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CENIC Offers Protection from DDoS Attacks

November 19, 2020

Distributed denial of service attack concept illustrationA shift toward remote working during the COVID-19 pandemic has created greater opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit weaknesses in information security defenses. The education sector, with its diverse group of users, is especially vulnerable, and is already experiencing a dramatic increase in ransomware and phishing attacks.

Now it seems education institutions are facing another growing security threat in the form of Distributed Denial of Service (DDos) attacks. A DDoS attack is an attempt to crash an online service by overloading it with traffic, often as a smokescreen for a ransomware attack.

To help its members combat these attacks, CENIC, a partner of the California Community Colleges Technology Center, has begun offering a cloud-based DDoS mitigation service at a reduced rate. It is available as either a self-service or managed solution to members connected to CENIC’s California Research and Education Network (CalREN).

CENIC is the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, a non-profit organization that provides cost-effective, high-bandwidth networking to support public and private educational and scientific research institutions. CENIC’s members — which include the California Community Colleges — increasingly rely on network access and the COVID-19 pandemic has only amplified this reliance.

According to cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, during the first quarter of 2020, the total number of DDoS attacks observed doubled, while the number of DDoS attacks on educational and administrative resources tripled. Kaspersky predicts that, as remote working becomes the “new normal,” corporate infrastructure — such as VPN gateways — will receive more DDoS attacks.

The CENIC DDoS mitigation service utilizes Internet2’s Radware solution to “clean” traffic coming into CalREN when an attack is detected. Many CENIC members are already taking advantage of the service. University of California sites have opted to use the self-service solution, while the K-12 High Speed Network is using the managed solution. For more information, contact the CENIC Network Operations Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

CENIC's DDoS Mitigation Service cleans network traffic using Internet2's Radware DDoS scrubbing infrastructure.