The Importance of DNS Protection to your Organization
When browsing the internet, you’ll rely on domain names to specify the site you wish to visit. On the other hand, computers use IP addresses to recognize various systems linked to the World Wide Web and route traffic via the internet.
DNS (Domain Name System) is the protocol that facilitates the internet’s usability by permitting the reliance on domain names. It may as well be considered to be the internet’s phonebook.
Numerous organizations trust DNS, and the traffic is usually free to pass through company network firewalls. However, cybercriminals commonly abuse and attack it; hence you should highly prioritize DNS protection.
What is DNS Protection?
DNS security serves as an additional protection layer between the internet and staff. It blacklists unsafe websites and filters out unwelcome content. Protected DNS servers for on-premise and remote workstations allow teams to avoid risks and malicious attacks.
The security system focuses on protecting web-based customers from forged DNS data. It achieves this via the verification of digital signatures embedded within the data. As such, users can now validate that whatever DNS records they’ve received are from the right source.
A website that’s not DNS-protected makes it easy for threat actors to identify security loopholes and redirect or take over your domain name for their benefit. You may face countless issues with unsecured systems; hence it’s crucial to understand how DNS is used in attacks and the value of DNS protection.
Modern-Day Attackers Are Now Using DNS
Attackers can use DNS in different ways to generate threats and attack your IT architecture. Let’s explore:
- DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) – DNS infrastructure makes the internet functional, and any attack against it can make your site unreachable. DDoS saturates the network with what seems like legitimate traffic to make your DNS servers unavailable. The DDoS attack against Dyn in 2016 is a great example, where numerous bots within internet-connected cameras led to outages of many major sites, including Netflix, Amazon, Twitter, and Spotify.
- DNS DDoS Amplification – DNS relies on UDP to transmit data, and an attacker can spoof a DNS request’s source address to redirect the response to their preferred IP address. They leverage these to amplify threats using small requests to DNS servers that bring massive rejoinders transported to targets.
- Denial of Service attacks (DoS) – Apart from DDoS attacks on networks, DoS attacks can also target any application running on your DNS server. The main objective of the attacks is to exploit system vulnerabilities that prevent them from responding to authentic requests.
- DNS hijacking – This attack tricks users into believing that they’re connecting to a genuine domain, yet it’s a malicious one. Cybercriminals may use a malicious or compromised DNS server or carry out cache poisoning to trick the server into saving incorrect data.
- DNS tunneling – Since DNS is a trusted code, most organizations let it enter and leave their respective networks freely. Attackers can take advantage of the data exfiltration protocol to send DNS requests containing the exfiltrated data in malware. Since the target website owner controls the DNS server, cybercriminals will redirect the data to a particular server for processing. They’ll then send a response within the DNS response packet.
Why is DNS Protection Important?
In early 2019, an emergency directive was issued by the Department of Homeland Security advising organizations in the US to follow the best practices to prevent DNS hijacking incidences. The notice also mentioned that Cisco and FireEye have learned about the growing number of DNS attacks.
DNS protection can help you secure both home and corporate networks. In the current new normal where the already thin line between personal and professional lives continues to blur, companies must secure home networks as well. Secure DNS solutions can be the best alternative to enhance BYOD policies and protect data within and outside the workstation.
DNS protection comes with the following capabilities:
Phishing and Malware Protection
This capability locks out websites containing malicious or potentially dangerous content like scams and viruses. Regular users and staff may not identify a phishing attempt, and this can jeopardize your systems. Blocking alone can’t provide adequate protection against advanced attacks. The best way to avoid falling for these types of attacks is to adopt a content filtering solution and educating staff about these common risks.
Botnets are fast turning out to be perilous threats in the digitally connected world of IoT devices. DNS protection secures your system from botnets that might overrun your system and block communication with common botnet servers. This can substantially protect your devices.
You can implement this to block unwanted content ranging from adult sites to unsecure platforms. You don’t need to purchase and install software on your PCs and office devices because it works within the DNS. This can be more beneficial than typical filtering solutions and will reduce the chances of staff visiting “bad neighborhoods” with a high risk of malicious attacks.
This is part of the content filtering capabilities that blocks advertisements that attempt to collect vital information from staff or those with malicious applications within them. Most ads aren’t directly ill-disposed. However, they can have a significant impact on your system performance and efficiency and limit employee productivity.
Improving your system speeds can make you more efficient and boost overall productivity. Most of the time, protected DNS servers offer faster lookups than those offered by service providers. Securing your DNS also increases reliability. Since DNS resolution is used several times when connecting to the internet, an incremental enhancement can substantially improve your performance levels.
Threat actors are getting more innovative and nowadays use cunning ways like purchasing typo domains that mimic the original, regular domains. They install malicious software or use them to collect vital data from unsuspecting staff once they log on to them and key in access details. Fortunately, DNS protection corrects typos like “fecabook.com” to “facebook.com.”
Today’s cybersecurity environment presents vast risks and advanced threats that may bypass any unprotected systems. DNS protection is an excellent way of boosting your protection layer between your staff and the internet. The approach filters out any suspicious and unwanted platforms and content that come with cybersecurity risks.
Since attackers are always looking out for vulnerabilities to attack and compromise your system, now is the best time to craft a DNS protection campaign. It may be challenging without the proper background and adequate resources for the job, but Colorado Computer Support is here to help your business navigate the hurdles and boost customer satisfaction.
Our comprehensive suite of cybersecurity solutions guarantees the utmost DNS protection to keep off threat actors, improve your efficiency and productivity, and optimize returns for your cybersecurity investment.
Reach out today so we can discuss your challenges and craft a practical DNS security strategy.