Limited IP resources leave smaller ISPs vulnerable to judgement errors when making tough cybersecurity calls
An increasing number of cyber attacks on internet users is causing more and more internet blackouts as smaller Internet Providers struggle with tough choices and limited resources. Here, Gustavas Davidavicius, abuse prevention team lead at IPXO, shares insights on the role of human errors in ISP-related cyber security failures, and other measures that can be taken to reduce the incidence and impact of cyber attacks globally.
Over the last few years, Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have invested heavily in ramping up and fortifying their security infrastructure at unprecedented levels. Despite the sophisticated security infrastructure that ISPs have put in place, a sheer number of attacks has left smaller ISPs vulnerable to network failure, while addressing individual attacks. Following a closer examination of cybersecurity-related internet power outages, it seems tough judgment call errors were often behind the outages.
ISPs have been very proactive in their role in cyber security through sophisticated network protection protocols, improved customer support, and working with authorities to help identify and prevent potential threats. However, human error remains one of the factors that prevent the effective management of cyber attacks without causing major disruptions. According to a survey by IBM, human error is the main cause of 95% of cyber security breaches.
I have also reiterated this rhetoric by noting the DDoS attack on Vocus NZ, the third largest internet service provider in New Zealand, that occurred a few months back and knocked many interned users offline.
The pressures of having to make swift decisions can have a significant impact when managing security breaches. In this case, it seems that a few unfortunate decisions led to filtering out tons of legitimate traffic for all, leaving users without an Internet connection.
The expert also emphasised, that, in general, cyber resilience and reliability of internet resources need to be improved, also noting how IPXO could aid these efforts.
Cyber resilience has always been one of the top priorities, however, there is no single best solution that could address all the issues. As with all internet-related activities, the best way to protect yourself varies based on use cases and scope.
Hopefully, over time all ISPs will be properly shielded and make DDoS’ing no longer feasible or profitable in any way. However, to achieve this, a lot more of the current IPv4 address pool will have to be dedicated for this purpose. This is where IPXO steps in, by providing cyber defense experts the access to IPv4 space crucial for their expansion.
Every service provider looking to expand will need additional IP addresses to sustain more users or to simply add new locations. Having access to a bigger pool of IPv4s will enable to grow as a company, accumulate more resources and, consequently, become more resilient against the aforementioned cyber threats. “Lastly, this will also fuel healthy competition, lowering entry barriers for new companies in turn providing more options for consumers to choose from.
The author is Gustavas Davidavicius, abuse prevention team lead at IPXO.