DDoS attacks pose bigger challenge for smaller banks

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One of the big stories of 2012 was the fearsome distributed denial of services attacks that banks suffered.

The attack generated lots of publicity, as experts weighed in with their view that the attack had to have been of the APT variety. The big banks generated most of the headlines of course, but smaller banks were hit en masse as well. More than two-thirds of banks, in fact, have suffered such an attack over the last year, according to new research from the Ponemon Institute. About half said they were the target of multiple attacks.

The issue here for small institutions is that  the wherewithal to defend against ever more aggressive attacks may be lacking. The big banks have the resources to deploy strong defenses and invest in more advanced technology to thwart the attackers and in more employees. Big banks can also avail themselves of assistance from such entities as the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Smaller banks will likely have a lonelier time.

"Among the problems IT staff face dealing with this attacks, 50 per cent cited insufficient personnel and expertise and a lack of effective security technology as the most serious concerns, followed by insufficient budget resources. Despite the recognition that the threat of DDoS attacks is not abating, the survey revealed that 35 per cent of banks are still predominately relying on previously deployed traditional technology, in particular firewalls, to protect their organization from today's sophisticated attacks," notes the Financial Times.

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