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

Level 3 Communications is enhancing its security portfolio with a new tool called the dedicated denial of service (DDoS) Mitigation Service that it says can help enterprises safeguard their critical data and systems.

By placing network protection in what it calls "scrubbing centers" near the network edge, Level 3 claims it can more effectively and rapidly respond to an attack on a business' network. The service provider has built a total of seven scrubbing centers, including five in the United States and two in Europe with plans to add a third center in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in May.

"In addition to what we already had on our backbone, we built out a network of scrubbing centers around the globe for more granular DDoS mitigation," said Chris Richter, senior vice president of managed security services at Level 3, in an interview with FierceTelecom.

Richter added that the service is also designed to give customers a one-stop shop for their DDoS services.

"We also decided to make it network agnostic because many of our customers don't just buy bandwidth from Level 3 because they buy from AT&T (NYSE: T), Verizon (NYSE: VZ), CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) and others so they want to have a single DDoS service provider."

Having a set of network controls and scrubbing centers enables Level 3 to predict and detect malicious attacks, alert customers and quickly re-route traffic to defend their critical data infrastructures. This multi-layer approach allows enterprises to protect their critical information from either a network or application attack.

When an attack occurs, traffic through border gateway protocol (BGP) will be diverted to the scrubbing center that's closest to the source of the attack.

"If the attack is distributed with traffic from the U.S., China, Eastern Europe all of our scrubbing centers can be brought to bear depending on how distributed the attack traffic is," Richter said.  

The service provider leverages its 4.5 terabits per second (Tbps) of DDoS ingest capacity to monitor customer traffic and route infected packets to one of Level 3's globally located scrubbing centers before being returned via a private connection or the public Internet.

Timing for such a service could not be better. Radware's Global Application and Network Security Report revealed that 51 percent of reported DDoS attacks targeted the network and 49 percent targeted applications.

"We have been getting a lot of pressure from customers over the years because we're one of the largest IP transit providers on the planet to have a DDoS mitigation service of our own," Richter said. "We do a lot to help other DDoS mitigation providers, we put up ACLs, we do threat research to benefit our customers so we have a lot of the basic tools in place."

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