Malawi telecommunications firm TNM takes a lead in cyber-security

Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE)-listed mobile network provider TNM has announced provision of Distributed Denial of Service attack (DDoS) protection solutions to its clients in the wake of increasing cyber-attacks.

TNM’s Managing Executive for Enterprise Services, Vishwajeet Deshmukh

A DDoS attack is an attempt to exhaust the resources available to a network, application or service so that genuine users cannot gain access. Cyber criminals utilize a combination of very high volume attacks, along with more subtle and difficult to detect infiltrations that target applications as well as existing network security infrastructure such as firewalls and IPS.

Announcing the service, TNM’s Managing Executive for Enterprise Services, Vishwajeet Deshmukh said the company’s drive in offering the DDoS protection on the network layer to its clients was triggered by the increasing threat of cyber-attacks with potential to negatively impact on service delivery.

“This will grant protection from volumetric DDoS attacks that attempt to consume the bandwidth of the customer, and cause congestion. With TNM DDoS protection, organizations will be able to avoid the DDoS cyber-attacks that can greatly affect their service delivery for their customers,” said Deshmukh.

He observes that key impact of DDoS attack has resulted in brand reputation damage following such incidents as public facing website or application being unavailable, that can lead to angry customers, lost revenue and brand damage.

“DDoS also has the potential to reduce productivity. For instance, when critical applications become unavailable, operations and productivity slowly stop. Internal websites that partners rely on means supply chain and production disruption,” noted Deshmukh.

Deshmukh highlighted that Distributed Denial of Service attacks vary significantly, and there are thousands of different ways an attack can be done but they fall into three broad areas of Volumetric, TCP State-Exhaustion and Application Layer Attacks.

Volumetric attacks attempt to consume the bandwidth either within the target network/service or between the target network/service and the rest of the Internet and results in congestion while TCP State-Exhaustion attacks attempt to consume the connection state tables, which are present in many infrastructure components such as load-balancers, firewalls and the application servers themselves. Application Layer attacks target some aspect of an application or service.

According to IT experts, DDoS represents a significant threat to business continuity as organizations grow more dependent on the Internet and web-based applications and services, availability has become as essential as electricity. DDoS is not only a threat to retailers, financial services and ICT companies with an obvious need for availability. Such attacks also target critical business applications that organizations rely on to manage daily operations, such as email, salesforce automation, Customer Relationship Management and including other industries, such as manufacturing, transportation and healthcare, have internal web properties that the supply chain and other business partners rely on for daily business operations.

With this new capability on its network , all customers – both consumers and businesses– accessing the internet through the TNM network are fully protected from the potential danger posed by DDoS attacks. With the current service provision, TNM only provides protection on a network level to all customers on the TNM network. Customers that need special protection will need to subscribe to the service through TNM cyber surety managed service. This will allow enterprise to protect their specific systems such as an email server or webserver. With this application specific protection customers will be given access to a portal for them to view reports, statistics etc of their managed business system.

TNM is an integrated mobile and ICT service provider which provides ICT solutions to the individual and business/enterprise customers.

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