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New BT security system reduces response time to denial of service attacks


BT today announced the launch of a new detection and mitigation solution for countering Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks developed in partnership with Arbor Networks, one of the markets leading DDoS protection companies. The new BT managed service offering will be the first solution to market utilising Arbor’s new threat management system (TMS) technology and will reduce response time to attacks.

DDoS occurs when an attacker uses hundreds or even thousands of computers from all over the Internet to target a single customer device or service in order to render it useless. The phenomenon is an increasing problem for UK companies: according to a 2006 DTI study, 14 per cent of large UK businesses reported a DDoS attack in 2006.

The BT solution differs from other DDoS prevention systems by applying Arbor’s TMS technology to develop a unique profile of expected traffic for each client. A network of Arbor threat detectors across BTNet, BT’s flagship Internet access product, monitor the internet traffic directed at a website to identify traffic surges and unusual patterns of activity which could signify a DDoS attack. When an attack is identified, the traffic is diverted through a mitigation device that filters out attack traffic and allows genuine traffic to continue on to the client’s site.

BT’s 24 hour management centre uses a dedicated and integrated management console to dramatically reduce response times to attacks from thirty minutes to ten. Customers are provided with an individual view of their protected networks via a web portal enabling them to have up to the minute vision and detailed information of any DDoS attacks.

Ray Stanton, global head of BT’s business continuity, security and governance practice, said: “This is an exciting development for BT. We have worked in very close partnership with Arbor Networks to produce a solution that will redefine how we respond to increasingly targeted and pernicious DDoS attacks. Our solution provides a very high integration between sensing and mitigation devices and, therefore, the quickest response time to attacks.”

Speaking about the agreement with BT, Jack Boyle, CEO, Arbor Networks, said: “BT is the first company in Europe to use our Auto-Mitigation technology in this way and we have worked closely with them to deliver a genuine first-to-market solution. BT’s reputation in network and communication security market made them a logical partner for us.”

Currently only available to UK customers, the technology has already been delivered to a number of customers. BT has plans to extend the solution to European and US markets at a later date.

Stanton added: "Today’s bot networks are now more likely to be controlled by criminals than hackers. Criminals don’t do things for fun; they have a profit motive. Bot networks* are being used to send phishing e-mails and other spam. They’re being used for click fraud. And they’re being used as an extortion tool, increasingly against meanstream businesses: Pay up or we’ll DDoS you! Companies need to think about how they are protecting themselves.”


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