NaWas across borders

With the continued rise of DDoS attacks, the demand for protection measures is growing. An opportunity for NaWas by NBIP to offer their services on a European as well as a national level. NaWas was already present in Germany, France, Sweden and Finland, among other nations. Since June the organisation also counts British ISPs amongst its members. Frank Dupker joined the NaWas team in July and is currently working on the European expansion of the service. We asked him some questions about NaWas, Europe and the future.

Can you tell us more about NaWas’ work in Europe?

“In the Netherlands NaWas by NBIP started as a community effort with support from a broad range of ISP’s. We don’t have that same advantage abroad. We were relatively unknown until fairly recently. There is a strong need for protection against DDoS attacks. But for many foreign companies the idea of a nonprofit foundation with members instead of customers still takes some getting used to. We often have to remind them that we’re not a commercial entity. Yet that is core of our approach. You can’t stay ahead of DDoS attacks, the attacker is always the first to adopt new tactics. We must therefore respond intelligently and combine all available forces and knowledge. NaWas has the necessary knowledge and expertise and continues to develop it further. Which is why we work with universities and participate in research projects.”

Are there other European foundations like NBIP?

“NBIP explored the market before taking the decision whether to offer NaWas services internationally. It turned out that there were – and still are – no comparable foundations in Europe. In recent years, a number of new parties have started to offer services similar to NaWas by NBIP, though not from a non-profit approach. Like NaWas, they are increasingly focusing on a European, rather than just a national, market.”

How do you recruit new foreign members?

“We are still working on our European visibility and actively look for potential members ourselves. We work together with internet exchanges, who can redistribute our services white-labeled. But we mainly focus on medium-sized ISPs, which we approach during events or through references. The same was true of our recent expansion to the United Kingdom. NBIP approached various British ISPs. The response was almost unanimously positive. Everyone’s aware of the danger of DDoS attacks. As a non-profit foundation we offer protection through collaboration.”

What are the future plans for NaWas in Europe?

“We’ve considered the possibility of opening local scrubbing centers. NaWas by NBIP provides DDoS mitigation only, without opening or changing the data in any way. It doesn’t matter whether we do this in London, Amsterdam or Berlin. Despite this, there are European parties that want their data to remain within national boundaries. It remains an intriguing business case for now, but I can see it becoming a reality within the next two years. In the short term, we are looking into the possibility of expanding our portfolio of services for our members. For example, by offering DDoS detection as a Service and web application firewalls in addition to DDoS mitigation.”

NaWas has also recently started to protect ISPs in the United Kingdom against DDoS attacks. NaWas is an independent best-of-class multi-vendor solution that can detect DDoS attacks in real time and immediately diverts network traffic to its own scrubbing centre. This centralised anti-DDoS service has been protecting most .nl domains effectively for many years and is now also available in the United Kingdom through a partnership with local medium-sized ISPs.