Arbor takes on DDoS using app-layer protection

Michael Carroll
11 May 2011

Arbor Networks is today putting its money where its mouth is, launching a new protection product for data centers it claims plugs a gap in current systems.

The firm unveiled Pravail APS, a family of application-layer protection system for data centers focused on distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that Arbor says are now one of the major threats to service providers and enterprises alike.

Recent figures from the firm show that a quarter of all attacks today are application-based DDoS, which typically target HTTP, DNS and SMTP. Volumetric attacks are also on the rise, with Arbor’s annual security report revealing hackers broke through the 100Gbps barrier in 2010, as the number of DDoS attacks doubled year-on-year.

Rakesh Shah, director of product marketing at Arbor, told Telecoms that firewall and IPS protection alone is not enough to secure data centers, and could even be an attractive target for hackers due to the mine of state information they store. “That makes them part of the problem,” he notes.

In contrast, Pravail sits ahead of the firewall and is the first protection system designed specifically for availability attacks, Shah said. It can be deployed during an attack, and offers extensive reporting on the type of attack and where it originated, he added. “The majority of attacks are stopped out of the box.”

Arbor has also launched Cloud Signaling, which allows ISPs to use Pravail to tackle availability attacks that scale upstream into volumetric attacks – those that seek to cripple networks by overloading them with data.

Shah admits a series of recent high-profile attacks, including a data center outage at Amazon and Sony’s well-publicized PlayStation Network problems, make it a great time to launch a new security product. Attacks are “becoming more high profile and getting the attention of C-level executives,” he notes.

Four versions of Pravail will be available covering attack throughputs of 2Gbps, 4Gbps, 8Gbps and 10Gbps, with the 2Gb version likely to cost $65,000 (€45,259).

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