The DNS is a vital part of the Internet. Without it, the Internet would not function. However, the DNS does nothing to protect against online threats, but in this post, we introduce one of the best DNS security solutions to address that. The solution uses the DNS to protect against online threats and blocks access to malicious content.
What is the Domain Name System and Why was it Created?
The DNS – Domain Name System – was developed by computer scientist Paul Mockapetris in 1983 as a way to solve a fundamental problem with ARPANET, the predecessor of the Internet. In the pre-DNS days, hostnames and their corresponding IP addresses were included in a single table – HOSTS.TXT – on a single host. That approach was fine for small numbers of users, but it was not scalable and simply couldn’t cope with the rapid growth of ARPANET.
What was needed was a new, distributed, dynamic system that could be used at scale, where instead of looking up hostnames, easily identifiable names could be created for IP addresses. The DNS developed by Mockapetris became one of the first Internet standards in 1986 and is still in use to this day. All applications use DNS for communication, and every request to visit a website uses the DNS.
Put simply, the DNS translates domain names into IP addresses. It allows web browsers to load Internet resources by looking up the URL and determining its corresponding IP address to allow that content to be located.
The DNS Was Not Developed to Protect Against Cyber Threats
The problem with the DNS is it was not created with security in mind. At the time it was created, cyber threats were not a problem. Today, websites are used to phish for sensitive information and the Internet is used for distributing malware. The DNS will return the IP address of the requested web resource but exercises no control over the content of that web resource.
Fortunately, the DNS system can be made secure by using a DNS filter. When a lookup is performed to find an IP address, instead of that IP address being returned to allow content to be loaded in a browser, controls can be applied to determine whether the content should be displayed. Those controls are applied using a DNS filter.
What is a DNS Filter Used for?
There are two main reasons why businesses use a DNS filter. The most important is to prevent employees and guest users from accessing malicious websites, such as hacker-controlled websites that are used for distributing malware and phishing for sensitive data. A DNS filter is also used for content control, to prevent users from accessing undesirable content, including social media, dating, gambling, adult sites, or illegal web content.
A DNS filter applies controls at the DNS lookup stage of a web request. Instead of returning the IP address, the request is analyzed, and pre-set controls are applied. If the request is determined to be a security risk or if it violates Internet policies, the web resource will not be loaded, and the user will be presented with a block page that tells them why the content cannot be accessed. The attempt to access restricted content is also logged.
The Best DNS Security Solution for Filtering the Internet
The best DNS security solution for filtering out malicious content must have extensive coverage and must continuously scan the Internet to identify and assess new content as it is created. It must also be fast, as while it is important to block access to dangerous and undesirable web content, it must not lengthen page load times.
The best DNS security solutions are easy to set up and use. While enterprises and mid-market companies may need to conduct investigations into threats, most businesses want to quickly block threats and have a set-and-forget solution that automatically blocks threats and requires little to no maintenance.
The best DNS security products must be scalable and able to adapt to the changing needs of the business. They need to protect a distributed workforce, which is especially important during COVID times when employees need to work from home. Fortunately, there is a powerful DNS security solution that is exceptional at blocking threats, provides the tools to allow investigations to be conducted, yet is simple to set up, use, and maintain. That solution is WebTitan Cloud.
WebTitan Cloud: The Best DNS Security Solution for Businesses of All Sizes
WebTitan Cloud is a 100% cloud-based DNS filter that blocks access to malicious content such as phishing sites, prevents malware and ransomware downloads, and allows precision Internet content control. The solution can protect wired and wireless networks, making it ideal for businesses and Wi-Fi hotspot providers. It is also easy to protect remote workers, no matter where they access the Internet. There is also virtually zero latency – All lookups and controls are applied in around 5 milliseconds.
At the heart of the solution is a URL classification database and AI-driven threat intelligence from 650 million users, which delivers market-leading accuracy, coverage, and malicious website detection and ensures all users are protected against new threats as soon as they are discovered. Over 99.9% of the active web is covered, including 100% of the Alexa 1 million most-visited websites. All of those sites are automatically categorized into 53 categories, which means users have checkbox options for blocking the categories of websites they don’t want to be accessed. Those categories are automatically updated, as are the threat intelligence feeds to ensure new malicious content is automatically blocked. If a web page is requested that has not been previously assessed, it is assessed in real-time.
More advanced users benefit from full path detection, which allows deep analysis and provides page and path-level reporting to give analytical credibility to what is being marked as malicious. All URLs in the WebTitan databases are detailed down to the path level. A full reporting suite places the information you need at your fingertips. Reports can be scheduled, you can run them on demand, and you get a real-time view of Internet activity down to the individual user level.
WebTitan Cloud integrates with Active Directory and other directory services to allow group policies to be set with ease, and controls can be easily applied for different locations and for individual users. Setup is quick and easy and requires no IT skills. You can be up and running and protected in around 20 minutes, and there is world-class customer support if ever you have a problem. Importantly for many SMBs, WebTitan Cloud is affordable. The solution is competitively priced, and customers can also opt for monthly billing.
The Best DNS Security for MSPs
We believe WebTitan Cloud is by far the best DNS security solution for MSPs, as we have designed it with the needs of MSPs in mind. WebTitan Cloud is a multi tenant DNS filter that allows multiple clients to be managed from one centralized platform, with individual logins for clients to manage their own filtering settings should they wish. The solution also integrates seamlessly with MSP systems through a suite of APIs, WebTitan has multiple hosting options, can be provided as a white-label, and there is flexible pricing to match fluctuating seat numbers.
If you want the best DNS security at a great price, WebTitan Cloud is the answer. You can also try the full product for yourself – with full customer support – on a free trial to see for yourself how it improves security. Sign up for the trial today or give the customer service team a call if you have any questions.