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With all the advancements that have happened in the coming years, as easy as it has been. There is no doubt that the internet has become a scary place for everyone. It is very difficult to protect your important and confidential information from cyberware. With all the advancements come the side which also is home to major cyber attacks. The chances of being attacked by a cyber site are high which is why you need to know about DNS and DNS filters.
What does DNS stand for?
DNS stands for Domain Name System. In the current market, it helps in tracking IP address or other information such as MX, Cname, TXT, NS, etc. regarding our website.
What is DNS?
DNS, or Domain Name System, is frequently referred to as the “phonebook of the internet.” DNS serves as the link between domain names and IP addresses, just like phonebooks do for names and numbers. Through domain names like medium.com or ibm.com, humans can recognize and access content on the internet. Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, on the other hand, are used by web browsers. DNS converts domain names into IP addresses so that when we type a domain name into a browser, it can match the IP address of a resource. Why can’t we directly access Internet resources using IP addresses? given that IP addresses are complex. Complex alphanumeric IP addresses are tough to memorize and use frequently. Our lives are made simpler by the Domain Name System’s ability to translate between intricate IP addresses and straightforward domain names.
What is the DNS working process?
There are various ways in which DNS works. Here we’ll explain its system.
• DNS Solutions
An IP address is generated through DNS resolution, which transforms a domain name. Although it seems long, the entire exchange only lasts a few seconds. The process of loading a website involves the following steps:
- The domain name is entered into the search engine by the user.
- The user’s device makes contact with the DNS server and issues a DNS query to obtain the domain’s IP address.
- The DNS resolver looks for the IP address either from its cache or from other DNS servers.
- After getting the IP address, the domain is “resolved.”
DNS resolution is necessary for every fundamental web interaction. Everything relies on DNS resolvers to convert user-friendly domain names into computing-friendly IP addresses, including browsing websites, sending emails, and viewing social media images.
• DNSSEC: Domain Name System Security Extensions)
By adopting numerous security upgrades, DNSSEC secures the system. The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), an organization in charge of technical standards, had engineers who realized the DNS lacked authentication in the 1990s. They found a solution to this issue in DNSSEC. DNSSEC strengthens DNS authentication by using digital signatures and public key cryptography. It employs asymmetric cryptography, which uses distinct keys to encrypt and decrypt DNS communication. By intercepting crucial transmission and locating a flaw to gain access to exploitable data like email addresses, DNSSEC stops attackers from abusing the DNS.
• Recursive vs. Authoritative DNS Servers
Both authoritative and recursive servers are essential parts of the DNS system. Each server has a unique function and takes up a separate position in the DNS query pipeline. Recursive servers are positioned at the start of the DNS query, whereas authoritative servers are positioned at the end. This is one way to look at the distinction. When a client enters a domain name, the resolver (or recursive server) answers their request. It makes contact with the designated IP address’s authoritative DNS nameserver. The nameserver that contains DNS resource records is known as the authoritative nameserver. It is positioned at the end of the DNS lookup hierarchy. Your web browser has finally arrived at the requested domain name’s IP address because of authoritative servers.
• DNS Server Outage
When DNS is unable to map a domain name to its IP address, it experiences a DNS outage, also known as DNS downtime. When the recursive server does not answer, it responds with an outdated IP address from its cache. If the authoritative server ignores the recursive server’s request, then it could also cause a DNS outage. There are numerous causes for DNS outrages. They may involve hostile behavior, such as DDoS assaults, or routine maintenance problems.
Although we’ve spent a lot of time talking about DNS, there is a purpose for it. Just think about being unable to access your email. What if your clients are unable to access your website? 90% of our work life is online, so the DNS process is crucial for business. The majority of the Internet still uses insecure DNS servers, despite efforts like DNSSEC to make the query process somewhat safe. You therefore require additional security measures, such as DNS filtering.
What do you understand by DNS Filtering?
DNS filtering, often known as DNS blocking, is a security method that filters out undesirable, harmful, and malicious domains. It’s an easy procedure. The DNS filtering solution checks a user’s request against a blocklist of undesirable domains when they attempt to reach a specific domain. If a match is discovered, the program stops the domain resolution procedure and restricts access to the malicious website. If a member of your team clicks on a phishing link without using a DNS filtering solution, they will be sent straight to a malicious website. Malware infections or Ransomware attacks are now ten times more likely. Conversely, if you employ a DNS filtering service and the domain name is blacklisted, the attack is immediately stopped.
• How do you create blocklists/denylists?
A DNS blocklist is a collection of bad or destructive domains, IP addresses, and hashes. Specialist research teams that regularly monitor the mentioned internet resources create blocklists. An IP address is added to the block list if it participates in illegal activities including sending spam, distributing malware, hosting botnets, or hosting phishing websites. The block list contains domains having a negative reputation.
• DNS filtering with the help of Domain Name
Many resolvers have filtering methods built-in because all DNS queries for resolution go through recursive DNS servers. The DNS resolver immediately blocks a request made for a domain name on the blocklist and returns an error message.
• DNS filtering by IP Address
Network-level DNS filtering operates by examining IP addresses. The DNS server is set up by security teams so that queries for IP addresses on the blacklist are not answered. When an IP address is blocked using this approach, an error notice is also shown. It is more difficult to filter DNS by IP address than by domain name. That’s because domain names don’t change over time, although IP addresses frequently do. It is simpler to maintain a blocklist of dangerous domain names than to continuously track IP addresses.
What are the essential features of DNS Filtering?
DNS Filtering comprises various features that make it an efficient tool. So when looking for a DNS tool, look for all of these features.
• Cloud Keys
A cloud key is a passcode that enables a user to access a page that has been banned. IT professionals or system administrators may need to go around the filter for a variety of reasons. Users can access the specified website using cloud keys while being aware of the hazards.
• DNS Proxy
Small locally installed agents known as DNS proxies are integrated with Active Directory. Each user’s online activities can be reported.
• The On-the-go agents
Installing Windows-based agents on user devices enables remote work through qualified DNS filters. Even when working remotely from the office, users use secure browsing.
• Seamless Policies
Different corporate activities and surroundings require various policies. Depending on their needs, different teams within a company require individual browsing policies to be considered. To manage your policies, the best DNS filters should let you alter allowlists and blocklists.
What are the significant uses for DNS Filtering?
When investing in a tool, it is always beneficial to check its uses. As a business owner, you need to know how DNS filtering is useful for you and your website. Here are some of the main uses for DNS Filtering.
• Block Ware-hosting websites
Malware has been the biggest threat in the entire history of the internet. The first line of protection against malware infections is DNS filtering. Your PC won’t become infected if you are unable to access the website that distributes malware. Malware downloads happen frequently when users are duped or sent to harmful websites by mistake. Malware spreads throughout IT infrastructures like a forest fire once it has entered a device. Anti-malware programs protect against malware as well, but they work in response to the existence of malware. By preventing malware from being downloaded from its source, DNS filtering adds an extra layer of security.
• Ultimate Phishing Protection
Attackers’ attempts to trick workers into disclosing their login information essentially support the cybercrime industry. DNS filters identify websites that appear legitimate for what they are, fraudulent and illegitimate. DNS filtering is necessary to protect your company from sophisticated phishing attacks and to protect staff members who might be susceptible to social engineering.
• Efficient Content Policies
Businesses desire to prevent pornographic, alcoholic, or gambling-related illegal content from being viewed in the workplace. Such forbidden websites are blocked by DNS filtering. Many businesses that value productivity decide to restrict social media or other leisure websites.
What are the possible threats that are blocked by DNS Filtering?
Among all cyber attacks DNS attacks are the most destructive cyberattacks. They can harm your system in various ways. They bring business operations to a stop if not solved on time. This is why DNS Filtering is important. It offers a security layer that provides high security to keep up with the cyberattacks.
• URL Hijacking/Typo Squatting
By purchasing domain names that mimic reputable websites, cybercriminals take advantage of people’s carelessness. If they resemble the web address of the intended target company, common errors in the names of popular websites are taken advantage of. Customers will be directed to a phishing website if they type the URL incorrectly. Online banking is a particularly typical place for this attack strategy. To prevent this exploit, a dynamic DNS filter compares the input URL to a database of known typos.
• Spear Phishing
Targeted phishing scams are very prevalent. Spear phishing attacks have a high success rate since they are supported by research and customized for the target. Targets of spear phishing attempts are protected by DNS filtering. The victim will be prevented from accessing any fraudulent websites, even if they fall for the phishing scam and click on a dangerous link.
DNS Filtering vs Web Filtering: A comprehensive analysis
We often see users getting confused between Web Filtering and DNS Filtering. Despite the fact both of them are two different concepts, we often see DNS Filtering getting confused with Web Filtering. Both DNS Filtering and Web Filtering are two types of Content Filtering Mechanisms but with significant differences. Based on DNS requests, DNS filtering prevents access to websites that are blacklisted. Web filtering, on the other hand, is based on URL limitations. DNS filtering is more effective than URL filtering for several reasons.
- Even before websites load, DNS Filtering blocks them.
- For better security, DNS Filtering occurs before any content is downloaded.
- If we compare, DNS Filtering is faster than Web Filtering. It is smooth and the page load speeds remain unaffected.
- With DNS Filtering, you can also block access to websites with encrypted connections (HTTPS).
Even though the objectives of DNS Filtering and Web Filtering are the same, they differ in terms of performance and uses. With the help of robust content filtering mechanisms, it will help in preventing dynamic threats.
Do you still need to have DNS Filtering even though you have endpoint security?
There is no denying that any security posture must include both next-generation antivirus software and endpoint security. However, it doesn’t negate the requirement for DNS filtering. Once they’ve entered your system, viruses are detected by antivirus software. A different use case is provided by DNS filtering. It prevents end users from using resources that could inadvertently expose them to infections. It is a preventative defense strategy.
Additionally, content that is improper for work but does not contain malicious code cannot be blocked by an antivirus. Websites like gambling, pornography, or social media will not be blocked by your endpoint security solution. That is what a DNS filter does. Many antivirus programs cause lag and latency. To enhance efficiency, staff members can disable their local firewall or antivirus software on their laptops. The additional security provided by DNS filtering is crucial in such circumstances. In the threat landscape of today, multi-layered security is essential. DNS filters are an essential part of a thorough security posture.
What are the top three approaches to DNS Filtering?
The most simple and effective approaches to integrating DNS Filtering are:
• Manual DNS Filtering
If you are someone with a smaller business with minimum web users to monitor, this approach might be the best for you. Basic DNS filtering is set up by internal IT teams for websites with a negative reputation and known security risks. Although manual DNS has a cheap entry cost, it necessitates internal teams to have very technical skills and a working knowledge of DNS lookups and defenses. In the current market, it is difficult to locate and hire specialist IT experts.
• Automated DNS Filtering
Businesses that require constant growth might prefer DNS Filtering with automated options. The Automated DNS tools can either be open source or proprietary. This filtering solution is mostly applicable to small to medium-sized businesses.
• Managed DNS Filtering
The optimum strategy for big or quickly growing businesses is managed DNS filtering. Managed security service providers (MSSPs) organize DNS filtering for clients by utilizing their current security stack and specialized security knowledge. Working with MSSPs has the advantage that they implement, oversee, and maintain DNS filtering while also maintaining overall security health. They assess your infrastructure for both known and undiscovered vulnerabilities, apply updates, and offer thorough security.
What are the factors that need to be considered for a managed DNS Filtering?
We have already discussed the main features of the DNS Filtering solution. Considering your web, if you are still worried about various web threats, it is advisable to invest in a DNS Filtering Solution. However, you should consider all these factors and make sure the filtering solution has what you need:
• 24/7 Monitoring
When opting for any particular feature, the most prominent features are round-the-clock monitoring and proper assistance. Always choose a security partner that provides you with proper assistance and secures your infrastructure.
• Detailed Reporting
Choose a security system that is willing to provide you with all the advanced and detailed reporting. It is important for you to have full access to every report and it is provided to you in detail. Moreover, you should also be provided with advanced security solutions that keep your server safe.
• Flexible Solutions
Your policies should be customizable. It should be possible for you to modify your DNS policies and set them according to your needs.
• Real-Time Updates
New threats should be reported right away to a worldwide database via a certified DNS filter. This guarantees complete protection against new and zero-day attacks.
• Client Assistance
Working with an MSSP gives your IT team support because they are not on their own. Ensure that your security company provides open channels of contact and 24/7 customer assistance.
• Cost Friendly
You can obtain a good return on investment because of the flexible price options and the flexibility to pay for the services you actually utilize.
• Scalable Network
Your dynamic company expands quickly. Therefore, be sure the company offering your managed DNS filtering solution can handle the varying traffic and expanding demand.
As you can see, DNS Filtering offers a lot of services that make it an effective security solution server. Despite being the same as Web Filtering, it still differs in many ways. Moreover, it is even more effective than Web Filtering. It offers you the benefits of a seamless network for working and provides you with a secure security system. However, you should still do your own research before opting for which security system you’re going to choose for your system.