First PH-based anti-DDoS ?scrubbing? center starts operations

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By Tom Noda

IP Converge Data Services (IPC), a subsidiary of ePLDT, formally announced on Wednesday, September 3, the opening of the first in-country DDoS (distributed denial of service) ?scrubbing? center.

IPC president Rene Huergas (left) speaks during the presscon as IPC director for product management and marketing Ni?o Valmonte (center) and Nexusguard executive vice president Bill Barry  look on
IPC president Rene Huergas (left) speaks during the presscon as IPC director for product management and marketing Ni?o Valmonte (center) and Nexusguard executive vice president Bill Barry look on

In a press briefing in Makati City, IPC president Rene Huergas said the data scrubbing center is now “fully operational” and is co-located in one of IPC’s data centers.

The scrubbing center is a result of IPC?s partnership with DDoS mitigation company Nexusguard, which invested about $500,000 in the venture. The cost of putting up such a facility would be about $2 million, but since IPC already had existing data centers, its counterpart share was significantly less than $1.5 million.

Despite the tie-up with Nexusguard, IPC said it still maintains Prolexic Technologies, a US-based DDoS protection and mitigation provider, as a partner for some specific market segments.

Huergas said being locally hosted serves as IPC’s key differentiator as it affords clients minimal latency and that local attack traffic is mitigated in-country, addressing data sovereignty concerns. Customers are also guaranteed less or zero work distractions since they won?t notice that they are being protected as the solution works quietly in the background.

Nexusguard executive vice president Bill Barry said IPC’s new scrubbing center will be connected to the Nexusguard global network of scrubbing centers, allowing attacks to be mitigated at the country of origin.

“Attack traffic aimed at Philippine targets are mitigated on our end and never reach the country,” Barry said. “Our international facilities provide IPC with redundancy and failover options if so needed.”

Barry reported DDoS attacks launched in the second quarter of 2014 increased to 77.52 percent compared to the first quarter and that the longest attack was six times longer and the peak packets-per-second increased by 149 percent.

“The Philippines has been a big DDoS target. It is the top three country having the most targeted companies,” Barry said, but noted the country had less botnets compared with Russia and Malaysia.

“Prevention of botnets in the Philippines is actually a great value,” he added. Botnets refers to an army of malware-infected computers also tagged as “zombies” since the machines are able to run automated tasks over the Internet without users knowing it.

Huergas said there has been an alarming growth of DDoS attacks in scale and variety, including an increase of targeted industries.

DDoS attacks are designed to infiltrate websites by flooding the site?s origin server with bogus requests, often from multiple locations and networks, resulting in slow page loads or a complete blockage of legitimate site traffic.

According to IPC director for product management and marketing Ni?o Valmonte, industries that are now experiencing DDoS attacks are banking and financial services, online gaming, government agencies, e-commerce companies, schools, media and broadcasting, telecommunications and Internet service providers or ISPs, cloud-based software and services, travel and hospitality, including healthcare and pharma.

As a monthly subscription product, the DDoS mitigation service serves an as ?insurance? against debilitating attacks. IPC said the service is cloud-based and thus can be treated as an operating expense, compared to the large capex dealt from purchasing an appliance.

Currently, IPC has two active data centers located in the cities of Makati and Taguig. A third one is scheduled to open within the 10,000 square meter property of IPC in Paranaque City.

“The new IPC data center is a purpose built telco-grade, carrier-neutral, international Internet data center facility operated by experienced DDoS mitigation professionals,” Huergas said, noting the facility’s availability and security are ensured with IPC’s ISO certifications, its 24/7 IDC staff, network operations team, customer support, security team, and automated facility monitoring system.

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