Secure your network with DNS-layer security


Remote workers. Branch offices. An ever-expanding perimeter. You’re likely dealing with these challenges while you fight to contain cyber threats and protect your users — and your company. But you’re not alone.

In the past, most — if not all — of the apps and infrastructure we used at work sat behind a firewall. Employees came into a physical office and logged into the network to start working. Today, “the office” can be anywhere: A coffee shop. Public transit. A remote destination. And what’s happening to your perimeter? It’s expanding and blurring. Remote workers are bypassing the VPN. Data is bypassing perimeter security and flowing directly from mobile devices and apps to the cloud. Traditional security just can’t keep up.

Most security solutions focus on reducing the time it takes to detect and defend against threats. But are they preparing you for emerging threats or attacks that are still in the staging process? You need fast, effective security that blocks threats and secures users anywhere they access the internet.

That’s where Domain Name System (DNS) security comes in. DNS plays an integral role in internet architecture, enabling users to connect to websites or internet applications without having to memorize a collection of IP addresses. Despite its prevalence, however, very few organizations secure the DNS layer in their networks. This makes it easy for bad actors to infiltrate businesses of all sizes using DNS. In fact, a Cisco Security Report revealed that 91% of malware uses DNS for command and control, data exfiltration, or web traffic redirection activity. This makes DNS-layer security a no-brainer for small businesses owners looking to enhance cybersecurity in a quick, tangible way.

It’s time for more effective security. Attackers are getting smarter, faster, and harder to catch. Ransomware in particular has grown into a billion-dollar industry as targeted attacks become more frequent. According to Cyber Security Ventures, a new organization will fall victim to ransomware every 11 seconds in 2021.

The evolution of how we work and the evolution of internet threats together add up to a new reality for IT. You can no longer rely on network-level protections alone to keep your data secure. Traditional security can’t extend protection to mobile users or handle the exponential increase in internet traffic. Secure web gateways, firewalls, and sandboxing are important tools — but they provide help only after an attack occurs.

For the sake of understanding how securing DNS can help improve the overall cybersecurity of your small business, here’s what you need to know:

As a Cisco partner we offer cloud-delivered endpoint protection and advanced endpoint detection and response across multi-domain control points. Solutions that stop breaches and block malware, then rapidly detect, contain, and remediate advanced threats that evade front-line defenses.

  • DNS-layer security operates at the foundation of the internet – the DNS and IP layers – stopping malware, ransomware, phishing, and botnets before bad actors can even establish a connection to your network
  • Secure DNS solutions provide visibility and protection that isn’t limited by device or location, allowing you to protect on-premises and roaming employees who use laptops, iOS, and Android devices
  • Cloud-native DNS-layer security – like that offered by Cisco Umbrella – doesn’t require hardware installation or software maintenance, allowing you to roll out your new cybersecurity solution across your small business in minutes
  • By investing in a single solution – DNS-layer security – as opposed to a complicated network of products, you can streamline cybersecurity management while maximizing your budget.

Use the internet to your security advantage.

DNS security uses the internet’s infrastructure to stop threats over all ports and protocols, effectively stopping malware before it reaches your endpoints or network. Using statistical and machine-learning models to uncover both known and emerging threats, Cisco’s Umbrella proactively blocks connections to malicious destinations at the DNS and IP layers. And because DNS is a protocol used by all devices that connect to the internet, you simply point your DNS to the Umbrella global network, and any device that joins your network is protected. So, when your users roam or access SaaS apps, your network stays secure.

Easily secure Direct Internet Access (DIA).

If you’re like most companies, your branch offices connect directly to the internet instead of backhauling traffic to headquarters — which can be a nightmare for the security team. It’s a resourcing hassle to keep appliance-based tools updated. They can’t scale up as more users work off network. And you’re left with limited or zero visibility into the threats targeting those users. You need to protect internet access across all devices, office locations, and roaming users — even when they’re off VPN.

Your security is only as good as the intelligence informing it. But traditional threat intelligence is reactive, basing security on information gathered only after an attack is successfully carried out. With threats increasing in sophistication and speed, you need intelligence that can learn from internet activity patterns, automatically identify attacker infrastructure being staged for the next threat and block those threats before they have the chance to attack your organization.

Users are working anywhere and everywhere, and they no longer need the VPN to be productive — they just use cloud services. You need a fast, easy way to protect users anywhere they access the internet. And you need it now. When your security is delivered via the cloud, there’s no hardware to install or software to manually update, making it easier on your security team to deploy and manage. We use DNS as the main mechanism to get traffic to our platform for inspection. And because DNS is a protocol used by all devices that connect to the internet, you don’t have to introduce any new processes or break existing ones. Contact our team of experts today to see how we can help you integrate DNS security into your existing security practice.