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DNS Performance Monitor: What Is It and Why Is It Important

Posted on Aug 27, 2021 11:10 am

Is your network safe from hackers? Businesses need to do all they can to protect themselves from potential cyberattacks. Firewalls and encrypted servers are great, but there are many more ways data can be stolen or corrupted. Viruses like malware and trojans are responsible for millions of dollars in crimes each year. That makes exploring every area of cybersecurity all the more important.

This is why it’s so important that companies consider using a DNS performance monitor

If you have no idea what that is, not to worry. We’re going to educate you on all things DNS and DNS monitoring. By the end of this article, you’ll be an expert on cloud security and how to keep your company’s network safe.

What Is DNS?

DNS stands for your Domain Name System. Its primary function is converting your domain name into an internet protocol (IP) language. IP language is how data servers talk to each other.

Once your domain name, “www.widgets.com,” is translated into IP language, your internet browser can crawl the internet and locate the server providing the information that you want. Your domain name as users see it, and its corresponding IP address, create what’s known as a namespace (NS) on the world wide web.

That’s why the DNS database is so important. It contains the information that controls everyone’s daily internet experience. As a result, the DNS handles a large amount of internet traffic.

Normally, the DNS has no problem handling its duty. But, with the traffic amount being so large, there can sometimes be sections of the DNS that are susceptible to hacking.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do about the DNS at large. What we can do, however, is make sure our team has an airtight DNS protocol in-house.

What Is DNS Monitoring?

Your DNS monitoring protocol makes sure that the communication between your website, and the servers which hold their information, is secure. Not monitoring your DNS can endanger your entire network. Even if you are only operating one domain.

Having good DNS monitoring in place makes it easy to diagnose any problems or breaches that may occur. It can also help to prevent any targeted attacks.

Strong DNS management requires routinely checking DNS protocols to make sure there are no bizarre changes or outages. Sometimes outages occur from manual errors. But, they can also be signs of hackers attacking your system.

Once your IT team detects any suspicious activity, it can be resolved quickly before it corrupts your website. If you don’t deal with an issue quickly enough, it may even wind up corrupting some of your customers’ computers. And nobody wants that.

The Importance of DNS Monitoring

So, why is DNS monitoring important? Great question.

For starters, it keeps your company website secure. It also makes sure your users have a pleasant experience when visiting your site.

Another reason why it’s important is that the DNS attracts a lot of attention from hackers. Because there is so much information being sent back and forth between servers and websites all over the globe, it’s easy for hackers to slip in without being seen.

That’s why a DNS performance monitor is so important. 

There are a few common attacks that hackers will try to use on the DNS database. The first is DNS poisoning.

DNS Poisoning

Websites around the world use a process called caching. Think of caching as your web browser’s “memory.” 

If you visit a particular page of a website your browser’s cache will remember that page’s information for you. The idea is that if you visit it again, the computer will already have the information from that web site’s servers cached in its “memory bank.” This makes the page easier to load and you will actually see it load faster on your end.

DNS Poisoning is a technique hackers use to send false information to your DNS cache. By doing this, hackers can intercept users as they go to access your website. They can then redirect those users to a “spoofed” version of your website.

Once your users land there the hackers can install trojans, malware, basically whatever they want. The worst part is your users may not even realize they’re not on the right site. They could stay there for several minutes.

Plenty of time for hackers to get in, install a bug, and get out.

DDoS and DoS

DDoS and DoS are the other types of hacker attacks that are possible on your DNS system. DDoS stands for Distributed Denial of Services and DoS is Denial of Services.

What these attack techniques are attempts to crash your website by making continuous requests of its server information. 

Both types of attacks can be devastating to your users’ customer experience and your overall business. A continuous DNS monitoring protocol is the best way to stop any of these attacks from happening.

But what does effective DNS monitoring involve?

Effective DNS Performance Monitoring

You need to be aware of any areas where hackers could enter your system from. That’s why there are a few different factors to focus on within any solid DNS monitoring plan.

Your IP

Like we said earlier, your IP is what your browser converts your domain name into. Your browser does this so your website can be properly displayed to your users.

When conducting your DNS monitoring, it’s important to check your IP address. You want to make sure the IP that’s coming back from your system is the same as the one you’re providing. You can do this by performing a DNS query.

NS Records

Hackers will sometimes use NS records as an entryway to attempt to corrupt your primary and backup records. Make it part of your DNS monitoring protocol to directly test your NS records. Doing so will help to make sure that they are responding properly to your website visitors.

SOA Records

Your SOA records, or Start of Authority records, have a serial number in them. This serial number changes anytime your DNS updates. You’ll want to monitor these records and make sure all changes seem normal.

Any abnormal changes could be an indication of an attempt at a hacker attack.

MX and SRV Records

MX and SRV records are linked to your company’s email and other communications. Monitoring these will help your team to hold on to its email and communication data.

Hackers will try to access these records as a way to gain access to email conversations. They may also access them as a way to try and reroute messages to their computer.

Use a DNS Performance Monitor Tool

In addition to monitoring the various records on your website’s DNS framework, there are other steps you can take to make your anti-hacker DNS plan airtight. One of those steps is cloud computing.

Rubrik

Rubrik is a cloud-based data management tool. In the event of a hacker attack or data breach, Rubrik can handle backup and recovery of all of your important data and files.

Their software offers ransomware-proof backups for your files, anomaly detection, and data governance. Everything you need to stop hackers from trying any funny business. Rubrik is one of the leaders in cloud security.

S3 Storage

S3 Storage is another great way to put the cloud to work for you. S3 is the security as a service arm of Amazon’s web services product. AWS offers its solutions to businesses of all sizes.

S3 is capable of storing any amount of data no matter what your business. It can accommodate cloud-native applications, data lakes, machine learning, and analytics.

But where it really shines is its ability to provide backups and archiving for all of your important data. Its replication features allow your data team to limit downtime by meeting all of your recovery time and recovery point objectives.

VMware Cloud

VMware cloud is another leader in the security as a service business. They can offer you some of the best safety and security when it comes to backing up and recovering your critical data.

One of the cool things about VMware is that they are compatible with AWS as well. Leveraging both VMware and Amazon for your cybersecurity will give your critical data top-notch protection.

Cohesity

Cohesity is another great cloud-based backup option. Cohesity will back up your objects and files, it can help you with security and compliance, and it can even help with disaster recovery.

It’s an IT team member’s dream. Everything you would need to worry about with your vital data files is all covered in one place.

Rest Your Head On a Cloud

DNS management is an important part of your business’s overall IT plan. Enlisting the help of a powerful DNS performance monitor can help you keep a watchful eye on all aspects of your DNS framework.

If you have any other questions about your DNS system or cybersecurity in general, contact us at any time. We are ready and willing to have a conversation about your particular business. We will do whatever it takes to find the web security solution that’s right for you.

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