MANAGED SECURITY // Managed Services,Managed Security

What is DNS Security & How Does it Work?

January 06, 2023

Organisations widely trust DNS and typically allow DNS traffic freely through network firewalls. However, it is often attacked and abused by cyber criminals. DNS security is, therefore, an essential component of network security.


What is DNS Security?

When most people browse the Internet, they use domain names to identify the websites they want to visit. However, the computer uses her IP address to identify various internet-connected systems and route traffic through the internet. Domain Name System (DNS) The protocol that makes the Internet secure and usable for users with a specific domain name is called DNS security.

Organisations widely trust DNS and typically allow DNS traffic freely through network firewalls. However, it is often attacked and abused by cybercriminals. DNS security is, therefore, an essential component of network security.

How is DNS Used in Attacks?

DNS can be used in many ways. Some threats include infrastructure attacks. 

1. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS):

DNS infrastructure is critical to the functioning of the Internet. A DDoS attack against DNS can make a website inaccessible by rendering the DNS server that serves the website unavailable by saturating the network with apparently legitimate traffic. A classic example of this is the DDoS attack against Dyn in 2016. In this attack, an army of internet-connected camera-hosted bots brought down many major websites, including Amazon, Netflix, Spotify, and Twitter.

2. DNS DDoS Protection:

DNS uses UDP for transport. This means an attacker can spoof the source address of her DNS requests and send responses to her IP address of choice. In addition to this, DNS responses can be much bigger than the corresponding requests. DDoS attackers use these factors to amplify their attacks by sending small requests to DNS servers and large numbers of responses to targets.

3. Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks: 

In addition to her network-based DDoS attacks, her DoS attacks can also target applications running on DNS servers. These attacks aim to exploit system vulnerabilities to prevent them from responding to legitimate requests.

DNS also can be abused and utilised in cyberattacks. Following are the examples of DNS abuse:

1. DNS Hijacking:

DNS Hijacking refers to any assault that hints a person into wondering if they may be connecting to a valid area at the same time as they may be really linked to a malicious area. This may be done with the usage of a compromised or malicious DNS server or with the aid of tricking a DNS server into storing wrong DNS facts (an assault known as cache poisoning).

2. DNS Tunnelling:

As DNS is dependent on protocol, leading businesses permit it to freely input and depart their networks. Cybercriminals take advantage of DNS for fact exfiltration with malware whose DNS requests incorporate the facts being exfiltrated. Since the goal DNS server is typically managed using the proprietor of the goal website, the attackers make sure that the points reach a server in which they can be processed with the aid of using them, and a reaction is despatched withinside the DNS reaction packet.

The Importance of DNS Security

DNS is an older protocol and was developed without built-in security. With rising advancements in technology, DNS security has become paramount, keeping in mind the users. 

Reputation Filtering:

Like any Internet user, most malware needs to make DNS queries to find out the IP addresses of websites visited. Based on threat intelligence, organisations can block DNS requests or redirect them to known malicious domains to prevent users from visiting dangerous websites or malware from communicating with operators.

DNS Inspection: 

Data exfiltration using DNS (via DNS tunnelling) and other malicious activity can be detected by an intrusion prevention system (IPS) and integrated with next-generation firewalls (NGFW). This helps block DNS abuse for malware command and control and other attacks.

Secure Protocol:

DNSSEC is a protocol that involves authenticating DNS responses. An attacker cannot use DNS to send a user to a malicious website, as authenticated responses cannot be forged or altered. 

Secure Channels:

DNS over TLS (DoT) and DoH (DNS over HTTPS) add a secure layer to insecure protocols. By using DoH and DoT, a user can ensure the confidentiality of DNS responses and block sniffing or eavesdropping of DNS requests (which expose the websites she visits). These encrypted and authenticated requests are unlike traditional DNS.

How DNS Security Works

DNS security products from Spectra that can monitor, control, protect and protect your business from online threats. Cloud-based, easy to use, and competitively priced. The two critical features of this product are web security and web content control. When a user types a URL in their browser, this request is sent to Spectra's Cloud servers, which allow or block the request based on the defined policy. When a request is blocked, the user is presented with a block page informing them of the reason for the block. If the user is allowed, he/ she will be redirected to the requested URL

Key Benefits of the usage of DNS Security with Spectra

Block Malware & Malicious Sites - Spectra's cloud blocks get admission to malware, ransomware, phishing attacks, viruses, malicious sites, spyware, etc. It gets rid of malicious content material on the supply.

Control Internet Access - Spectra's Cloud enables you to control internet access inside your organisation at a very micro-level and from an easy-to-use management console.

Simple Set Up with Immediate Results - Requires no software program set up and may be installed and operational in minutes.

Benefits of the Cloud - Deployed as a cloud-primarily based totally carrier, this DNS primarily based totally answer calls for an easy DNS redirect to the Spectra servers. This allows scale and gets rid of latency.

DNS security best practices

  • Logging all DNS activities

  • Locking the DNS caches

  • Isolating authoritative from recursive name servers

  • Updating the DNS server constantly

  • Deploying a dedicated DNS application

  • Validating DNS data integrity with DNSSEC

  • Masking the primary DNS server and information

Monitoring DNS changes, account location, first uses, sensitive data access, and overtime activity differences are some of the metrics that can be correlated to paint a more comprehensive picture of detections. It's not too much.

Most of these enterprise DNS security best practices are not cost-effective, but they can help protect your organisation and your users from cyberattacks. If you don't have a modern DNS protection strategy, you should develop one as soon as possible.

Protect your network and applications from potential attacks and expose your brand image to the public. What are you doing in your business or organisation to secure your DNS? What are the best practices to use?


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