The Rise of Application-Layer Attacks

Vann Abernethy of NSFOCUS on Global Impact of DDoS
The Rise of Application-Layer Attacks
Conventional DDoS attacks are a nuisance, but the rise of application-layer attacks is a real concern, says Vann Abernethy of NSFOCUS. What are the risks, and how can organizations mitigate them?

NSFOCUS, based in China, focuses on DDoS defense around the globe. And amidst the surge of recent attacks, including those targeting U.S. banking institutions, the rise of those targeting the application layer is cause for alarm, Abernethy says.

"The big network spike attacks ... there's a lot of institutional knowledge about how to deal with these attacks," Abernethy says. "The application-layer attacks, however, are potentially damaging to your critical infrastructure."

Application-layer attacks can exhaust and potentially damage server, application and database resources, he says. "It's not just the DDoS attack you have to worry about, but what happens to those resources when they get exhausted so badly. "

In an interview with Information Security Media Group conducted at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit 2013, Abernethy discusses:

  • Global DDoS trends;
  • How organizations can improve DDoS defense;
  • The evolution of advanced malware threats.

Abernethy is senior product manager for the information security company NSFOCUS, which is headquartered in Beijing, China, with subsidiaries in the United States and Japan. He is responsible for product planning and program execution for multiple security products. He brings more than 15 years of experience working as both a product developer and IT/IS director. Throughout his career, Abernethy has developed and deployed security, network and infrastructure management products and solutions for a wide range of companies, ranging from SMBs to government to some of the largest, industry-leading enterprises worldwide.

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