RSAC Fireside Chat: The necessary care and feeding of DDoS detection and protection systems

By Byron V. Acohido

At the start, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks were often motivated by bragging rights or mischief.

Related: The role of ‘dynamic baselining’

DDoS attack methodology and defensive measures have advanced steadily since then. Today, DDoS campaigns are launched by political activists, state-sponsored operatives and even by business rivals.

Targets can be high-profile web services and critical infrastructure, not just utilities like power and water, but also the telco companies that supply the Internet backbone. High-profile DDoS attacks have spun out of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas War and unrest in France.

As RSA Conference 2024 gets underway next week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, dealing with the privacy and security fall out of those back-to-back disruptive developments will command a lot attention.

Ahead of conference, I had the chance to visit with Ahmed Abdelhalim, senior director of security solutions, A10 Networks. We discussed how defensive tools and strategies have advanced, as well, and why it’s more crucial than ever for organizations to make proactive and continuous use of them.

For a full drill down, please give the accompanying podcast a listen.

Notable strides have been made in enhancing detection technologies. A10, for instance, has helped pioneer the development of “dynamic baselining,” a means to adapt detection thresholds in real-time, learning from traffic patterns to differentiate between normal fluctuations and potential threats.

“The old static models just don’t cut it anymore,” Abdelhalim observes. “We need systems that learn and adapt as quickly as the attackers do.”

No one expects the frequency of DDoS attacks to decline; companies need to stay vigilant. I’ll keep watch and keep reporting.


Pulitzer Prize-winning business journalist Byron V. Acohido is dedicated to fostering public awareness about how to make the Internet as private and secure as it ought to be.

(LW provides consulting services to the vendors we cover.)

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