The BBC is seeking software to help it defend against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks – and has £500,000 available to do so.
The broadcaster wants its internet network protected from “the highest sustained volumetric based attacks seen on the internet” while ensuring “negligible impact on the audience’s experience of BBC online services” it said.
The BBC DDoS protection contract will be for three years, extendable to five.
“The BBC’s internet network carries all of the BBC’s audience facing traffic and CDN [content delivery network] origin traffic”, the BBC said.
“Additionally it provides transit for the corporate network.”
“The availability of this network and services delivered across it are crucial in maintaining the BBC’s online presence for critical services such as www.bbc.co.uk & the BBC iPlayer”, a procurement notice posted today emphasised.
NETSCOUT’s Principle Security Technologist EMEA, Kirill Kasavchenko, told Computer Business Review in a call: “It sounds like the right kind of budget in the absence of further requirements. A provider will need to pay for personnel, software, equipment; they need to effectively ‘buy’ the BBC’s traffic to clean it.”
(DDoS mitigation services typically funnel the traffic attacking their client to “scrubbing” data centres to weed out and block malicious packets).
Kasavchenko added: “February saw the largest DDoS attack recorded so far; 1.7Tbs.” (A memcached reflection/amplification attack on a US client detected by NETSCOUT Arbor’s systems). “We’ve not seen large numbers of attacks of this size, but 100Gbs to 500Gbs attacks remain common.”
His company has noted the cyclical nature of DDoS attacks and emphasised a growing focus by attackers on complexity, leveraging weaponisation of IoT devices while shifting away from reliance on massive attack volume.
BBC DDoS Mitigation: January 24 Deadline for Expressions of Interest
The procurement closes on January 24. The BBC will have the pick of the market. (It says it is may invite its technology partner Atos to assist in the scoping of requirements, but the final decision will be made by the BBC).
Research house Forrester ranks (alphabetically) Akamai Technologies, Arbor Networks (now NETSCOUT Arbor), Cloudflare, Imperva and Radware, as its top five providers [pdf] of DDoS mitigation tools.