- Sensitive customer information was stolen for over one in four companies in India
- Cloud service downtime, as a result of attacks, reached 65% in India.
EfficientIP, a leading specialist in DNS security for service continuity, user protection and data confidentiality, today announced the results of its 2020 Global DNS Threat Report. The annual research, which was conducted in collaboration with leading market intelligence firm International Data Corporation (IDC), sheds light on the frequency of the different types of DNS attack and the associated costs for the last year.
Nearly four out of five organizations (79%) experienced DNS attacks, with the average cost of each attack hovering around US$924K. The Report shows that organizations across all industries suffered an average 9.5 attacks this year. These figures illustrate the pivotal role of the DNS for network security, as threat actors make use of DNS’ dual capacity as either a threat vector or a direct objective.
Costs of attacks in India decreased by 6.08%, from about US$835K to US$784K. This is a slightly higher decrease in costs compared to the entire Asia region, which saw a decrease of 2.62% from US$814K to US$792K. Despite a decrease in costs per attack, of the countries surveyed, India saw the highest number of attacks suffered by a company, 12.13 per organisation. 27% of companies in India had sensitive customer information stolen, compared to 16% globally. Poor brand image is also of major concern; India surpassed the global average of 29%, with 44% of companies surveyed in India suffering brand damage due to DNS attacks.
Attackers appear to increasingly target the cloud. As the number of business-critical applications hosted in hybrid-cloud environments has increased, so has the attack surface for cybercriminals. The Threat Report shows that the number of businesses that suffered from cloud service downtime increased from 41% in 2019 to 50% in 2020, a sharp growth of nearly 22%. Cloud service downtime in India surpassed the global average, reaching 65%. The increased adoption of cloud services during the global COVID-19 pandemic could make the cloud even more attractive for attackers.
In-house app downtime remained extremely high: 62% this year compared to 63% last year. As a whole, application downtime-whether in-house or in the cloud-remains the most significant result of DNS attacks; of the companies surveyed, 82% said that they had experienced application downtime of some kind.
The Threat Report, now in its sixth year, shows the broad range and changing popularity of attack types ranging from volumetric to low signal. This year phishing led in popularity (39% of companies experienced phishing attempts), malware-based attacks (34%), and traditional DDoS (27%). Crucially, the size of DDoS attacks is also increasing, with almost two-thirds (64%) being over 5Gbit/s.
Despite these worrying numbers, enterprise awareness of how to combat these attacks is improving: 77% of respondents in the 2020 Threat Report deemed DNS security a critical component of their network architecture, compared to 64% in the previous year. Additionally, use of Zero Trust strategies is maturing: 31% of companies are now running or piloting Zero Trust, up from 17% last year. Use of predictive analytics has increased from 45% to 55%.
“Recognition of DNS security criticality has increased to 77% as most organizations are now impacted by a DNS attack or vulnerability of some sort on a regular basis,” says Romain Fouchereau, Research Manager European Security at IDC. “The consequences of such attacks can be very damaging financially, but also have a direct impact on the ability to conduct business. Ensuring DNS service availability and integrity must become a priority for any organization.”
DNS offers valuable information against would-be hackers that is currently going underutilized. According to results from the 2020 Threat Report, currently 25% of companies perform no analytics on their DNS traffic (compared to 30% last year). 35% of organizations do not make use of internal DNS traffic for filtering, and only 12% collect DNS logs and correlate through machine learning.
“In this era of key IT initiatives like IoT, Edge, SD-WAN and 5G, DNS should play a much larger role in the security ecosystem,” says Ronan David, VP of Strategy for EfficientIP. “It offers valuable information that can make security strategies against hackers much more proactive and preventative. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the need to shore up DNS defenses, when any network or app downtime has major business implications.”
There are several ways that companies can make better use of DNS with threat intelligence and User Behavioral Analytics, to enhance attack protection capacity. A DNS security solution can feed SIEMs and SOCs with actionable data & events, thus simplifying and accelerating detection and remediation. Of companies surveyed, 29% used Security and Event Management (SIEM) software to detect compromised devices, and 33% of companies passed DNS information to SIEM for analysis (up from 22% in 2019).