2016 Report – The Global DNS Threat Survey

This year, EfficientIP pioneered the largest independent survey on DNS services and their importance in IT security attacks so far undertaken in the industry. Nearly 1,000 respondents have helped us better understand the technical and behavioral causes for the rise in DNS vulnerabilities and attacks, and the effects on businesses.

The survey proves DNS servers have become much more exploited than ever, and hackers often owe their ‘success’ to weak DNS defenses that no longer suit the needs of a company. On average, a single attack cost about $1 million in lost business and service downtime for 74% of survey respondents.

Out-of-the-box DNS servers bundled with Microsoft or Linux servers are not designed to provide sufficient security. These products’ defenses rely on firewalls, providing only a very basic protection level that cannot withstand high-volume DDoS attacks, nor detect more advanced attacks such as a DNS tunneling attempt or Water Torture.

The study revealed the dangers associated with an increasing number of different types of attacks. The reality of the threats has clearly been underestimated by many IT professionals for years, who are aware of less than a third of those that are the most important. As a result, organizations do not evaluate or correctly address the diversity of risk arising from DNS threats. Now that breach reporting is becoming a new legal requirement on a global scale, a growing number of organizations are at risk of losing customer trust as a result of loss of reputation and negative media exposure after a DNS attack.

Such negligence is often associated with the DNS still being considered a safe and reliable basic IT service which runs in the background. This attitude needs to change, given more than 70% of the organizations surveyed by EfficientIP  experienced several types of DNS attacks in the last year alone. The top three attacks or vulnerabilities with the most dramatic effects on organizations’ systems include DoS/DDoS attacks, Data Exfiltration and Zero-Day Vulnerabilities. Hackers use different techniques that they can combine depending on what they want to achieve. The impact ranges from application downtime to a compromised website, or even stolen business-critical information such as intellectual property or customer data.

DNS attacks are now a global problem. There are many significant factors which should be taken into account by organizations who have already experienced a DNS attack, or are at risk of becoming the next victim. Considering the amount of potential damage, DNS security must be at the top of the network security agenda. Unfortunately, it still remains misunderstood and under-resourced by most organizations.

DNS servers also need appropriate security. The EfficientIP survey revealed the existing solutions used by organizations leave them unable to run their IT services during various attacks. Built-in security is crucial to help detect and respond to the large variety of DNS attacks, while simplifying architecture and management, and eliminating inappropriate and costly security systems.

Want to learn more about the state of global DNS security and safeguarding your business? Download the full security report below to understand how to protect your DNS infrastructure.