Our network is always exposed to outside threats from malwares, hackers, phishers, etc. As every connection with the internet starts with a DNS query, a user relies on the DNS to access websites, resources and other applications on the internet, which is why most of the nuisances make use of DNS pathway to break-in to poor user’s network and one can only be so careful.
Once a break-in has happened, a malware can steal personal information, redirect traffic to malicious websites or even control the server. User end security can only do so much as it cannot evolve as fast as the threats out there do and are basically not designed to handle DNS-based malwares. And since DNS hosts individual users as well as enterprises at once, it becomes critical for some to employ a protection means at the DNS itself. That is where a DNS firewall comes into play which is, as the name suggests, a firewall at the DNS end.
Much like a regular firewall, a firewall at the DNS end will also allow legitimate DNS protocol traffic which is, the traffic which abides by the preset filtering rules as set by the DNS, but instead, it will do so for the whole network which it is serving. A properly maintained DNS firewall can block access to the DNS information for malicious hostnames, preventing connections or diverting traffic from an infected computer to a safe server.
Doing so, it also prevents ex-filtration of user’s critical and sensitive information. And the best of all, it is completely customizable, i.e. everything can be controlled by the user, including which sites or domains to block and which to allow nevertheless. Unlike access list ‘hostname.txt’ which was used earlier, in addition to forwarding and denying, a DNS firewall can also pass, drop, reroute, mirror, or even truncate any request to keep the user safe.
All it takes to create a DNS firewall is to list out the malicious hostnames which are then blocked by the server automatically. The vendor ensures constant updates of firewall which in turn can take care of phishing, malvertising, botnets, ransom wares, typo squats and conventional malwares. There is no need for reconfiguration of local networking system as well as it can be installed in any existing network so it becomes enterprise-friendly as workplaces, usually office and corporate set-ups cannot replace hardware frequently and economically.
Despite obvious security advantage, DNS firewall lacks merited usage as a general user is often oblivious to advances of this level and enterprises do not put all their faith in a product all of a sudden. As stated earlier, most of the intrusive activities on the internet happens at the DNS layer, it is time that industries safeguard this vulnerable and ever important component. Also, having a DNS firewall isn’t all, it also takes a smart and alert user. All that is required is that user has all the information necessary to customize the DNS in a safe way and keep a check on DNS updates to keep pace with world-class cybersecurity.