Level 3 Communications has opened its first Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) scrubbing center in São Paulo, moving to simultaneously respond to an uptick in the region's security breaches while creating a foundation to deliver new security and NFV-based cloud services in Latin America.
The São Paulo scrubbing center provides a means to mitigate security attacks, helping customers in the region recover from malicious activity with less downtime.
Penetrating Latin America with a security scrubbing makes sense for Level 3, particularly as threats in the region have risen in recent years.
A Level 3 Threat Research Labs report called "Safeguarding the Internet" revealed that 12 percent of DDoS attacks target Latin America.
Chris Richter, senior vice president of global security services at Level 3, told FierceTelecom that opening the scrubbing center in Sao Paulo reflects the need to have centers in areas where attacks take place.
"Throughout the year, we're going to be launching several more scrubbing centers globally to cover the footprint that we need to cover, and the reason we're doing that is customers want a scrubbing center closest to the source of the attack," Richter said. "Having one in Latin America will enable companies down there to reduce the latency."
When Level 3 launched its first scrubbing center last year, the provider thought it would be enough to have centers in North America and Europe to handle attacks on Latin American companies. However, Level 3 is finding that a number of its largest media and financial service company customers are reporting that security attacks are originating in Brazil and other countries like Argentina and Peru.
"When we first launched the service, we thought it was sufficient to have scrubbing centers North America and Europe and most of the companies targeted in Latin America would be handled by those scrubbing centers," Richter said. "We came to find out that the big financial institutions and other media companies in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Venezuela are all getting attacked primarily by attackers in Latin America, which means that traffic has to run up to the United States usually to the East Coast and the West Coast to our scrubbing centers there."
Richter added that "having the scrubbing center in Sao Paulo will greatly reduce the transit time and be able to mitigate the attacks much more quickly."
In addition to being able to address security issues at their source, the security operations centers it has in Latin America also speak several languages such as English, Spanish and Portuguese.
The opening of the Latin American scrubbing center is actually a prelude for other services it plans to offer in the region, including new cloud services for area businesses.
However, Richter could not provide any specific details yet.
"Where we place our scrubbing centers also creates a security infrastructure for us to put future network-based and cloud-based services," Richter said. "We are building out these scrubbing centers in Latin American with an eye to the future additional add-on services and you'll hear a lot more about security NFV in near future."
Similar to the other regions where it operates DDoS scrubbing centers, Level 3 said customers will benefit from improved network performance and reduced network latency from the expansion.
This is the ninth scrubbing center Level 3 has opened. Previously, it launched similar centers in eight other regions, including Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C.
Following the opening of Level 3's European Security Operations Center in London, the opening of the Sao Paulo center is part of a broader effort Level 3 is taking to expand its global security offerings and functionality.
Providing security services overall has become a greater priority for Level 3 in not only Latin America, but also in Europe and North America, which remains its largest market.
After initially launching its DDoS service in February 2015, the service provider purchased Black Lotus, a provider of global Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) mitigation services.
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