The Domain Name System (DNS) is a critical component of almost every business operating today. Despite the fact that DNS is crucial for ongoing operations very few organizations give a lot of thought to the security and business continuity of DNS. Think about it, without DNS there is no website, no applications, no email, and possibly no business. Outsourcing your DNS can improve your business continuity and security.
DNS is the underlying protocol that translates the IP addresses that underpin the Internet to human readable domain names. So, instead of having to remember 126.96.36.199 you can just type www.whoa.com into your browser. DNS does more than just translate IP addresses to domain names, it is also used to tell mail servers where to direct e-mail, and it can be used to load balance busy websites across multiple servers.
Given the importance of DNS it is surprising that most organizations trust their DNS management to their domain registrar without giving any thought to whether or not that domain registrar can meet the needs of the organization. Most domain registrars include basic DNS management at no cost. This can be adequate for small organizations, but often these organizations quickly outgrow the capabilities offered by most registrars.
Even small businesses can impacted by the limited capabilities of domain registrars. One common method hackers use to gain access to a domain is by using social engineering against the domain registrar, as was the case against a large Brazilian financial organization last year. The hackers contact the domain registrar pretending to be the owners of the domain and convince the registrar to point DNS entries to servers controlled by the hackers. The organization’s entire infrastructure is compromised and it can take days to get it restored.
That is where Cloud DNS services, like those offered by WHOA, can benefit even small organizations. To start, all WHOA Cloud DNS services have two-factor authentication. An attacker can’t just claim to represent your organization, they have to actually authenticate properly or they cannot make changes. In addition to two-factor authentication WHOA also offer role-based access control to our Cloud DNS services. This allows organizations to assign certain people control over specific domains or even specific management features, ensuring that only trusted administrators have full control over an organization’s domain infrastructure.
Of course, Cloud DNS is not just about managing access, it is also means providing robust DNS services. WHOA’s Cloud DNS can help improve your business continuity with 60 second DNS propagation. Let’s say that there is a cascading failure in your primary data center you can activate your disaster recovery site and within 60 seconds DNS, globally, will be pointing to your backup infrastructure. Instead of having to wait hours or days for recovery, you can be back up and running before your customers know there was a problem.
Of course this capability isn’t just useful for accidental failures. Hackers have gotten bolder about launching DDoS attacks against a wide range of companies, often accompanied by demands for ransom in order for them to stop. These DDoS attacks tend to focus on the IP addresses of the target servers. If your organization is under attack you can simply point your DNS to your back up systems and avoid any service disruption while you are dealing with the attackers.
Whether you are interested in Cloud DNS for security or business continuity purposes contact us to find out more about how WHOA can assist your organization.