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DDoS Mitigation Best Practice in an IoT world



The Internet of Things (IoT) is a conversation that has been gathering momentum in the public space for around the past five years or so, even though the concept has been around for a few decades. And yet, in this brand-new world of science fiction coming to life, threats lurk also.


So said Bryan Hamman, Arbor Network’s territory manager for Sub-Saharan Africa.


He said, “Obviously, people are excited when they think about the possibilities brought about by a world in which objects can be sensed or controlled remotely across existing network infrastructures. Never mind smartphones – the biggest consumer electronic companies in the world are competing with each other to launch ‘smart fridges’ as just one of an array of connected devices in the home of the future.


“These connected home devices create opportunities for even more integration of the physical world into computer-based systems, and the intention is that they will allow for improved efficiencies and a reduced need for human intervention – think of your smart fridge telling you when you need to throw away your expired milk, for example. At the same time, though, the IoT brings massive opportunities for criminals to use this increasingly connected world for their own commercial gain.”


Hamman noted that while the IoT brings the promise of efficiency and innovation to both homes and businesses, it also significantly expands the threat surface, allowing malware to turn IoT devices into being part of a botnet army – a network of private computers infected with malicious software and controlled as a group without the owners’ knowledge.


He said, “A botnet army grows by continuing to spread its malware to new devices. When a botnet army reaches a certain size, it becomes a revenue-generating platform for its creators by launching distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks on networks. The attacks will be turned off and the network allowed to function normally again, in return for a ransom paid in Bitcoin payments.”


IoT devices are vulnerable to DDoS botnets for a number of reasons. For example, attackers are able to exploit a manufacturer’s re-use of default passwords across device classes. In addition, most IoT devices have access to the Internet without any bandwidth limitations or filtering, while the pared-down operating systems and processing together leave less room for security features – which is why most security compromises go unnoticed.


Hamman says that Arbor advises enterprises, Internet service providers (ISPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) to defend against DDoS attacks by implementing best current practices for DDoS defence, as follows:

  • Reducing the network’s surface of vulnerability.
  • Ensuring complete visibility over all network traffic to detect DDoS attacks.
  • Ensuring sufficient DDoS mitigation capacity and capabilities, both on-premise and in the cloud.
  • Having a DDoS defence response plan, which is kept updated and rehearsed on a regular basis.
  • ISP and MSSP network operators should actively participate in the global operational community, so that they can provide assistance when other network operators come under high-volume DDoS attacks, and in turn request mitigation assistance in need.
  • ISP and MSSP network operators should also take into account the baseline load of their normal Internet traffic. This is very important when determining which DDoS defence mechanisms and methodologies to use if under attack.


Hamman concluded, “Today, broadband Internet is become more widely available and more devices are being created with Wi-Fi capabilities and sensors built into them, while smartphones, at least in first world countries, are becoming the norm rather than the exception. This all means that the IoT phenomenon is simply gathering pace, day by day and hour by hour. It is more important than ever to remember that your connected devices are now a part of your network and as such, need the same security considerations to be applied.”


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Go Rentals Targets Nigeria in African Operations Expansion Plan



At its annual partner results event this week, Go Rentals CEO Evan Berger announced its 2018/19 expansion plans into Africa for its Technology Rental services.

“Our pilot expansion began in 2016/2017, fuelled by a multinational client’s need to train thousands of staff on SAP throughout Africa and Southern Africa, and was missing a cost-effective hardware solution.

The key driver for selecting Go Rentals for this project was reliability and our ability to handle complex logistics for moving IT hardware,” says Berger. “Working on the continent presents many challenges in import/export, technical skills, asset tracking, contingency planning, just to name a few challenges our innovations addressed.”

2017 saw the roll-out of projects in Namibia, Zambia, Angola and Lesotho in 2017, with infrastructure projects already completed in Botswana, Swaziland, Nigeria, Botswana, Mauritius, Madagascar, DRC, Ghana and Uganda.

“Through the partnerships established in these regions, we are now expanding broader operations,” says Managing Director Clayton Heldsinger.” The expansion at this stage focuses on providing IT infrastructure for large-scale training projects, elections, and other temporary infrastructure requirements.”

Temporary infrastructure projects are largely considered infeasible in many regions due to the lack of availability of stock, challenging logistics, high costs and availability of skills.

“Unlike service delivery to an office environment, where project delays are common, the number one factor to consider in a special infrastructure project like training or an election is that the event must happen on the given day,” says Heldsinger.

“The IT costs pale in comparison to the investment the client has made in venues, human resources, travel and accommodation costs and more. Our IT has to be ready, and we know how. ”

“Using our expertise, systems and blueprint developed in South Africa, we began doing the same in other countries throughout Africa, with remarkable success,” explains Berger.

Go Rentals has a winning formula for delivering temporary projects that require challenging logistics. These include mass training infrastructure, national elections, World Cup, temporary offices, rural installations and other projects.

If your corporation has a requirement for reliable infrastructure supply, delivery and support in Africa, contact Heldsinger or Ron Keschner, Sales Director at Go Rentals.

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IBM Study Unveils Hidden Costs of Data Breach



IBM Security has released a global study examining the full financial impact of a data breach on a company’s bottom line.

The study found that hidden costs in data breaches — e.g., lost business, negative impact on reputation and employee time spent on recovery — can be a huge factor. In a “mega breach” of 1 million or more records, one-third of the cost derived from lost business.

And the cost is on the rise; since the 2017 report, the average cost of a data breach globally has increased 6.4 percent, to $3.86 million, according to IBM. The number of mega breaches is also up — from nine in 2013 to 16 in 2017.

The study, sponsored by IBM and conducted by Ponemon Institute, also reveals that:

– Average cost of a data breach involving 1 million records is nearly $40 million.

– Estimated cost of a breach involving 50 million records is $350 million.

– Average time to detect and contain a mega breach (365 days) is 99 days longer than for a smaller-scale breach.

– In a mega breach, the greatest cost is from lost business, estimated at nearly $118 million for a breach of 50 million records.

A major factor in lost business cost is customer turnover — a recent IBM/Harris poll found that 75 percent of consumers in the U.S. say that they will not do business with companies that they do not trust to protect their data.

“The truth is there are many hidden expenses which must be taken into account, such as reputational damage, customer turnover, and operational costs,” said Wendi Whitmore, global lead for IBM X-Force incident response and intelligence services. “Knowing where the costs lie and how to reduce them can help companies invest their resources more strategically and lower the huge financial risks at stake.”

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Global Accelerex Trains Nigerian Security Agencies on Cyber Crime



Global Accelerex Limited, a Central Bank of Nigeria-licenced Payment Terminal Service Provider and Payment Solution Service Provider, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Program, is set to train members of Nigeria’s Security Agencies on Cybercrime.

The event, which will hold on July 25, 2018 at Ladi Kwali Conference Center, Sheraton Hotel, Abuja, will enrich participants’ knowledge of the cyberspace and increase their versatility in dealing with on-line crime.

This collaboration, first of its kind in the e-payment industry, is borne out of the company’s desire to rid the nation of cyber criminals who continue to bring the country’s name into disrepute.

In addition to learning about cyber vulnerability, attendees will also learn about insider threats and sophisticated cyber adversaries.

The forum will host more than 30 participants including officials of the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Armed Forces, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, State Security Service, National Intelligence Agency and National Drug Law Enforcement Agency.

Others are Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Defence Intelligence Agency and Nigerian Custom Service.

“We applaud the effort of the Nigerian government in combating cybercrime and securing lives and property in the country. Global Accelerex is driven to compliment this effort to ensure that Nigeria is rid of these miscreants so that citizens can enjoy the cyberspace with the peace of mind they deserve.

It is absolutely critical that we support security operations so that Nigerians can use the internet freely, which is why this training is vital”, stated Stanley Peters, Chief Technology Officer of the company.

The National Security Adviser commends the initiative by Global Accelerex, saying that the move will definitely impact positively on the officers and the nation in general.

He added that continuous training is critical to stay ahead of criminals even as he revealed that attendees have shown a high level of enthusiasm at this unique opportunity.

Keynote speakers that will bring their experience to bear are Mr. Tahmeed Rab, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Kaizen Solutions Group, Baltimore, USA and Mr. Peter Obadare, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer of Digital Encode.

Both experts are acclaimed for their ground-breaking achievements in cyber security, risk and compliance, mobile forensics, network and system consulting.

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