Things Organization Should Know to Secure Their DNS

Last updated: August 15, 2023 Reading time: 5 minutes
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Things Organization Should Know To Secure Their DNS

The Domain Name System, the DNS, is the internet’s heart. It is a well-known internet service.

It is just like a phonebook your system uses to record hostnames to IP addresses to interact with public services like websites.

Although DNS do not gain much attention, it plays an essential and vital role in online running business like websites, online services, cloud connections, and app. When DNS gets failed so, it won’t show you online. Your business remains down like in a data breach for all purposes and intentions.

The DNS server patterns, which lack proper security style, sometimes lead to severe problems. Attackers can exploit their systems to carry out criminal activities such as transferring DNS zones, altering DNS resolvers to report to various IP addresses to trick people, redirecting websites and email traffic, and introducing DNS amplifying attacks between other types of attacks.

When such things happen, website visitors do not have any way to recognize whether their traffic has been redirected to other servers or not. Moreover, their emails are sent to servers other than the attacked domain’s original servers. For this reason, it is vital to keep your DNS server secure.

Six Things Organizations Should Know to Secure DNS

The DNS can be an appealing target for attackers. Thus, it is imperative to secure the DNS. If you are running any organization or working as an employee in any organization, you should have complete knowledge about securing your DNS.

We are discussing some important things necessary for any organization to secure its DNS.

Security Design and Availability

If an organization is hosting its DNS to support its online services, it should make it available in multiple locations. Every location must have at least two servers designed for high availability. Moreover, they should own the DNS server, and it should have a separate DMZ.

It is crucial to limit internet traffic to protocols that require DNS. The organization must update itself with security patches on DNS software if it runs as an open source. For instance, BIND.

Protect and Secure DNS Servers from DDoS

Without any doubt, DNS is the prime target of DDoS attacks. When an organization hosts its DNS, it should take measures to protect it from any attack.

They might also subscribe to DDoS protection services from their ISP or can install specific DDoS protection appliances in front of the DDoS server.

Also, the organization must be careful about abundance to ensure enough capacity to bear sudden spikes due to DDoS attacks.

Have a Good Practice of DNS Management Hygiene

An organization must enforce strict access controls over the DNS. It asks either an organization should use a managed DNS provider or run its DNS.

Organizations with several DNS managers can assign various functions to users depending on their particular roles. Moreover, it can also limit the update access to specific zones necessary to complete their job.

It is essential to build access control by enforcing two-factor authentication and single sign-on. The organization must use strong authentication keys if it uses scripts or APIs to update its DNS. Also, you should limit the critical usage to only real and authentic sources.

The organization should adopt secure practices in interfacing with their domain registrar and should keep the list of authentic contacts updated with the registrar. In this way, the organization can maintain control over its domain name and prevent an expiration notice from the registrar.

Use a DNSSEC

Both DNS cache poisoning and DNS hijacking are especially offensive attacks. It is because these attacks go unidentified and untraced, which results in significant financial loss. The nature of such attacks is so strong that when users make DNS queries, they are provided with fake information. The false information later sends them to a phony website impersonating a legal one.

These attacks are successfully used against cryptocurrency sites, and the targeted victims have lost their money too.

If in an organization, clients’ all kinds of data, such as personal, health, and financial, is at risk so, it is their responsibility to protect their users from all sorts of attacks.

One best possible way to protect clients’ data is to start using Domain Name Security Extensions (DNSSEC). It protects the integrity and authenticity of DNS information by signing digitally and verifying it by top-notch domains.

Use Separate DNS Servers

When you run your DNS, it is possible to use an entire server or cloud to host all the remaining web services like an app server, HTTP server, or even a database server.

It is among the most common practices among all small firms that can collect and save all their server services in a single Plesk box or cPanel.

However, the best likely thing you can do is to use your DNS server on which you rely the most. It won’t make any difference if it is a Cloud or another dedicated server until it is purely dedicated to DNS services.

If you separate your DNS server from all other application servers, it will help you lessen the risk of becoming a target of web app attacks.

Experts suggest closing all unnecessary server ports and avoiding unwanted OS services. In addition, use a firewall to filter your traffic and allow essential services like SSH and the DNS server. All these things will alleviate the possibility of a DNS attack.

Use a DDOS ease provider

A small and average size DOS and DDOS reduce by modifying network filters, HTTP services, and Kernel response from OS. Then why not big DDOS attacks? Few data centers can assist their clients with a valid anti-DDoS service.

In an organization, if you run your DNS servers, then you are at risk of a DDoS attack. Your entire usage regarding bandwidth, packet per second, will possibly cause a significant setback. The situation might worsen when your ISP does not apply a null route to your IP address.

In such conditions, you can only hire an anti-DDoS expert service. These services can be Akamai, Cloudflare, and Incapsula. They can ease or lessen DDoS attacks in the best available way. Moreover, you can keep your DNS servers safe and protected so they can respond at all times.

Conclusion

The cybercriminals/ attackers will make every possible attempt to target your organization’s services, searching for vulnerabilities inside your DNS. However, having a strong DNS policy and following the preventive measures will surely help secure the DNS.

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About the Author

Rebecca James is an IT consultant with forward thinking approach toward developing IT infrastructures of SMEs. She writes to engage with individuals and raise awareness of digital security, privacy, and better IT infrastructure.

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