The domain name system (DNS) is essential for converting user queries into readable information that pulls up a website, similar to a phonebook.
The DNS provides a useful function, but it has several weaknesses that make it a target for threats known as DNS attacks. These are devastating because they can give unauthorized sources access to private information or disrupt network traffic.
When managing your network, you need an effective DNS security strategy to ensure that no DNS attacks affect you. Arguably the best tool for this is domain name system security extensions (DNSSEC), protocols you can enable to add levels of verification.
To appreciate the significance of DNS security, you’ll likely want to know why it is important to address it. We’ll go over this below to encourage you to implement a great DNS security strategy for your network.
The DNS Is Essential to Network Operations
Because the DNS is used to translate domain names into IP addresses, it is arguably the most important function for a user to interact with a website.
Say that the DNS was non-functional. Whenever a user entered a domain name to search for a website, nothing would appear because your network is expecting an IP address.
If users on your network cannot get their DNS queries converted to IP addresses, then they will never get a response. This results in downtime as nobody will be able to use the internet until the DNS is resolved.
DNS Information Is Publicly Visible
The DNS needs protection because the information within the DNS is publicly visible unless you’re explicitly encrypting it.
Most internet traffic is encrypted, which makes it safe to a prying eye. Unfortunately, domain names do not inherently have this luxury.
Whenever a new user attempts to connect to a website, they must enter a domain name. Furthermore, the domain name is visible during HTTPS connections.
With this in mind, there is little privacy when it comes to the DNS. This is highly dangerous because it provides a hacker with information that can be used against you. The best solution for this is DNS encryption, which will prevent domain information from being easily visible.
The DNS Is Limited
Another problem with the DNS is that it has limits on what it can functionally do.
The DNS is an old service that has existed for several decades. When it was first launched, it was designed solely for functionality. Since then, it has received updates that keep it more in line with current needs.
Despite this, the DNS is still oriented towards offering the basic functionality of converting domain names into IP addresses. This makes it a fairly bare-bones service that is easily exploited due to new technology.
The other issue is that the DNS wasn’t designed for security. Most of the cyber threats posed today didn’t exist when the DNS was created.
While updates have added features like domain name system security extensions (DNSSEC), there are still inherent vulnerabilities in the DNS due to how basic it is. That said, DNSSEC is your greatest tool for keeping the DNS secured.
DNS Attacks are Prevalent and Potent
Arguably the most important reason why DNS security should be a priority is that DNS attacks are prevalent and potent.
DNS attacks come in many different forms including DNS hijacking, DNS tunneling, DNS amplifying, and cache poisoning. Some aim to sabotage DNS queries by redirecting traffic to malicious sites while others intend to prevent your network from running.
What all DNS attacks have in common is that they are incredibly difficult to deal with and becoming more prevalent in today’s digital world. Because the DNS is naturally exposed, this makes DNS attacks effective and disruptive.
Considering this, the DNS poses a glaring security concern that you cannot overlook. If you want to ensure the safe operations of your network, then you need to improve your DNS security strategies.
The domain name system (DNS) plays a critical role in making internet searches. Without it properly functioning, users on your network would be unable to search for websites.
Unfortunately, the DNS is not well-protected, making DNS security a priority. A few reasons for this include that the DNS is essential to network operations, DNS information is publicly visible, the DNS is limited, and DNS attacks are prevalent and potent. While the DNS leaves an entryway for attackers, you can cover it with DNSSEC and similar DNS security strategies. Don’t neglect the safety of your DNS servers because it will leave you vulnerable to an attack!