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How Secure is your DNS?

Let’s first start by defining DNS (Domain Name System) and describing what it does.

DNS allows users and devices to establish connectivity (for instance, DNS translates connect to or \\server1 to \\ this translation allows devices to talk. Just about anything that connects to the internet relies on DNS. Most online transactions and movements of data are reliant on DNS Services.

DNS is a very important point for security enforcement and a great target for Cyber Criminals to leverage. Organizations need to be aware of this and ensure they have security measures in place to mitigate or prevent these online threats.

DNS and your day-to-day business

DNS services are vital to the functioning of a network of devices. If an organization’s DNS services are down, the organization is essentially unreachable for most online purposes. Data is not able to enter or exit the network.

A Cybercriminal realizes this vulnerability and is always looking for ways to compromise this technology and affect DNS uptime. This disruption can be at the application-layer or the network-layer. At the application-layer a Cybercriminal can re-direct traffic meant for one server to a different server by modifying the software. With a network-layer DNS disruption they can divert traffic meant for one network to a different network. Neither of these are going to be overly apparent to a user until it is too late.

Framework for DNS Security

Many organizations recognize that they do not have DNS expertise in-house, so they let their domain registrar, or another third party manage the organization’s DNS zones. With this lack of control, it is easy to see how DNS can become an afterthought.

DNS needs to be at the forefront of every network security discussion. These discussions should ensure there are limited administrators with access to configure and manage DNS and that they are fully qualified and understand clearly the security vulnerabilities of a mis-configured DNS hierarchy.


As cyberattacks grow in frequency and impact, organizations can no longer afford to overlook DNS security as part of their overall defense-in-depth strategy. As with IT security in general, no single tactic can address the entire DNS threat landscape. The key is to assess risks, identify security gaps, and develop a plan to bolster the security of both your inbound and outbound DNS. Any many cases, managed services provider can offer solutions that far exceed the internal capabilities of an organization – and at a lower cost than on-premise solution.