Network security firm Arbor Networks has unveiled the next generation of its Active Threat Level Analysis System (Atlas) which monitors web network activity to give service providers and network operators an insight into global traffic trends.
Arbor said that the system has grown from around 30 to over 100 participating ISPs which provide anonymised statistics and darknet sensor information to create a global threat portal. The company also provides an annual worldwide security report, along with routing and application information, and is part of a coalition known as the Fingerprint Sharing Alliance.
Originally created to identify security-related events, Atlas has evolved to provide a general 'state of the internet', and includes real-time global internet traffic, routing and application information.
The service offers business intelligence reporting to help service providers deal with constantly fluctuating demands on their networks, and deliver more stable, revenue-generating services.
Arbor aims to provide customers with a complete overview that improves business decisions about peering relationships, capacity planning, markets, services and network management.
As users and businesses increasingly adopt bandwidth-heavy rich media applications over the internet, the internet protocol becomes the 'thin waist' of network transport, making it increasingly susceptible to failures in critical parts of the infrastructure as a result of attack or significant traffic spikes caused by isolated events such as the recent inauguration of US president Barack Obama.
This increased reliance on the internet, and the pressure it places on service providers, makes the availability and integrity of routing information critical to the smooth running of networks, according to Arbor.
The ability to detect and avoid route hijacking, identify threats and assess the impact of global events such as natural disasters is an absolute necessity in today's internet, the company said.
Some of this expansion follows Arbor's acquisition of Ellacoya last year, which provides greater insight into subscriber and application traffic.
"The combination of Ellacoya's products with our own Peakflow solutions over the past year has enabled us to detect and mitigate the full range of network-based attacks, extending protection from the service provider core down to the broadband edge," said Craig Labovitz, chief scientist at Arbor Networks.
"With this new iteration of Atlas, we are in a unique position to answer important questions about the growth of the internet across geographic regions, the popularity of applications and services, and emerging attack vector trends. "
Atlas now monitors and reports on over 3TB of internet transit traffic per second over 75 ISPs sharing real-time attack data, and around 30 sharing full real-time routing data.
A further 55 ISPs participate in the Fingerprint Sharing Alliance, a coalition of telcos around the world that attempts to thwart cyber threats by sharing attack fingerprints, thereby enabling others to effectively combat emerging risks.
"With Atlas, we are proud to once again raise the bar for inter-provider communication and collaboration by extending the information gathered in Atlas beyond security-related events to include real-time global routing information, " said Labovitz.
"Given the increasingly competitive nature of our ISP customers' businesses, having this added business intelligence is crucial to maintaining a competitive edge."
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