Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Worms to cost service providers $245 million in 2004
Study shows attacks on ISPs now a daily occurrence
Waterloo, Ontario; March 3, 2004 — Broadband service providers are quietly shouldering massive cost burdens in order to minimise the impact of worm attacks on residential subscribers, according to new research from Sandvine.
Though worms are usually associated with attacks on corporate networks, the malicious, malformed data traffic they generate is also wreaking havoc on service provider networks, degrading the broadband experience for home Internet users and imposing anywhere from thousands to millions in unplanned network and customer support costs directly related to thwarting attacks.
Working from metrics derived from customers and selected industry sources, Sandvine has calculated that worm attacks – small and large – will cost the North American service provider sector as much as $245 million in 2004.
$245 million includes the cost of specialised tactical response teams, swamping of customer support resources, inflated transit costs and perhaps most damaging over the long term, a loss of brand equity that aggravates the industry-wide problem of customer churn.
“The quickening pace of worm attacks makes understanding their impact on service providers increasingly urgent,” said Tom Donnelly, co-founder and VP, marketing and sales of Sandvine Incorporated. “Worms exact a massive toll by forcing service providers to mobilise premium resources in order to quell attacks and protect the subscriber experience. Uncovering the true costs and inefficiencies that worms impose on the broadband sector is crucial if we’re going to identify appropriate solutions.”
In addition to the onerous cost of large-scale attacks, Sandvine researchers have discovered another type of expensive worm activity: persistent, low-level attack traffic caused by remnants of previous worms that tenaciously cling-on to residential subscriber PCs. Cumulatively, worms of both magnitudes are now an operational preoccupation for network managers and a worrisome drag on ISP profit margins.
For more on the study, download Sandvine’s white paper “Worms gobbling broadband profits: The financial impact of attack traffic on service provider networks.” [download center]
For more about worms, their behavior at each stage of development and subscriber-friendly options for mitigating the impact of worm traffic, visit http://www.sandvine.com/solutions/download_center.asp.
SANDVINE'S STUDY: KEY FINDINGS