July 31, 2023

DDoS Protection for SASE / Zero-Trust Resilience


Security Operations teams, IT operations, and network security engineers continue to revamp their protection strategies by deploying next-generation architectures, including zero-trust. Zero-Trust changes how organizations present remote connectivity options to their work-from-home users, vendors, and contractors. 

Hackers recognize the importance of zero-trust and will target this critical infrastructure with various threat vectors, including DDoS volumetric attacks. Many potential attacks used by hackers will target both the secure access secure edge (SASE) cloud and the zero-trust infrastructure.

This article will discuss the distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack types, including the network and application layer attacks, and the importance of organizations and communications service providers (CSP) deploying DDoS layered protection from companies like Nexusguard to safeguard their zero-trust architecture.


What are Zero-Trust and SASE?

Zero-Trust is a security approach for remote access into corporate systems by defining less privileged access permissions with a culture of trust in no one. Starting with a "no trust" mindset, security engineers and identity administrators enable only the access control permissions the user is approved to have. 

SASE is a cloud-based WAN connection service that manages the various methods for users to connect to the zero-trust architecture. Another critical value of zero-trust and SASE is moving the security boundary away from the corporate assets in their data center and private cloud instances.


Why are Organizations Deploying Zero-Trust and SASE?

Zero-Trust and SASE ensure a higher level of protection combined with multi-factor authentication (MFA) and network segmentation, providing the organization with a comprehensive remote access strategy.

The user connects to the SASE cloud first. The user becomes redirected to the zero-trust architecture. The zero-trust handles the authentication and validation of the endpoint's security posture before allowing the connection to the corporate asset. Many zero-trust designs use a proxy strategy. This strategy enables front-end and separate back-end connections to the corporate asset. Having two individual TCP/IP connections provides another layer of critical security.

If any hacker attempts to bypass zero-trust and tries to connect directly to a corporate asset, the connection drops. Security teams enable a feature that only allows corporate assets to accept TCP/IP connections if they originate from a zero-trust platform. 

Once an organization becomes fully enabled with SASE and zero-trust, its entire remote connectivity strategy becomes dependant on this architecture being available and secure. Hackers know this trend and continuously attempt to disrupt this critical infrastructure service.


Why Protect the SASE Layer Against DDoS?

Hackers often incorporate several DDoS attack sequences against SASE cloud providers to disrupt their service offerings. Many SASE providers offer their clients DDoS protection as part of their security offering. However, even with a basic level of DDoS protection, hackers have successfully attacked critical infrastructure systems worldwide.

Killnet is a Russian hacking group that specializes in DDoS attacks globally. They target healthcare systems, government, and communications service providers' hosting offerings, including SASE and zero-trust. Many threat intelligence agencies capture artifacts from the Killnet cyber attacks to help develop additional DDoS capabilities to help prevent future network layer attacks and other cyber threats.

If the SASE attack affects the organization's remote connectivity from its users, its zero-trust architecture also becomes exposed to cyber-attacks. Many SASE cloud providers will failover to back up sites if their primary cloud comes under a DDoS attack. However, even with a global failover plan, SASE services will suffer performance issues.


DDoS Security Layers to Safeguard Zero-Trust Architecture

Although zero-trust aims to verify and permit all network activity, it may not effectively prevent DDoS attacks, especially those that involve high-volume traffic. A DDoS attack could target any network device, even if a zero-trust framework exists. 


Therefore, any zero-trust deployment must have reliable protection against DDoS attacks. 


Another critical importance to protecting zero-trust is an attack from a compromised SASE cloud platform. If hackers exploit an attack surface within the SASE cloud and create a rogue impersonation connection to the zero-trust platform, hackers could gain access to corporate systems. 


Zero-Trust has several safeguards, including one-time password (OTP) and multi-factor authentication (MFA), to help prevent these types of impersonation and man-in-the-middle attacks. However, MFA is not foolproof; security compromises can happen even with the most secure identity systems. Organizations are encouraged to deploy a defense-in-depth strategy, including DDoS prevention and remediation capabilities from companies like Nexusguard, to help eliminate the cyber threat.


Investing in Nexusguard Experience in Protecting Critical Infrastructure

Nexusguard DDoS Protection provides mitigation features and a proven security fabric to defend against DDoS attacks. Global service providers, governments, education, and research institutes continue investing in Nexusguard DDoS protection strategies and services.


Nexusguard experts are working with their clients to help enable various features to meet this challenge. 


By deploying the various solutions and services from Nexusguard, organizations can leverage multiple capabilities to protect their SASE/Zero Trust investment.

These controls include:

Real-time Monitoring & Configuration
Monitor traffic in real-time on a portal with a dynamic dashboard and analytics. Accessing event logs and reports is simple. Set up security policies with minimal effort.

Automatic Traffic Diversion
Use the Cloud Diversion App to automatically divert traffic to the Nexusguard network when anomalies are detected, ensuring only legitimate traffic enters your network.

Multiple Detection Modes
Detect and address stealthy network attacks more efficiently with Instant Flood Detection, Auto Flood Detection, and Time-based Flood Detection, minimizing harm and enabling quicker response.

Surgical Mitigation
The system automatically filters out attack traffic, allowing legitimate traffic to continue uninterrupted.


As organizations increasingly adopt SASE and Zero trust, DDoS protection becomes essential for ensuring user security and uninterrupted service availability.

As more organizations become 100% reliant on SASE and Zero trust, DDoS protection is imperative to protect their users and keep the service available 24 x 7.

The threat of a DDoS attack is constant. This ever-changing attack landscape requires a protection platform that is flexible and adaptable to change. 

For more information, contact our security experts.

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