Optus pushes network-level DDoS protection

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Optus pushes network-level DDoS protection

Breaks first rule of security.

Optus has broken the first rule of protecting its network against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks - by advertising that it can.

The telco this week announced the availability of DDoS protection as well as a security-as-a-service offering the company said would provide real-time email virus scanning and some basic security management tools.

The solutions, based on an Optenet solution delivered by Nokia Siemens Networks, would be integrated at the core of Optus' Evolve IP network to retain user speeds.

Optus would guarantee DDoS protection with the same uptime as its Evolve network service level agreement, although customers would need to opt into the agreement again when deploying the DDoS protection option.

Bulletproof Networks chief operating officer Lorenzo Modesto told iTnews that while Optus' size and inherent volume provided benefits in case of mitigation against distributed denial of service attacks, it would likely face challenges in smooth escalation of the service, both internally and externally.

"It's ironic but one of the first rules of DDoS mitigation is not to advertise the fact," he said.

Modesto has previously pointed to challenger telcos such as Internode and Pacific Network (Pacnet) as being more agile and therefore capable of responding to such attacks.

"History shows [Tier one providers] don't tend to be as responsive," he said .

"Non-Tier One providers tend to have multiple paths in and are more responsive in times like this."

In order to proactively identify and mitigate against any such attacks, Modesto argued Optus would need to invest in levels 2 and 3 helpdesk support staff to resolve any apparent DDoS issues, rather than relying on the basic helpdesk.

He also questioned traditional methods of mitigating against the attacks, often done by automatically preventing malicious traffic from entering a network.

"There's always the risk that a false-positive triggers an automatic block on legitimate traffic," he said.

"You'll see this [DDoS protection] become part of all mission critical hosting offerings in the coming few years and then it will, as it always has, be down to which mission critical hosting provider provides the smartest, most agile and proactive service."

The Optus offerings coincided with the release of the telco's sponsored survey into the future workplace.

The telco found that of the 320 HR and IT directors surveyed, 56 percent would grant access to personal smartphones on the corporate network within five years; up six percent from now.

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