The Domain Name System also known as the DNS is the heart of the internet. It is a well-known internet service.
It is just like a phonebook that your system uses to record hostnames to IP addresses so that it could interact with public services like websites.
Although DNS do not gain much attention, it plays an essential and vital in the presence of online running business like websites, online services, cloud connections, and app. When DNS gets failed so, it won’t show you online. For all purposes and intentions, your business remains down like in a data breach.
The DNS server patterns, which lack proper security style, sometimes lead to severe problems. Attackers can exploit their systems to carry out some criminal activities such as transferring DNS zones, alter DNS resolvers to report to various IP addresses to trick people, redirect websites and email traffic, and introduce DNS amplifying attacks between other types of attacks.
When such kind of things happens so, the website visitors do not have any way to recognize that either their traffic has been redirected to other sever or not. Moreover, their emails are sent to some other server than the original servers from the attacked domain. For this reason, it is vital to keep your DNS server secure.
Six Things Organization Should Know to Secure DNS:
The DNS can be an appealing target for the attackers. Thus, it is imperative to secure the DNS. If you are running any organization or working as an employee in any organization, then you should have the complete knowledge about securing your DNS.
We are discussing some important things which are necessary for any organization to secure their DNS.
Security Design and Availability:
If an organization is hosting its DNS to support their online services so, they 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 separate DMZ.
It is crucial to limit internet traffic to protocols which 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 so, they should take measures to protect it from any attack.
They might also subscribe to DDoS protection service from their ISP or can install the specific DDoS protection appliances in front of the DDoS server.
Also, the organization must be careful about abundance to make sure that there is enough capacity to bear sudden spikes which happen due to DDoS attacks.
Have a Good Practice of DNS Management Hygiene:
An organization must enforce some strict access controls over the DNS. It asks either an organization uses a managed DNS provider or runs their DNS.
If the organizations have several DNS managers so, it can assign various functions to different users depending on their particular role. Moreover, can also limit the update access to specific zones which are necessary to complete their job.
It is essential to build up the access control by enforcing two-factor authentication along with single sign-on. In case the organization uses scripts or APIs to update their DNS so, it must use strong authentication keys. Also, you should limit the key 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 will able to maintain control over its domain name and can 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, untraced which results in significant financial loss. The nature of such attacks is so strong that when users make DNS query, they are provided with fake information. The false information later sends them to a phony website impersonating as a legal one.
These types of attacks are successfully used against cryptocurrency sites, and the targeted victims have lost their money too.
If in an organization client’s all kind of data such as personal, health and financial is at risk so, it is their responsibility to protect their user from all sorts of attacks.
One best possible way to protect client’s 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 domain.
Use Separate DNS Servers:
When you run your DNS so, it is possible to use an entire server or cloud where you can host all the remaining web services like an app server, HTTP server or even a database server.
It is among the most common practices amid all small firms who 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 so, it will help you to lessen the risk of becoming a target of web apps attacks.
Experts suggest closing all unnecessary server ports, avoiding unwanted OS services. In addition, use a firewall to filter your traffic, and allow the 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 reduces by modifying network filters, HTTP services, and Kernel response from OS. Then why not big DDOS attacks. Not many but 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 under the risk of DDoS attack. Your entire usage regarding bandwidth, packet per second will possibly cause you a significant setback. The situation might get worst when your ISP will not apply a null route to your IP address.
In such conditions, all you can do is to 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 all times.
The cybercriminals/ attackers will make every possible attempt to target your organization services, searching to find vulnerabilities inside your DNS. However, having strong DNS policy along with following the precautionary measures will surely help to secure the DNS.