5 Cybersecurity Benefits of DNS Firewalls You should Know

Heard about DNS firewalls, but not sure how they can really benefit your business? Let’s first understand how DNS works.

DNS or domain name system is a server that acts as directory assistants — matching hostnames to their equivalent I.P. addresses. For example, you type www.gripit.ca into your browser. Your query will go to a DNS server, which then provides the I.P. address.

So, where do firewalls come in?

Actually, DNS firewalls exist from around the last 20 years, but only yet they have been implemented to safeguard an old technology. So, with the DNS firewall, when you send a query to the DNS server, it compares the hostname, I.P. address against the list of known threats.

If safe, the DNS returns the address — and if not, the DNS server will redirect to a verified landing page. So, DNS security works with a simple principle — block the problem before it reaches you.

Benefits of DNS Firewalls

DNS firewalls provide significant benefits to end-users — from small businesses to enterprises to individuals. Here we discuss some of the business challenges and cybersecurity threats that they can resolve:

1. Monitoring at Single Place

DNS firewalls allow you to monitor both security threats and your teams’ behaviour at a single place, even if your organization has offices at multiple locations.

2. Track and Monitor Traffic

All DNS traffic points toward a specific location. This means everything is logged and tracked. So, not only can you monitor where URLs are going, you can also block any potential threats.

3. Control Remote Access

Think about remote workers. One of the biggest threats today to any organization is the mobile employee. You don’t actually know where they are working from, what risks they may be facing, and what are their browsing habits. While you can provide a VPN to secure communication from point A to B, but you may not have any idea what they are doing on that corporate laptop. A DNS firewall can mitigate threats and control the content being accessed.

4. Added Layer of Defense 

DNS firewall helps home users, as well. They add another layer to defense and in-depth security. If you’re using a DNS firewall on your browser, it blocks a lot of threats before they can even reach you. Unified threat management helps in avoiding different threats such as malware, ransomware, system hijacking, and compromised data security.

5. Augments Data Privacy

Your Internet Service Provider (ISP) knows every website you visit because DNS resolves hostnames to I.P. addresses. This way, your ISP grabs the information, aggregate it, and resells it. When implementing on an enterprise level, a DNS service captures and logs all the information that your employees are using.

For example, Google offers free DNS services where it stores the traffic and the information about — from where it’s coming, and what is the content. This way, Google can now target marketing information and services and resell the information to other vendors. But it is so systemic, that new regulations are contemplating to either — prevent this behaviour, or properly inform users. In most cases, most people don’t understand if this is happening.

Using a DNS firewall ensures that most vendors who offer the service do not capture your traffic. It helps in security and threat management in the cloud, increasing your privacy.

A DNS firewall can help you protect your DNS from external attacks such as DDoS, and cache poisoning that misdirects users to malicious sites. It is simple to implement and offers a great overall value. If you need more information about securing your network with a DNS firewall, reach out to GRIP I.T. for more details.