Jisc reveals role in anti-DDoS partnership

Organisation draws intelligence from Atlas project to strengthen cyber defences of Janet network

Jisc has revealed that it is taking part in a cyber intelligence project to protect the Janet network for research and education from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Spying eye on laptop screenIt is understood that Jisc joined the project about a year ago, but has kept its role under wraps until now as it begins to work on an upgrade for the new year.

The member organisation, which provides digital services to the higher and further education sectors, has been contributing to the Atlas project run by Arbor Networks, under which more than 300 of the company’s customers share anonymous data traffic totalling 140Tbps – estimated at about one third of all internet traffic. This enables the company to deliver intelligence on DDoS, malware and botnets that could threaten infrastructure and network availability.

The two parties have worked together on the design, development and delivery of the capability for Janet, while KHIPU networks has been the systems integrator.

Jisc’s Security Operations Centre draws on the Atlas infrastructure to stay ahead of DDoS attacks and advanced threats. This involves the use of the Atlas Intelligence Feed, which includes geolocation data and automates the identification of attacks from known botnets and malware, while automatically delivering software upgrades in response to new threats.

Proactive approach

Steve Kennett, director of security at Jisc, said: “A quality digital education starts with the availability of our Janet Network and related applications and services. It is as fundamental to us as electricity. That’s why we decided to be proactive about our DDoS defence and partner with Arbor Networks, the industry leader.”

Jisc said that UK organisations were subject to 220,000 DDoS attacks in October alone, the largest coming at 343Gbps and the top sources being from within the country, along with the US, the Netherlands and France.

It runs the high speed Janet network for education and research organisations, providing connections for more than 700 member institutions. It is claimed to be the busiest national education and research network in Europe, carrying over 1.5Pbytes of information a year.

Image: Electronic Frontier Foundation graphic, Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 through Wikimedia