To prevent your business from becoming another victim of the increasing multitude of cybersecurity threats out there, it’s important to adopt a carefully thought-out mix of technology and good staff training as part of your security strategy. One element that often gets overlooked, however, is DNS-layer security, which helps prevent hackers from exploiting the domain name system to communicate with your network.
Why Do You Need DNS Security?
The domain name system is the Internet’s address book. It matches domain names, such as www.google.com, to internet protocol (IP) addresses. Every device connected to the web has a unique IP address. However, websites themselves almost invariably have a domain name in addition to the IP addresses of the server they’re running on, since names are much more user-friendly than long numbers. While convenient, DNS also presents a serious security vulnerability.
Although DNS is an essential component of the infrastructure of the web, it can also increase the chances of users being unwittingly redirected to a malicious website. For example, the advent of multilingual domain names makes it easier for hackers to spoof genuine web addresses by using characters from different languages that look the same but actually aren’t. By itself, an unsecured DNS layer cannot protect users from malicious websites with spoofed domain names.
As you’re probably already well aware, phishing scams present one of the biggest and most pervasive cybersecurity threats of all. By taking advantage of the inherent vulnerabilities in the system, scammers can exploit the DNS layer and redirect unsuspecting users to fake websites in the hopes that they will divulge confidential information such as payment or login details. Without DNS-layer security, your whole organization may be open to attacks.
Understanding DNS Security Flaws
Among the most serious, yet woefully underrepresented, security threats facing IT departments are the ever-increasing number of ways that cybercriminals can exploit the domain name system. Following are some of the most common attack methods:
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks
- Cache poisoning attacks
- Man-in-the-middle attacks
While DDoS attacks are disruptive, it’s the other two attack methods that you really need to worry about since they can end up compromising the security of your organization’s data. For example, a hacker may be able to access the DNS cache that your business uses to look up domain names and change the data to send legitimate requests to malicious websites.
Another core DNS attack involves using a compromised machine on the network to access and take over the entire DNS infrastructure that your business uses to access the web. By far the most severe of all possible attack methods, this can compromise your entire network by rerouting all legitimate queries to a malicious website.
How to Secure Your DNS Infrastructure
DNS-layer security is also one of the most commonly outsourced cybersecurity routines. Instead of relying on an in-house team and general-purpose servers to take care of domain name lookups, a purpose-built solution helps improve DNS reliability while also greatly reducing the risk of attacks. These systems provide security from the ground up to provide protection against DDoS attacks and complete control over who can access which websites.
Dyrand Systems offers complete IT consultancy and managed services to help businesses build secure and future-proof computing infrastructures. If you’d like to shift your business into the fast lane and enjoy peace of mind knowing your data is secure, give us a call today.