Level 3 beefs up APAC security with three new DDoS scrubbing centers

Level 3 has set up three new DDoS scrubbing centers in the Asia-Pacific region.

Level 3 is making an appeal to the security concerns of multinational companies (MNCs) located in the Asia-Pacific region by offering a set of new distributed denial of service (DDoS) mitigation solutions.

The service provider has set up new DDoS scrubbing centers in three locations—Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore—where it will offer layers of defense through enhanced network routing, rate limiting and filtering that can be paired with cloud-based scrubbing.

Since Level 3 began operating in the Asia-Pacific region in 2004, the service provider has grown its on-net fiber reach to 14 markets with service reach to over 50 markets in the region.

RELATED: Level 3 helps enterprises stay ahead of security threats with DDoS service

Level 3 currently offers its customers in APAC Virtual Private Networks, Direct Internet Access, Ethernet Virtual Private Line, managed services, unified communications, content delivery networks and security solutions.

By having scrubbing centers in these three Asia-Pacific locations, Level 3 can potentially lower network traffic latency. Previously, attack traffic had to be rerouted to the U.S. West Coast and then forwarded back to the customer, which kept the website up but made it run more slowly.  

Chris Richter, senior vice president of managed security services at Level 3, told FierceTelecom that the uptick in the region’s security breaches motivated the service provider to open scrubbing centers in these three Asia-Pacific locations.

“Our threat intelligence labs look at 48 billion net flow sessions per day and our team of scientists in Bloomfield, Colorado, have determined that the level of bot net activity is increasing such that we probably need to move part of our front line of defense to the Asia-Pacific region,” Richter said.

APAC, global threats rising

Asia-Pacific is a key region for Asian and MNC enterprises, making global security services like Level 3 is offering essential given the rising threat landscape in APAC. A recent report by Project Sonar listed Australia, China and Hong Kong among the most vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Richter said the service will address attacks not only for customers in the Asia-Pacific region, but also for MNC customers that have satellite offices there.

“This isn’t just for customers in Asia,” Richter said. “It’s for customers anywhere in the world with attack traffic that’s emanating from Asia will first hit those scrubbing centers there if it makes sense and then the cleansed traffic will be forwarded from those scrubbing centers onto the customer.”  

IoT-compromising malware is also on the rise.

According to Level 3 Threat Research Labs, many IoT connected devices are being compromised and enabling attacks reaching in excess of 600 Gbps.

In tandem with deploying the scrubbing centers, Level 3 deployed Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Flowspec on its global backbone, giving its enterprise customers another way to keep DDoS attacks at bay.

“We globally deployed BGP flowspec, which works in conjunction with our scrubbing centers,” Richter said. “The requirement was driven by our very large enterprise customers, particularly our financial customers, which allows us to scrub a great deal of Layer 3 and Layer 4 traffic at our core router level before traffic has to be routed to a scrubbing center.”

Scaling scrubbing sites

Level 3 now has 11 scrubbing centers on four continents. Besides APAC, Level 3 has established scrubbing center locations in São Paulo, Frankfurt, London, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.

Richter said that while he could not name any specific new locations yet, Level 3 will open additional centers throughout other regions.

“We’re continuing to assess new locations for future scrubbing centers,” Richter said. “In Europe the scrubbing centers we’re building are moving east and we’re also looking at additional opportunities in Latin America.”

In particular, Level 3 says South Korea could be a good target for another scrubbing center in the future. As the country’s incumbent telcos have expanded the availability of broadband service, there has been a rise in botnets.

“South Korea has really emerged as a hot bed of bot net activity in the last two years,” Richter said. “I think the reason for that is the expansion of high-speed internet activity as well as infrastructure that can be used as part of a bot net army.”  

Overall, the need for scrubbing center locations like the ones Level 3 provides will continue to rise, particularly in developing nations.

“Ninety percent of the individuals in developing nations are not connected to the internet, so that’s where all the growth is happening,” Richter said. “As those countries emerge, connectivity picks up and you combine the fact that many of these locations have institutions of higher learning it makes for the perfect set of ingredients to make bot nets and hacker hives.”