond to detected threats, minimizing the impact on services and reducing the need for manual intervention. Smart AI/ML workflows will increasingly be used to analyze attack patterns and predict future threats. They’ll be connected to automated workflows, providing swift responses even to new DDoS attack types.

Intelligent Anomaly Recognition with AI and ML

With new levels of attack sophistication and novel techniques, even the most seasoned security specialists may find real-time DDoS attack identification and mitigation challenging. Enter artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML.) AI and ML will also be capable of adapting to evolving attack patterns, ensuring that defenses remain robust against the latest threats.

Why DDoS Protection Matters

Serious financial and reputational consequences await those who fail to protect themselves from DDoS:

  • Financial losses: While there’s nothing new about DDoS causing downtime, it’s worth recalling that the cost of downtime is equal to the revenue generated in that period. No matter a business’ industry or size, this can be financially crippling, especially as an ever-increasing proportion of companies rely on online sales. Mitigation and recovery costs add to the financial burden.
  • Data breaches: DDoS attacks can be used to mask data breaches, putting sensitive information at risk. In highly regulated industries, like finance and healthcare, fines may be incurred if a data breach occurs due to a DDoS attack.
  • Reputational damage: A successful attack can erode customer trust and loyalty, driving them to competitors.

As DDoS attacks increase in sophistication and power, the chances of becoming a victim rise. The best shield against these disastrous business consequences is a proven DDoS protection provider.

Gcore: Your Shield Against the 2024 DDoS Storm

Gcore Protection has years of experience in consistently and successfully protecting high-profile clients against vast, complex DDoS attacks. We’re the obvious choice going into 2024 for our outstanding track record.

Gcore Protection methods include:

  • Globally distributed scrubbing centers ensure optimal performance and fast attack mitigation.
  • Automated mitigation systems that respond to threats instantly and minimize downtime using proprietary filtering algorithms.
  • An expert security team who ensures that you benefit from continuous threat intelligence and proactive security guidance.
  • DDoS protection can be quickly configured to stop attacks that are already in progress and protect your servers from future DDoS attempts.

Don’t wait for an attack to happen to get protected. Contact Gcore today and secure your business against the evolving DDoS threat landscape. Get ahead for 2024 and start the year off right.

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