Scrubbing Center

  • Lisa Fröhlich
  • November 6, 2023

Table of content

    Scrubbing Center

    A scrubbing center (also called a traffic scrubbing center) is a type of facility or service used in information and network security. It filters out malicious traffic from a network or Internet connection. These centers specialize in monitoring and filtering traffic for malicious activity, such as Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, botnet activity, malware propagation and other cyber threats.

    Scrubbing center services are often used by enterprises, data centers, Internet service providers (ISPs) and hosting providers to protect their online services and networks from cyberattacks and downtime. They play a crucial role in network security by helping to detect and stop malicious activity before it can cause damage.

    What are the main functions of a scrubbing center?

    The main functions of a scrubbing center are:

    • Real-time monitoring: The scrubbing center continuously monitors inbound and outbound traffic in real time to detect suspicious activity.
    • Threat detection: It identifies malicious or suspicious traffic that may indicate cyber threats, such as distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, botnet activity, malware propagation and other attacks.
    • Traffic filtering: The center filters out malicious traffic and diverts it away from network resources that need protection to ensure network integrity and service availability.
    • Anomaly detection: Scrubbing centers detect anomalies and unusual patterns in traffic that could indicate potential threats.
    • DDoS defense: They are particularly specialized in detecting and defending against Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks by separating malicious traffic from legitimate requests.
    • Logging and reporting: Scrubbing centers keep logs of all detected incidents and provide comprehensive reports and analysis for customers.
    • Load balancing: In some cases, scrubbing centers provide load-balancing capabilities to distribute traffic across different servers or data centers for greater resilience.
    • Additional security services: In addition to DDoS defense, some scrubbing centers also provide additional security services, such as intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems (IDS/IPS) and protection against other types of attacks.

    These functions are critical to ensure network security, maintain service availability, and block malicious activity.

    How does a scrubbing center work?

    A scrubbing center is primarily used to filter out and isolate malicious or suspicious traffic from a network or Internet connection. Its operation starts with real-time monitoring of inbound and outbound traffic, which can come from various sources, including web requests, emails and application data. During this stage, the scrubbing center detects malicious traffic that may indicate various types of threats.

    Once malicious traffic is detected, the scrubbing center isolates that traffic to prevent it from reaching the target system. This is usually done by redirecting the malicious traffic to a special isolated environment. In this environment, the malicious traffic is then filtered and cleaned by dropping or repairing dangerous packets or data to make it safe.

    While malicious traffic is isolated and cleaned, legitimate traffic can be forwarded unimpeded to maintain service availability. In addition, the scrubbing center keeps logs of all detected incidents and generates security posture reports, which are vital for analyzing and tracking security events.

    In the case of DDoS attacks, the scrubbing center can effectively block malicious traffic by separating it from legitimate requests, minimizing the impact of the attack. The efficiency and speed with which a scrubbing center can respond to such attacks makes it an indispensable component of network security, especially for companies and organizations that need to protect their online services.

    What types of threats can a scrubbing center detect and defend against?

    The ability of a scrubbing center to detect and block threats contributes significantly to the security of networks and online services. This enables businesses and organizations to protect their IT infrastructure from a wide range of cyberattacks.

    A scrubbing center can detect and block a wide range of threats. These include:

    • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks: A scrubbing center detects and blocks DDoS attacks, in which a large number of requests or malicious traffic aims to overload a target network or website to make it inaccessible.
    • Botnet activity: Botnets are networks of infected computers that are remotely controlled by hackers. The scrubbing center detects and quarantines malicious traffic generated by botnets to prevent attacks or malware propagation.
    • Malware propagation: A scrubbing center can detect and block malicious software or malware downloads to prevent the spread of viruses, Trojans and other malicious programs.
    • Phishing attacks: It detects suspicious emails or websites used for phishing attacks and protects users from scams and data leaks.
    • Vulnerability scans: Scrubbing centers can detect vulnerability scans and attack attempts on open ports or services and block them to close security holes.
    • Intrusion attempts: Scrubbing centers detect and block attempts to penetrate a network or gain unauthorized access to systems.
    • Zero-day exploits: Some scrubbing centers can also detect zero-day exploits that are not yet widely known but could be exploited by attackers.
    • Spam and malicious attachments: It can detect and block spam emails, as well as emails with malicious attachments that contain malware.
    • Brute force attacks: A scrubbing center can detect and block brute force attacks, in which hackers try to guess passwords through repeated attempts.
    • Traffic anomalies: It detects unusual or anomalous patterns in traffic that could indicate potential threats.

    Which companies or organizations should use scrubbing centers?

    A scrubbing center can benefit a wide range of businesses and organizations, especially if they provide online services or operate a networked IT infrastructure. Potential users include e-commerce companies that need to protect their online stores from DDoS attacks and other cyber threats to ensure the availability of their websites and the protection of customer data.

    Similarly, financial service providers such as banks and payment processors can benefit from a scrubbing center to protect sensitive financial transactions and guard against fraud and data leaks.

    Cloud service providers also face the challenge of ensuring continuity of service for customers while protecting their infrastructure from attack.

    Healthcare facilities, including hospitals and healthcare providers, must ensure they protect patient data and preserve access to medical records from cyberattacks. Educational institutions such as schools, colleges and universities manage online learning platforms and store sensitive student data, making them potential targets for cyberattacks.

    Government agencies are also at risk, as they are often the target of cyberattacks aimed at stealing sensitive information or compromising government services. Both small and large businesses are vulnerable to DDoS attacks and other cyberthreats and can benefit from the protective measures of a scrubbing center. Finally, hosting providers also use scrubbing centers to protect their customers from DDoS attacks and other threats.

    In short, any business or organization that provides online services or operates a networked IT infrastructure can benefit from a scrubbing center to ensure the security and availability of their services. However, the selection of a scrubbing center should be done carefully to ensure that it meets the specific needs and requirements of the business or organization.

    A protection provider with proven scrubbing centers is worthwhile

    If you decide on a protection provider to protect you from DDoS attacks or cyberattacks of any kind, proven scrubbing centers are almost indispensable. You are welcome to have a non-binding discussion with our security experts and obtain further important information. By the way: Link11 has its own scrubbing centers in its portfolio, which have been reliably protecting customers of all sizes for many years.

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