December 11, 2023

What tools do South African enterprises need to combat DDoS attacks?

Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks have recently grown into a significant risk for large corporations and organisations. These attacks have the potential to disrupt operations, cause financial losses and harm the reputation of the business.

According to a recent report, DDoS attacks in South Africa have risen by 30% in 2023 from 2022. This report also found that the size of the average DDoS attack has increased by 50%, to 1.5 Tbps.

The most targeted sectors in South Africa are financial services, telecommunications, government agencies and trade organisations. Most of these attacks are launched from outside the country, with the USA, China and Russia being the three biggest sources of attacks.

The average cost of a DDoS attack is R2.5 million, which includes lost revenue, downtime and remediation. Understanding the nature of DDoS attacks, as well as having effective tools and strategies in place, is critical for South African businesses looking to protect their digital assets.

Three types of DDoS attacks

DDoS attacks involve flooding a target's network or website with malicious traffic, rendering it unavailable to users. Understanding the different types of attacks is critical for putting effective mitigation measures in place. These threats target three layers of a network:

  • Layer 3 (network layer) - This type of attack focuses on overwhelming the victim's network infrastructure with IP packets, effectively crippling its servers and routers.
  • Layer 4 (transport layer) - Layer 4 attacks target protocols such as TCP and UDP, overwhelming the victim's network with a barrage of connection requests or malformed packets, resulting in service disruption.
  • Layer 7 (application layer) - Layer 7 attacks aim at exploiting vulnerabilities in web applications and services, overpowering the web servers and causing excessive resource consumption, often mimicking legitimate user traffic.

How to mitigate these types of attacks

To mitigate the impact of DDoS attacks, businesses should implement robust processes that cover several critical areas, starting with network routing. Using intelligent routing systems, suspicious traffic can be diverted away from network infrastructure and sent to dedicated filtering systems for analysis and further mitigation.

Next is detection. Using advanced traffic analysis tools allows for the real-time identification of abnormal patterns and indicators of DDoS attacks, allowing for immediate action. This is followed by a response. Developing quick and automated response mechanisms allows for timely countermeasures such as blocking malicious traffic or limiting the attack's impact.

To end the process, IT teams need to adapt their strategies based on their earnings. Staying ahead of attackers requires constantly updating and improving defence strategies and tools based on evolving attack techniques and trends. These four steps are a solid foundation for mitigating DDoS attacks and ensuring that your company is readily protected.

Working with a cyber security provider

To effectively combat DDoS attacks, businesses should form a strong partnership with seasoned cyber security providers. When working with a provider, look for the following characteristics:

1) Service Level Agreements (SLAs) - Ensure that the provider's SLAs include guaranteed response times and mitigation capabilities.

2) Software availability - Select a provider that provides high availability and dependable software solutions to avoid system downtime during an attack.

3) Simple onboarding - Choose a security provider that simplifies the onboarding process by integrating seamlessly with existing systems.

4) Rapid responses - To mitigate potential attacks, you need to partner with a provider who has a proven track record of quick and efficient responses.

Other DDoS protection tools

To stand the best chance in defending your IT systems from a DDoS attack, companies need a combination of software and hardware tools that work in unison. These tools may include DDoS mitigation appliances, which are purpose-built hardware devices capable of identifying and mitigating DDoS attacks in real-time.

IT departments should also invest in traffic scrubbing services, or cloud-based solutions that inspect incoming traffic and filter out malicious packets, ensuring that only clean and safe data reaches the enterprise network.

Lastly, software firewalls are a valuable tool. Implementing robust firewalls helps filter traffic and identify potential malicious sources, offering an additional layer of protection. These basic tools are affordable and can enhance the DDoS protection capabilities of an enterprise with ease.

SEACOM’s DDoS Protect service

SEACOM offers an innovative cyber security tool called DDoS Protect. It’s a comprehensive solution that offers advanced detection algorithms and autonomous capabilities that allow it to effectively identify and neutralise DDoS threats before they impact an enterprise's network.

As a leading DDoS protection provider in South Africa, SEACOM aims to protect businesses from the damaging effects of these cyber threats, providing peace of mind and uninterrupted online operations. Understanding the threat of DDoS attacks and implementing the appropriate tools and strategies are critical for South African businesses.

Given the magnitude of these attacks, partnering with a trusted cyber security provider like SEACOM and leveraging our advanced DDoS Protect solution is a critical step towards securing digital assets. Protect your company from DDoS attacks and ensure continuous online operations today. For more information about our cyber security services or to get a quote, email us at or leave us a message.

SEACOM owns Africa’s most extensive network of information and communications technology (ICT) infrastructure, including subsea cables and secure internet connections. We offer a diverse range of flexible, scalable and high-quality solutions for businesses that meet world-class standards for connectivity.

SEACOM is privately owned and operated, making it agile and adaptable to the needs of the customer. This makes us the preferred ICT and internet connectivity partner for African businesses and peripheral service providers. We can guarantee high-speed, low-latency and secure internet connections to corporates and small enterprises.

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