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OpenDNS uses big data to identify attacks before they occur

Aug 01, 20132 mins
Application SecurityCloud SecurityCybercrime

OpenDNS' Umbrella Security Labs has access to valuable information it can use to predict malicious attacks.

I’m familiar with OpenDNS, or at least I thought I was until last night. I’ve used OpenDNS at various times in the past when I just needed a reliable DNS server to connect to. However, OpenDNS hadn’t really occurred to me as a “security company”, and I was surprised to run into representatives from OpenDNS at a Black Hat reception hosted by Cylance.

It turns out–to OpenDNS’ credit–that the leadership of the company didn’t fall into the same trap I did. Rather than assuming the company provides DNS services, and viewing the world strictly through that limited lens, OpenDNS stepped back and considered the bigger picture. The fact is that by virtue of providing DNS services OpenDNS has an inside view of massive amounts of Web traffic, and that data has value from a security perspective. 

In a press release from the Kaspersky event, Hubbard is quoted saying, “The mission of the Umbrella Security Labs is to continually innovate ahead of the pace of technology change and build the best security protection and security delivery network platform possible without compromising performance or productivity. By partnering with other entities that can contribute additional data scoring techniques, data mining capabilities and visual graphs we can transform from the Internet security industry from reactive to predictive.”

That’s a tall order with a lot of buzz words, but the concept sounds intriguing. I did not get a chance to view the demo myself yet, but OpenDNS will be hosting an event in Houston in August. I hope to attend and learn more about the how OpenDNS is leveraging the vast quantities of data it has access to in order to help make the Internet a safer place for its customers.