Last year, over 50% of large, mid-tier, and small enterprises worldwide experienced a surge in demand for mitigation services against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Large companies carried the bulk of the order with 69%. DDoS trends suggest that this threat will continue, and projections indicate the global revenue for the mitigation and protection market will rise to $4.1 billion USD by 2023.

A DDoS attack involves overwhelming a server or network with a flood of manipulated internet traffic to compromise and exploit machines and systems. While the United States was the target of 35% of these hits, the United Kingdom 29.4%, China 18%, and less than 4% at other nations, distributed denial of service in Southeast Asia is likely to grow as the region embraces a digital economy.

Cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s Global Research and Analysis Team (GReAT) says 70% of Southeast Asia’s residents, about 400 million people, will be targeted by cybercriminals. The most significant cybersecurity threats will affect telehealth, biometric technology, privacy, eCommerce, online payments, remote working, and vulnerabilities in 5G technology. Malicious actors may be crypto mining, planting malware through email phishing, carrying out virtual scams to obtain money, or using DDoS to mask their intended data breach activities.

Factors contributing to the DDoS threat in Southeast Asia

As mentioned earlier, digital transformation in Southeast Asia is a catalyst for cyber threats. The e-conomy SEA 2020 report by Bain & Company, Google, and Temasek sheds light on the region’s strong online economy growth and points out that the gross merchandise value (GMV) will cross $300 billion USD by 2025. Couple that with the increased internet usage and the growth in new consumers, and you have a larger pool of potential cybercrime victims.

The digital payments segment in the region should exceed $135 billion USD in 2021 and reach $232 billion USD by 2025. The rising number of transactions presents criminals with opportunities to steal from unsuspecting citizens.

According to market research solutions firm ReportLinker, financial gain is not the only motive for launching DDoS attacks in Asia-Pacific (APAC). Other reasons include the increase in Internet of Things (IoT) connections, access to cyberattack tools, and the popularity of gaming and online media companies. Moreover, there are geopolitical concerns, with state-sponsored DDoS attacks geared toward government agencies and critical infrastructure.

Thus, digital users’ challenges revolve around a lack of tech solutions, inadequate cybersecurity expertise, a shortage of cyber protection professionals, and poor end-user awareness of online threats. Furthermore, cybercriminals are multiplying on the dark web, and open-source software makes it easy for anyone to engage in the attacks. Combined with insufficient data security insights, these factors dictate that the whole region must work harder to mitigate the attacks.

Combating DDoS to keep businesses operational

The third quarter of 2021 brought an increase in DDoS attacks, with businesses in the computer software, IT, gaming and gambling industries, along with regular internet-based companies experiencing an average rise of 573%. Moreover, attacks worldwide were up by 44% from the previous quarter. Nevertheless, companies can take several steps to protect their online integrity and safety, businesses, and customers.

Kaspersky’s Global Corporate IT Security Risks Survey (ITSRS) found that financial losses for companies with early breach detection were 32% lower than those without experience. Transparent disclosures to customers resulted in 28% less economic damage than in cases where the public learned about the data loss through the media. In addition, data breach costs rose by 47% for businesses using outdated technology. 

Accordingly, companies must take a proactive approach to keep their businesses safe, profitable, and operational. Some of the steps they can take to combat DDoS attacks include using cloud protection based services, installing special network equipment, keeping their technology updated, and outsourcing their security needs to experts.

Consideration should be given to investing in DDoS and bot protection services, the leading provider being Cloudflare Security, which has the most significant market share globally at 81.38%. Other companies in the sector are F5 Silverline DDoS Protection, Imperva Capsula, and DOSarrest.

Finally, there should be a risk and crisis management plan in place for cyberattacks. Employees must receive training on keeping their computers free from malware and falling victim to email phishing scams.

Attacks through the distributed denial of service in Southeast Asia threaten established companies, budding startups, governments, and the public. Hostile online elements await opportunities to take advantage of unsuspecting users.

The DDoS trends suggest this issue will not be going away anytime soon. Thus, businesses should invest in online security tools and hire tech-savvy workers to thwart external dangers hurting them in the region. If not, frustrated customers may eventually move to another company that does a better job of fighting cybercrime.