DNS Firewall: Take Steps To Save Your DNS
What is a DNS?
DNS, or the Domain Name System, is a naming system for computers, services, or any resource connected to the internet, as the definition goes. Simply put, it inter-converts the IP addresses into the human intelligible form, known as the hostname, for example, 220.127.116.11 to simply www.google.com. Needless to say, it is difficult to imagine internet today without DNS servers as it is nearly impossible to memorize the IP addresses of thousands of websites that are used every day. Without it, the only way to reach other computers on the Internet is to use the numerical network address.
Using IP addresses to connect to remote computer systems is not a very user-friendly representation of a system’s location on the Internet and thus the DNS is heavily relied upon to retrieve an IP address by just referencing a computer system's Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN). A FQDN is basically a DNS host name and it represents where to resolve this host name within the DNS hierarchy.
Firewall, that’s something I’ve heard of!
Firewall is a very familiar term today. Firewall is a network security system that establishes the filtering conditions for any kind of network traffic or data to be interchanged between a computer and a network (say internet). It is basically a barrier between the internal network (Eg. PC) and the untrusted outside network (again, internet) which allows traffic to pass through it only if it meets the filtering security requirements as set by the firewall.
I’m sorry, weren’t we talking about DNS?
A DNS is a window between user and the network, but that doesn’t stop a user to get exposed to harmful resources on the internet. Plus, even though user can define the exact conditions on firewall, but the hackers or malwares keep updating and the user may not be able to continually keep pace with these nuisances, thus a user-end firewall may not suffice.
DNS Firewall to the rescue!
DNS firewall prevent your systems from communicating with harmful external resources. A DNS firewall can block, monitor, or redirected the traffic to safe locations. It can also take care of phishing, ransomware, malvertising (mal-advertising), botnets, typo squats, and other general malwares. A DNS firewall may also provide the flexibility to determine action taken when an endpoint attempts to connect with a potentially harmful resource which can then be blocked with an error response, no response, allowed to pass through, or dropped with no response – effectively cloaking the user’s network.
All it takes to create one is a list of malicious domains or hostnames, which can be added easily to the configuration of the DNS resolver server to automatically block access to those locations. By utilizing this secure DNS gateway, an enterprise can ensure its employees and IT systems are not routed to destinations that could jeopardize communications, proprietary information, customers’ private data etc.
Plus, there’s no hardware to install, major software upgrades, network reconfiguration projects, or any other extra time or money expenses.
Ok, what next?
Despite the great benefits, it is not very popular on the consumer end as it is relatively new and enterprise level changes take a bit of time to implement, but it sure is gonna get there.