Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 59 | Page 86

Mike O ’ Sullivan , CTO at INFINOX the network or server resources commonly with a flood of HTTP traffic . However , being in the financial services industry , we know we ’ re also at risk from a range of threat actors . It is important for us to protect ourselves against all attack vectors such as phishing , ransomware and SQL injection attacks . Even though I can ’ t divulge the full range of defences INFINOX has , I can certainly say that Cloudflare has become a key ingredient in our secret security sauce .
What impact can these incidents have on an organisation ( such as downtime , reputational damage and financial loss )? consists of seven self-contained layers , each with a defined function . The OSI model is a tried and tested method for understanding and troubleshooting issues that may arise at any point in the networking process . Assuming a problem can be narrowed down to one specific layer of the model , a lot of unnecessary work can be avoided when conducting root cause analysis which can aid service recovery . Layer 7 is also called the Application Layer and is the highest layer of the OSI model , being the closest to the end-user . The OSI model dictates that each layer only communicates directly with the layer above or below it . Software applications such as web browsers , email clients and our customer application mechanisms rely on the application layer to initiate communications . One of the standout reasons INFINOX chose to partner with Cloudflare was its advanced Distributed Denial of Service ( DDoS ) protection for OSI layers .
The impact of such incidents is often monetary . The main outcome for a trading customer can be a temporary disabling of the platform , or trading access , during a DDoS attack . As a multi-regulated business , the impact of these events on financial loss and reputational damage is not to be taken lightly . Through Cloudflare , we have invested in bringing the most cutting-edge tools to our disposal to further protect our customers and our brand , globally .
For context , the average cost of a DDoS attack in the US is around US $ 218,000 according to 2021 statistics . I believe this doesn ’ t include the often-forgotten costs such as service credits for SLA breaches , or compensation following unplanned downtime . It is also very difficult – some might say impossible – to place a dollar figure on reputational damage , but it has a monetary impact as customers essentially lose trust and are concerned their data isn ’ t safe post-incident . The cycle of reputational damage and lack of customer trust feeds itself .
How do layer 7 attacks work and how does Cloudflare protect against these types of attacks ?
The common threat within the current security climate for most financial service firms are DDoS attacks , with the current risk set by many CTOs as an ‘ if ’ not ‘ when ’ event . Layer 7 DDoS attacks attempt to overwhelm
How would you recommend organisations take a proactive approach to manage and mitigate layer 7 attacks – what practices should they have in place ?
My recommendation is having a web application firewall with a combination of external and internal additional network protection measures and processes in place is often the key to successful protection . Filtering IP traffic through reputational databases and CAPTCHAs for bot protection is also something people should look closely at . Alerting is key – reduce the overall support while simultaneously raising the alarm when required . When I took my first steps into online trading , the world ’ s financial markets had brief but significant closure periods in a given week which was in line with their trading hours . With the rise of crypto , a 24x7 alerting and support approach is critical . To paraphrase a familiar trader , ‘ The markets never sleep , so why should security ?’ p
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