Study: Number of Costly DoS-Related Data Center Outages Rising
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Study: Number of Costly DoS-Related Data Center Outages Rising

Ponemon Institute finds DoS attacks against data centers increasingly common and costly

While UPS system failure is the number-one reason for data center outages, cybercrime comes in a close second, and Denial of Service, or DoS, is the most common form of cyberattacks on data centers.

That’s according to recent survey findings by the Ponemon Institute, a Michigan-based research center that studies issues of privacy, data protection, and information security. Earlier this year, Ponemon looked at the costs and reasons of data center outages, but a more recent study focused on costs associated with outages caused specifically by DoS attacks, since they are on the rise.

Also see: How to Create a Reliable DR Strategy

The institute conducts data center outage studies yearly. These studies are sponsored by Emerson Network Power, which is one of the biggest data center infrastructure equipment vendors.

DoS attacks as a root cause of unplanned data center outages have skyrocketed over the past six years:

Source: Cost of Denial of Service Attacks. Ponemon Institute. 2016

Source: Cost of Denial of Service Attacks. Ponemon Institute. 2016

These attacks can be quite costly to the victim organization, most of the cost going toward recovery and detection activities. Of the 270-plus organizations surveyed, the lowest-cost attack was about $14,000, while the highest-cost attack was $2.35 million.

The average cost of a DoS attack to the organization has risen since 2010:

Source: Cost of Denial of Service Attacks. Ponemon Institute. 2016

Source: Cost of Denial of Service Attacks. Ponemon Institute. 2016

In 32 percent of the DoS attack incidents survey respondents reported, their data centers suffered a partial outage, while 17 percent suffered total outage. The study considers impairment to one or more servers a partial outage:

Source: Cost of Denial of Service Attacks. Ponemon Institute. 2016

Source: Cost of Denial of Service Attacks. Ponemon Institute. 2016

The extent of the outage affects its cost to the victim organization. The average cost of DoS attacks that did not lead to outages was $36,800; the average cost for partial DoS-related data center outages was $302,920; and a total outage caused by a DoS attack cost an average of $610,300.

The study also found that organizations that avoid outages following a DoS attack have some common characteristics. They include a command and control governance structure, high data center redundancy, network intelligence tools, advanced threat intelligence, well-defined incident response plans, and enterprise deployment of anti-DoS tools.

Download the full report here

TAGS: Uptime
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