Canadian service provider Cogeco Peer 1 adds web app DDoS protection

Service provider Cogeco Peer 1 has expanded its distributed denial of service (DDoS) products with the addition of web application protection.

Called AppArmor, it helps block application-layer (Layer 7) attacks that exploits weaknesses in an application or server, with the goal of establishing a connection to monopolize processes and transactions.

“DDoS attacks are becoming easier to deploy, making them more difficult to prevent and trace,” Manish Godhia, the company’s director of product management,  said in a statement Thursday.  “Organizations need to embrace more globally scalable and distributed solutions that offer broad DDoS mitigation capacity in light of advances in attack strategies that use IoT-bots or target applications. That’s where Cogeco Peer 1’s DDoS Shield product, now with AppArmor, comes in. Together, they deliver a powerful DDoS security solution.”

DDoS attacks involve the harnessing of thousands of devices — PCs, servers or Internet of Things devices such as security cameras — to ping a target system enough times to cause it to crash. Motives range from hactivism to blackmail.

Among the biggest were the 2016 attacks against American managed DNS provider Dyn. Inc.  and against U.S. cyber security reporter Brian Krebs. In this country victims included a company providing education tests for the Ontario government.

In a recent report Verizon Enterprise Solutions noted that the incentive to launch a DDoS is rarely exfiltration of data, disruptions of a service or product can be just as devastating for any business. DDoS attacks can also be used as a screen to mask a malware attack while the cyber security team is dealing with a Web site collapse. “With the rise in popularity of DDoS attacks for threat actors, toolkits to launch these attacks have become easier to use and more effective by increasing overall bandwidth capabilities.”

Cogeco Peer 1 that paired with its DDoS Shield service, AppArmor customers will benefit from a cloud-based managed DDoS mitigation and Web Application Firewall  (WAF) protection with unlimited protection, with multiple geographically dispersed DDoS mitigation centers offering 1Tbps total capacity. Detection and mitigation of Layer 3 (network), Layer 4 (transport) and Layer 7  DDoS attacks are covered. 

In a statement the company said that most traditional DDoS mitigation options rely on building GRE tunnels to deliver clean traffic to the protected server. Cogeco Peer 1’s solution directly performs all routing functionality across its backbone between its scrubbing centers and the customer’s protected service. This avoids any issues that can be caused by MTU limitations imposed by GRE tunnels and their impact on protocols such as SSL, it says. The result, says the company,  to increased reliability, higher availability and no latency.

It also has an AI-based threat intelligence capability which the company says cuts the WAF learning method down to one week, instead of the normal two-week period it says is offered by most WAFs in the market. AppArmor can also be configured for data residency compliance and integration with content delivery networks and/or system in security information management (SIEM) systems.

The company says AppArmor is priced mainly on the incoming web traffic in a subscription tiered service. Tiers start with Express-10 service, a self-service package offering limited DDoS and WAF protection.  For organizations that need, more there are several tiers running from the  Enterprise-25 (25 Mbps of incoming web traffic) and to the Enterprise-1000 (1Gbps of incoming web traffic), all offering fully featured customizable WAF rule sets (250+ to begin with), unlimited DDoS protection, and customer portal offering visibility into the application layer of the customer’s traffic.

Cogeco Peer 1 is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Cogeco Communications Inc., a major cable provider in Quebec and Ontario. It bought Vancouver-based Peer 1 Networks in 2012 to expand its data centre offerings.

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Howard Solomon
Howard Solomon
Currently a freelance writer, I'm the former editor of and Computing Canada. An IT journalist since 1997, I've written for several of ITWC's sister publications including and Computer Dealer News. Before that I was a staff reporter at the Calgary Herald and the Brampton (Ont.) Daily Times. I can be reached at hsolomon [@]

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