Mitigating the risk of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks has always been a key part of IT security strategy, but the rise of 5G networks could intensify the importance of DDoS attack protection.
By flooding an online service or website with too many service requests at once, cyber criminals can use DDoS attacks to effectively shut them down. Targets include industries ranging from financial services and healthcare to utilities and even the public sector.
A successful DDoS attack means customers can't access the services they need. Employees are locked out of critical applications. Several high-profile companies suffered lost revenues and long-term damage to their reputation when DDoS attacks made the headlines.
How 5G is raising the stakes of DDoS attack protection
While 5G network rollouts are bringing a host of advantages to organizations of all kinds, they also introduce the potential for DDoS attacks to proliferate.
Compared with previous generations of network technology, for example, 5G has the potential for huge capacity, someday supporting up to a million devices per square kilometer. That should allow considerable growth in smart devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT), which, in turn, could pave the way for everything from autonomous vehicles to smart cities.
On the other hand, cyber criminals could take advantage of that increased attack surface and harness those smart devices for launching DDoS threats. They can also take over vulnerable servers, routers and other nodes on the network to form an army of bots.
Since IT security teams can't block a single illicit source, the distributed nature of these attacks makes them particularly difficult to contain. All this means that DDoS attack protection is more important than ever.