Why DNS is More Critical and More Vulnerable

If your external DNS fails, so does your digital business.

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The push for digital transformation with “cloud-first” and “cloud-only” strategies means the internet is now the engine driving global business. Your C-suite expects 24 x 365 connectivity so protecting your organization’s Domain Name System (DNS) assets is critical. If your external DNS fails, so does your digital business.

DNS is mission-critical to all organizations that connect to the Internet, according to Gartner. “DNS failure or poor performance leads to applications, data and content becoming unavailable, causing user frustration, lost sales and business reputation damage.” However securing critical DNS infrastructure is too often an afterthought, says Nicolai Bezsonoff, General Manager of Neustar Security Solutions.

First developed in the early 1980s, DNS is essentially the phone book for Internet protocol (IP) addresses. DNS maps the name used to locate a website, such as https://www.neustar.biz/, to a corresponding IP address ( Currently, there are about 1.2 billion websites and 3.2 billion email accounts. These will surge by 2020 to 4.1 billion internet users and 26.3 billion networked devices and connections. By 2027, tens of billions of smart objects will be internet enabled with IP addresses.

Cyber criminals are focused like never before on exploiting these targets.

For example, recent research by Neustar discovered that more than half of companies have experienced a downtime event that lasted more than 8 hours in the past 5 years. Three fourths of US- and UK-based organizations have experienced a DNS attack. Half of these uncovered some sort of DNS-based attack in the previous 12 months. According to the research, DDoS attacks also grew larger (45% were more than 10 gigabits per second) and more frequent (40% received attack alerts from customers, up from 29% in 2016).

Fire alarms are ringing for cyber security professionals. According to respondents, 849 out of 1,010 organizations were attacked, a 15% year-over-year increase, and 86% of those attacked were hit more than once. Almost half (43%) reported average revenue loss of at least $250,000 per hour. Delays are contributing to cost damages, with 51% of attacks taking at least three hours to detect and 40% taking at least three hours to summon response.

Eliminating or reducing the threat of network outages can mean the difference between business success and failure, and an essential element of keeping your network up and running is securing your Domain Name System. “An externally sourced, managed and focused DNS as a service (DNSaaS) solution can be cost-effective, and offer greater resilience, reliability and performance, while evolving to keep pace with the needs of cloud and digital business applications,” says Gartner analyst Bob Gill.

When optimal network and web performance is a necessity and downtime is not an option, you need a reliable DNS capability. You should look for a solution with a redundant capability to ensure no loss or disruption of service. Having a secondary DNS service isn’t about having a plan B; it’s about having a smarter Plan A.

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.