New data from Zayo reveals an increase in DDoS attack intensity in 2023

Feb. 15, 2024
The company’s new report analyzed over 100,000 attacks from various industries.

Zayo Group’s bi-annual “Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Insights Report,” released on Feb. 15, revealed a significant increase in the intensity of DDoS attacks in the second half of 2023.

The report analyzed more than 103,000 threat detections and mitigations experienced by Zayo customers in 14 industries across North America and Western Europe.

The data from Zayo shows that the average DDoS attack in 2023 lasted 68 minutes, and unprotected organizations lost an average of $6,000 per minute of each attack for a total average cost of $408,000 for a DDoS attack.

Zayo reports that, throughout 2023, DDoS attacks steeply increased in duration, with the average length of attacks rising by more than 400% from Q1 to Q4. The volume of DDoS attacks also increased, rising 200% in the first half of 2023 but decreasing slightly in the second half of the year. Of the 103,000 attacks, 72,000 occurred in the first half of the year, and 31,000 occurred in the second half.

The report from Zayo also reveals that volumetric attacks are being replaced by multi-vector attacks that are harder to detect and target individual IP addresses, email systems, databases, or web browsers.

Zayo’s senior vice president of network connectivity, Anna Clairborne, said in a press release, "What we’re seeing is that cybercrime is only getting savvier. AI is presenting itself as a double-edged sword in this space. On one side of the blade, criminals are using AI to increase the sophistication of attacks and circumvent traditional defense mechanisms; on the other, mitigation platforms are using AI to dynamically identify and defend against new and emerging threats. As DDoS remains a profitable model for cybercriminals, attacks will continue to be a brutal inevitability for businesses. But luckily, DDoS protection is also rising to the occasion."

Breaking the report down by industry shows that telecommunications companies were most frequently attacked, making up about 40% of total attack volume. Retail and healthcare companies experienced the largest attacks, and government sector attacks were, on average, the longest lasting.

Eric O’Neill, a national security strategist at Carbon Black, said in the same press release, “Most people on the internet aren’t plotting a DDoS attack, but the internet is a big place, and dark web crime is the fastest-growing business on Earth. We’re in an attacker’s market, and they are leveraging sophisticated technologies and cutting-edge techniques to innovate the way they deceive, disrupt, and destroy our most critical data. To stop the attackers from gaining the upper hand, we need DDoS protection that is as easy and effective as turning on a switch.”

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