Securing an organization's incoming and outgoing traffic while staying on top of every link that employees click can be challenging. DNS has recently begun to attract hackers' attention, owing to the fact that any shortcomings might provide hackers with a gateway through which they may exploit flaws and execute a domain fronting-style operation.
The fact that a study on DNS security market trends showed a compound annual growth rate of 9.2 percent from 2020 to 2025 is an indicator of the importance of DNS monitoring. Robust DNS monitoring can help maintain an organization's security and trust with its users. Before diving into DNS monitoring, it's essential to understand what a Domain Name System (DNS) is.
What is a Domain Name System (DNS)?
A domain name is comparable to the internet's phonebook. A Domain Name System helps in mapping & converting user-friendly strings of domain names (www.google.com) into their respective IP addresses (188.8.131.52). Humans can easily remember and access domain names through strings rather than numbers. The process of mapping the domain name to their respective IP address so that the client can send the request to that particular server is called DNS resolution. According to Markets and Markets research's expectation, by 2025, the managed DNS services market size will grow from 372 million USD in 2020 to 862 million USD.
What is DNS monitoring?
DNS monitoring is the process of regularly keeping tabs on the Domain Name System (DNS) servers for errors or unusual behaviour. DNS monitoring entails keeping a close watch on the incoming and outgoing traffic of a website’s domains to protect the enterprise’s infrastructure from malicious activity, breaches, and attacks like pharming, spoofing, DoS, DDoS, DNS poisoning, and domain fronting.
DNS monitoring helps manage and ensure that the back-and-forth communication between the client software and the server is secure. Irrespective of the number of websites your company runs, DNS monitoring helps organizations rapidly diagnose any technical issues or flaws and identify attack vectors.
What are some of the benefits of DNS monitoring?
Some of the key benefits of DNS monitoring include:
Detection of attacks such as pharming, spoofing, DoS, DDoS, DNS poisoning and domain fronting
Protection against data theft and loss
Improved performance and reliability of web-based applications
Faster identification of and response to technical issues
Reduced downtime and improved customer satisfaction
Enhanced security for the organization's online presence
Features of DNS monitoring
DNS monitoring is a major task from a security standpoint, and it has a trickle-down effect on other areas. Here are some of its main features:
DDoS mitigation using DNS monitoring
DNS monitoring techniques and tools play a significant role in DDoS prevention and mitigation strategies. Through DNS monitoring, companies can observe the distinctive traffic patterns & anomalies in pings from the client-side. Based on that, they can take prompt actions to either sinkhole them or elude them. Depending on such monitoring data, organizations can also leverage ML-driven sanitization techniques & filters.
Prevent against DNS cache poisoning
Cache poisoning is an attack vector that exploits the DNS framework. Cache poisoning surfaces when someone inserts invalid IP addresses in the DNS cache. This pollutes or poisons the DNS cache. This is a deliberate poisoning technique employed by attackers or malware. Through this attack vector, cybercriminals divert the internet traffic away from the original server & towards fake servers. DNS monitoring can help identify the IP addresses redirecting to unknown or illegitimate servers. If companies do not prevent DNS poisoning, it can harm the users while damaging a company's reputation.
DNS monitoring can prevent DNS tunnelling
DNS tunnelling is a type of cyberattack that exploits the DNS protocol to tunnel malicious scripts, programs, and other unnecessary data. It routes the DNS requests to the attacker's server and provides attackers a hidden C&C (command & control) pipeline or exfiltration path. With the help of DNS monitoring, the organization's security experts can detect and eliminate the additional traffic or implement a blacklisting tool.
To sum it up, DNS monitoring should be an essential part of any organization's security strategy. By detecting and preventing attacks, it helps protect the enterprise's infrastructure and online presence. In addition, DNS monitoring also improves the performance and reliability of web-based applications. As such, it is an important tool that companies should consider using.
Consult the Packetlabs team to learn more about assessments that can help uncover vulnerabilities residing in your IT and network systems.