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Sophisticated DDoS attacks surge in the United Kingdom and Ireland during 1H2022 – NETSCOUT comments

Despite a slight decrease in distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack frequency in the UK and Ireland (UK&I) last year, threat actors have ramped up their nefarious activities in 1H2022 – according to NETSCOUT’s latest Threat Intelligence Report.

Ireland experienced an increase of 200 per cent in DDoS attacks during the first half of the year. Attack sophistication is also increasing, as NETSCOUT threat researchers observed powerful DDoS-capable botnets being used to launch TCP-based direct path attacks, often in tandem with major global events across politics, religion, and sports. This, of course, includes the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

As EMEA saw a seven per cent increase in DDoS attacks, the report’s key UK&I findings include:

  • Ireland experienced roughly 284 attacks per day, representing an increase of 118 per cent from the last six months of 2021
  • The surge in attack activity against Ireland is likely attributable to Ukrainian resources that shifted out of their original location and into cloud-based systems located in Ireland
  • The UK – which almost always tops the charts in attack volume for the EMEA region – saw a little respite, with the average daily attack count decreasing to 743 attacks per day (19 per cent) from the second half of 2021. In fact, attack frequency, as well as both maximum attack size and maximum throughput fell
  • Telecommunications, eCommerce and data processing and hosting services are among the most targeted sectors in 1H 2022 by number of attacks

Richard Hummel, threat intelligence lead for NETSCOUT, has made the following comments about how organisations in both the UK and Ireland can defend themselves from DDoS attacks:

“Firstly, it is vital for organisations to implement strong and effective cybersecurity tools. Those tools should include threat intelligence to assist in blocking known adversary infrastructure. Threat intelligence alone can block nearly 90 per cent of DDoS attacks. By utilising several simple yet effective mitigation tactics – including restricting inbound traffic and preventing IP address spoofing – organisations can further reduce the impact of emerging DDoS threats.

“It’s also crucial that businesses test their online infrastructure on a regular basis. This ensures that any changes or adjustments made to applications, services and servers are incorporated into the DDoS defence strategy. This ensures vital online business infrastructural features will be largely unaffected should they be on the receiving end of a DDoS attack.

“Organisations should also consider enlisting the help of an on-demand DDoS attack specialist when navigating this unfamiliar landscape. Expert advice and insight can greatly benefit individual teams, organisations and their stakeholders when faced with emerging DDoS attacks. By correctly implementing these strategies, organisations in the UK, Ireland and indeed worldwide, can significantly decrease the impact of DDoS attacks on their online infrastructure.”

For more information about regional attack trends in 2022, visit www.netscout.com/threatreport

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Lisa Baker is Group Editor for the Need to See IT Publishing Group. Lisa writes about HR, Technology, Health, the Environment and Business.
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