BT’s Cloud of Clouds system takes aim at DDoS attacks

The cloud has changed the world’s digital infrastructure, but it has also shifted the playing field when it comes to the online security of users and businesses. As large-scale hacks become ever more prevalent, companies and governments are becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect against online attacks, independently of where data is hosted.  

BT’s Cloud of Clouds system takes aim at DDoS attacks

At the opening of its new security showcase in Sevenoaks, BT revealed that its Cloud of Clouds service integrator would be extending to encompass global distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) mitigation.


A DDoS attack involves multiple compromised systems, such as those infected with a trojan virus, being used to attack a single system. According to BT’s research, 41% of organisations across the globe were hit by DDoS attacks in 2014, with 78% of those targeted twice or more throughout the year.

“Our global network already has very strong security features, including firewall services embedded throughout,” said Mark Hughes, CEO of BT Security. “Our cloud identity management solution ensures appropriate access for employees, customers and partners to the cloud or on-premises applications, irrespective of their location. Today, we are proud to open the doors to our new Global Security showcase as we announce the global availability of our DDoS mitigation service.”

In April this year, BT announced the Assure Cloud Access Identity Management service. This was followed by BT Assure Cloud Firewall, which allows firewall security to be embedded directly into the network.

BT’s Assure DDoS mitigation system works by sifting through internet traffic for irregularities, and mitigating the attack before it affects the customer’s network. During the demonstration at BT’s security centre we were shown this Assure system in action, with visualisations developed by cyber-threat detection organisation Darktrace highlighting irregular IP requests and potential botnets. After the attack was stopped, forensics was able to run a series of investigations, checking everything from vulnerable outlets to personnel access across secure locations.


Security expert Davey Winder commented on the announcement, saying that BT’s expansion into DDoS mitigation is a late but welcome move.

“I’d say that, while BT are a little late coming to the cloud-based DDoS mitigation party, it’s better late than never – especially when you consider that DDoS has fast become the weapon of choice for many cybercriminals these days. It’s no longer just something that is being used by the politically motivated, the rise of groups such as DD4BC (who specialise in DDoS-based extortion campaigns) with firmly financial motivations proves that. More worryingly though, is the fact that DDoS is also being increasingly used as a diversionary tactic to both tie up resources and obfuscate the real focus of a breach elsewhere on the network.”

Ethical Hacking

BT recently announced that it would be running an ethical hacking service to test the exposure of financial service organisations to cyber attackers.

The service, called BT Assure Ethical Hacking for Finance mimics the tactics of malicious  attackers to find the digital weak spots in an organisation, including phishing scams, hardware, databases, resource planning systems and even human failure.

Working with large US-based financial institutions, BT has so far been able to perform database dumps of tens of thousands of social security and credit card numbers, and reverse engineer a range of encryption systems. The aim is to help financial services improve the strength of their cyber security.

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