Monetizing Security in the Channel: DDoS Mitigation and Cloud Firewall

With cybersecurity concerns growing across virtually every industry, it’s critical for you as a consultant to be able to point your customers to best protection. According to the Information Systems Audit and Control Association’s (ISACA) 2015 Global Cybersecurity Status Report, only 38 percent of worldwide organizations claim they are prepared to handle a sophisticated cyberattack, meaning your customers are likely vulnerable.
Don’t allow them to fall victim to a spontaneous attack; ensure they’re prepared for when disaster strikes. For starters, here are two valuable solutions that could make great additions to your portfolio, along with two products that encompass them.

DDoS Mitigation

What is DDoS?
Short for distributed denial of service, DDoS attacks are when a massive influx of web traffic from a multitude of IP addresses floods a machine or network resource. As a result, all systems shut down, preventing legitimate requests from being fulfilled. Think of it as a group of protesters crowding the entrance of a store to disrupt normal operations and keep buyers out; it’s essentially the same thing. 

It’s Running Rampant
According to Akamai’s State of the Internet report, DDoS attacks in Q4 2015 spiked 40 percent from the previous quarter. This has continued into 2016, as some notable recent attacks include:

  • BBC – Considered the largest attack in history. Website was shut down for multiple hours.
  • Blizzard Entertainment – Hit by two attacks, both of which caused latency, connection and login issues for its customers.
  • The US Library of Congress – Multiple websites were inaccessible through a “massive and sophisticated DNS assault.”
  • NSA –That’s right, an organization dedicated entirely to “the protection of U.S. government communications and information systems” had its website shut down by a DDoS attack.

Perhaps the most terrifying thing about DDoS attacks is how cheap they are. In fact, they can be bought for as little as $5 on the black market, according to Dell SecureWorks’ 2016 Underground Hacker Marketplace Report. With such easy and affordable access to this heinous of a threat, it’s critical to have systems in place to combat it.

Enter DDoS Mitigation
DDoS mitigation protects attacked networks by passing internet traffic through “traffic scrubbing” filters. More specifically, it correctly identifies human traffic from bots and hijacked web browsers by examining attributes like IP address, cookie variations, http headers, and Javascript footprints. Because of how common DDoS attacks are these days, it’s recommended for any business with public-facing IP addresses or DNS servers to have anti-DDoS tech and an anti-DDoS emergency response in place.

Cloud-Based Firewall

Why Use Cloud Firewalls?
According to Tierpoint, two-thirds of all workloads will be processed in cloud data centers by 2017. This makes it highly important to have a firewall solution that can adapt to evolving cyber threats. The problem with on-premise firewalls is they make increasing bandwidth capacity and adding additional security features more difficult than their cloud counterparts. They also don’t sanitize traffic before reaching the network, making businesses that use them more susceptible to DDoS attacks and malware infections.

A More Efficient Alternative
Cloud-based firewalls provide a more efficient solution, mainly due to their ability to clean traffic before it hits the network and easily add on security features like intrusion prevention, web content filtering, and traffic scrubbing. They’re also more advantageous than on-premise firewalls because they possess the following traits:

  • Scalability – Scale as bandwidth increases or hardware upgrades occur. Designed to meet the ever-increasing demands of enterprises.
  • Availability – Highly available through an infrastructure with redundant power, HVAC, network services and backup strategies.
  • Extensibility – Provider network manager can provide a protected communications path. This can extend well beyond the boundaries of any single-service provider’s network.

An Easier Sale
Additionally, more carriers are moving to cloud-based firewalls for WAN solutions because they centralize security management by the provider, allowing for greater use in monitoring traffic and applying rules across a wide network. In essence, if you’re already providing WAN, cloud firewall is an easy sell for customers looking to transition to cloud-based

Verizon and Masergy’s Unique Approaches to Security

Verizon’s Rapid Response Retainer
Launched in late 2015, Rapid Response Retainer (RRR) gives customers access to security expertise before, during and after a breach. This advanced solution helps with preparation by defining security policies, conducting network health checks, training employees, testing plans and running post-incident forensics via an investigative liaison.

The greatest advantage of this product is that Verizon’s Investigative Response team continuously works to identify ways to mature and improve internal incident response. Should an incident occur, experts are on retainer and can provide global on-site support to conduct a forensic investigation. These professional services also include 100 hours of on-site building, testing, war gaming, and coaching first responders and executives through a breach scenario.

Additionally, the solution can also be used for a variety of purposes, including e-discovery, litigation support, data recovery, in-depth malware analysis and more. This provides an added layer of protection from DDoS attacks, data breaches and other security threats.

Masergy’s Unified Enterprise Security
Also offering DDoS mitigation and cloud firewall solutions is Masergy’s Unified Enterprise Security (UES). Fulfilling the promise of a truly integrated advanced threat-management solution, UES correlates information across all existing enterprise security systems, predicting, detecting and defending against threats before they emerge.

Like RRR, UES also provides your customers with a staff of certified security experts that continuously monitor the network. While doing so, they forensically investigate abnormalities, block data exfiltration, and deliver actionable intelligence and remediation guidance. This benefits the end user by combining the best qualities of humans and machines to create a system that gets smarter every day.

It can also deliver a comprehensive and fully managed suite of services that can be deployed standalone or fully integrated with existing tech. Because of this, it can be presented to customers as a solution for present and future threats. For instance, you can position UES as a managed firewall solution that collects, analyzes and predicts abnormal network traffic to stop threats before they emerge.

Expand Your Portfolio with These Solutions and Offerings

Security risks are more advanced and abundant than ever. Because of this, your clients are relying on a consultant to provide the solutions needed to keep their sensitive data protected and their systems clear of malicious bot activity. By expanding your portfolio with security solutions, you’re opening up a new avenue of monetization and protecting your customers from malicious cyber threats. It’s a win-win for all parties involved.

Good questions to start the conversation with your customers:

  • What partnerships, technology and processes do you currently have in place to protect your environment?
  • What third-party vendors do you work with that could potentially leave you vulnerable, allowing access to your network?
  • What is the status of your emergency response plan (incident response plan)?
  • Do you have a business continuity plan in place?
  • What in-house expertise do you have to react to an incident that occurs?


About the Author
Adam Dawson is TBI’s Marketing Communications Manager. As the organization’s wordsmith, he is responsible for creating engaging content and carrying out internal and external communications programs. This includes circulating information to TBI’s agent partners, educating them on hot topics in the industry, and guiding them to the best provider products and solutions for their portfolios. 
You can reach Adam at or connect with him on LinkedIn.