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Moving to provide channel partners with access to a portfolio of technologies and services for preventing distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, Arbor Networks, a unit of Netscout, revamped its product lineup.

In addition, Arbor Networks is now working with Cisco to making it simpler to embed its DDoS protection software directly within a Cisco ASR 9000 router.

Arbor Networks is trying to let channel partners engage at any level of expertise they feel comfortable, said Sam Curry, chief technology and security officer. This ranges from virtual appliances to a complete managed service hosted in the cloud by Arbor Networks that partners can resell, he explained.

As a result, a managed security service provider can, for example, opt to deploy either virtual or physical appliances from Arbor Networks or layer Arbor Networks software on top of a Cisco router to augment their existing capabilities. Other partners, however, may be content to resell the Arbor managed security service, dubbed mAPS, that runs on-premise or simply act as an agent for the Arbor Cloud service.

“We’re trying to make it easy for anybody to gain access to a clean pipe,” said Curry. “A lot of partners have a wide range of security skill sets.”

The core issue that solution providers and their customers face is that DDoS attacks make use of brute force to overwhelm firewalls with network traffic. Once the firewall is incapacitated by that traffic, it’s not long before the rest of the network infrastructure becomes overwhelmed. Not too long after that, a ransom is usually demanded to stop the attacks from incapacitating the IT environment.

The Arbor Networks appliances and services are designed to put a layer of defense optimized to handle those attacks in front of the firewalls at the edge of the network, which then prevents the entire IT environment from being overwhelmed by those attacks, Curry said.

Through these latest upgrades, Arbor Networks has improved mitigation capacity of its appliances by a factor of four, while extending the throughput capabilities of the Arbor Cloud to up to 2T bps, Curry said.

Regardless of the approach taken, solution providers are increasingly being required to address any and all security issues before they can sell any given solution by first ensuring they can provide a clean network pipe through which those solutions and services are delivered. Given that DDoS attacks usually precede a large infestation of malware, it’s in the best interests of all concerned to try to prevent that malware from gaining entry in the first place, rather than having to clean it up long after the damage has already been done.

Michael Vizard has been covering IT issues in the enterprise for more than 25 years as an editor and columnist for publications such as InfoWorld, eWEEK, Baseline, CRN, ComputerWorld and Digital Review.