The Importance Of Secure DNS In Enterprise Security Strategy

In today’s hyper-connected world, with the proliferation of applications and devices, has transformed the way we interact with the internet. From the rise in applications across cloud and containers, connected IoT devices to cloud services and mobile apps, the demand for secure and reliable connectivity is imperative.

At the core of this connectivity lies the Domain Name System (DNS), a cornerstone of internet functionality. Its primary role in translating domain names to IP addresses enables users to access websites and other online resources. In the age where applications are the lifeline of a business, this also makes it an easy target for cyber attacks, necessitating enterprises to adopt critical security measures. Enterprise DNS Infrastructure can be complex. A secure DNS layer is pivotal for enterprises in the age of connected applications and devices, and to ensure efficient, secure, and scalable network operations.

Secure DNS

It’s important to note that critical business assets are shared infrastructure, and are prone to be exploited by attackers. Once critical assets are compromised, the attackers potentially have access to the entire network. This emphasis stems from the critical need for all entities to access essential business assets like sensitive data and critical applications securely. A modern enterprise security strategy is key in order to secure DNS traffic and mitigate exploitation of sensitive data.

The Critical Role of DNS Integrity

DNS is an entry point to an application and serves as a prime target for attacks with malicious actors seeking to intercept, or redirect application traffic. DNS is essential to business functions, and yet, it is an often overlooked layer when it comes to securing the enterprise network. Every aspect of internet activity needs the DNS layer to function across every device: IoT, Network, servers running within a data center and applications.

According to the IDC 2022 Global DNS Threat Report, 88% of organizations have suffered DNS attacks — with companies encountering an average of seven attacks per year at a cost of $942,000 per attack. In addition to financial losses, other serious consequences of DNS attacks include data theft, reputation damage, website downtime and malware infections.

The Critical Role of DNS Integrity Diagram

Source: IDC DNS Threat Report

 

A proactive approach to secure DNS is therefore essential in order to prevent backdoor delivery of malware, such as the SUNBURST, into the network and any data theft via DNS tunneling or domain generation algorithms (DGA).

There have been instances of compromised DNS resulting from the SolarWinds “SUNBURST” attack and many others. The SolarWinds attack underscores this which involved taking advantage of known weaknesses with enterprise domain name systems (DNS). The sheer volume of DNS queries makes it extremely difficult to monitor and secure.

Unified control, visibility, security, and governance across enterprise DNS ecosystems – AVX ONE

“In the SUNBURST atack, queries and domains resolved into seemingly legitimate traffic from seemingly legitimate domains. Most of these domains were hosted at secondary providers that also looked legitimate. This enabled the SUNBURST malware to breach and take root in victim organizations without notice.” (source: https://assets.extrahop.com/whitepapers/sunburst-dns-tactics.pdf)

Other forms of DNS attacks can include:

  • DNS Spoofing (Cache Poisoning)
  • DDoS Attacks (Distributed Denial of Service)
  • DNS Tunneling
  • DNS Hijacking
  • Phantom Domain Attacks
  • Subdomain Attack

With the changing threat landscape, and evolving DNS security, it is imperative for organizations to protect the availability, integrity, and privacy of DNS services. Using technologies providing centralized DDI governance, holistic DNS Infrastructure visibility, DNSSEC, DDoS mitigation, Threat detection and analytics can aid organizations towards securing their DNS services. Additionally, potential features like DNSSEC, DoH (DNS over HTTPS), DoT (DNS over TLS), and blockchain-based DNS will open the door to a more secure and resilient internet in the future.

How Can AppViewX help?

The AppViewX AVX ONE Platform offers unified control, visibility, security, and governance across enterprise DNS ecosystems

  • Centralized control of multi-vendor DNS ecosystems
  • Application centric context
  • Insights into TLS, Domains, DNS vulnerabilities and IP blindspots
  • Policy driven correlation and compliance across Domain, DNS, IP and CMDB assets
  • Self-service automation of Domain and DNS lifecycles
  • DNS audit and traffic utilization reports

Time to Get Control of DNS Management

DNS attacks pose significant risks to internet security and the availability of online services. A committed attacker will find ways exploit vulnerabilities, but adequate security measures will help mitigate risks in terms of exfiltrating sensitive information, especially from shared infrastructure elements

As the number of connected devices and the complexity of applications continue to grow, the importance of robust and secure DNS management cannot be overstated. Ensuring efficient and secure DNS operations will be a key facet of an organization’s network security strategy. To that effect, understanding the various types of DNS attacks is crucial for implementing effective defense mechanisms. Adopting robust security practices such as DNSSEC, encrypted DNS, traffic monitoring, and rate limiting, can help organizations protect their DNS infrastructure and ensure reliable, secure internet connectivity. Additionally, choosing the right DNS management solution and automation strategy is essential to gaining visibility and control. Here is where AppViewX can help. Contact us to learn more.

Tags

  • DDoS mitigation
  • DNS
  • DNS ecosystems
  • DNS Integrity
  • DNS Security
  • DNS vulnerabilities
  • DNSSEC
  • tls

About the Author

Karthik Kannan

VP - Product Management

VP - Product Management at AppViewX heading Automation and Low Code Suite. Oversee product lifecycle: vision > concept > ideation > design > launch.

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