Cybersecurity concerns are on the rise, with both large enterprises, as well as small and medium businesses, becoming targets. Small businesses, however, may have fewer cybersecurity defenses, making them particularly vulnerable.
Small businesses are vulnerable to cyber-attacks for two main reasons. First, the technical infrastructure is often not as secure as it could be. Second, cybersecurity is not a natural priority for small businesses, which may spend tens or even hundreds of times less than large companies on cybersecurity.
DNS filtering is a critical part of any cybersecurity strategy, but it’s often overlooked by small businesses. Large enterprises have the resources and IT departments to maintain their DNS infrastructures, but smaller companies can’t afford the time or cost of an in-house system. And that’s where third-party providers come in.
The Small Business Landscape
The small business landscape is a large and vibrant one. The U.S. Small Business Administration states that as of 2021, there were 32,540,953 million small businesses in America. This means small businesses comprise 99.9% of all firms in America.
The booming nature of small businesses means they are one of America’s most important economic drivers—but they’re also more vulnerable to cyberattacks than larger corporations or enterprises. This is because they have fewer resources available to devote to cybersecurity and their smaller size makes it easier for hackers to find them, then breach their security systems with relative ease.
What Is a Domain Name System (DNS)?
DNS is a protocol that translates domain names into IP addresses. It does this by storing the mapping of each domain name to an IP address in a specially formatted text file called a zone file. The DNS directory of all domains on the internet is what enables you to type “google.com” or “facebook.com” in your browser and have it load instantly without needing to know what IP address they are located at.
This means that if you have malware or ransomware on your system, it can hijack your DNS server by sending out false information about its location (such as telling your computer that google.com’s real IP address is 10.0.0.*). This won’t allow hackers to steal any personal data, but it can make it look like legitimate traffic coming from Google instead of malicious activity coming from hackers’ systems.
Why Is DNS Filtering Important?
DNS filtering is the ability to block unwanted websites or allow only those that are necessary, to prevent malware from infecting your network. This can be as simple as blocking access to known malicious sites or simply keeping a blacklist of dangerous ones; however, it can also extend into whitelisting and blacklisting DNS requests based on their origin and validity.
This kind of protection provides an extra layer of security for businesses online—especially for those who operate in industries with sensitive data like healthcare or finance—by preventing cybercriminals from gaining access to critical information. Essentially, it keeps out hackers by limiting their targets’ exposure: DNS filtering stops them from being able to send fraudulent emails containing malware attachments that try to spread viruses throughout networks (like email attachments often do).
Benefits of DNS-Layer Security for Small Businesses
As opposed to a complicated set of products, DNS-layer protection is a single solution. You can get real-time protection, save time, and heighten your levels of network security—all while maximizing your budget. Keep reading to learn how DNS-layer security can help your small business:
DNS filtering is a proactive security solution that can be used to block malicious traffic before it reaches your network. You can also use it to block malicious activity before it reaches your end users or your business applications.
The best way to think about DNS filtering is as a firewall for the DNS layer, just like a network-level firewall protects your network from incoming threats. This technology effectively provides security at multiple layers of the internet infrastructure stack: on the perimeter (between public and private networks), in transit (between organizations’ networks), and at rest (within organizations’).
Security regulations are becoming more and more stringent, with several industry-standard regulations like HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). But what does this mean for small businesses? How can you meet compliance requirements while also minimizing your expenses?
One way is by using DNS filtering to protect your company’s data. As a strong line of defense against cybersecurity threats, DNS filtering can help you meet compliance regulations without having to hire an expensive team of IT professionals or purchase costly software licenses.
By deploying DNS filtering at the server level and applying security policies on traffic entering and leaving your network, you’ll be able to secure all channels where sensitive information may be transmitted—including emails, instant messages, and web browsing sessions.
DNS filtering can help improve productivity by reducing the amount of time IT spends on security and notifying them of any potential threats.
By implementing a DNS filter, IT personnel can focus more on other tasks like managing systems, providing remote support, and identifying vulnerabilities in network infrastructure. This allows their employees to work efficiently without being distracted by constant notifications that something is wrong with their network.
In addition to improving workplace efficiency overall, this also reduces the amount of time needed for both IT and staff members to respond to cybersecurity issues, increasing overall productivity levels within an organization.
As we’ve seen, sophisticated malware attacks are becoming increasingly common. Unfortunately, small-to-medium businesses can be particularly vulnerable to these threats due to their limited resources and lack of expertise in cybersecurity. With the right tools and techniques, though, you can protect your business against these threats while also boosting productivity and profitability.
Want to implement DNS-layer security into your business’s digital infrastructure? Reach out to the experts at IT Consulting! With security solutions ranging from next-generation firewalls to email security and open DNS, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch today!