DNS attacks are targeting more businesses than ever

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(Image credit: Kingston)

Domain name system (DNS) attacks, a threat usually de-prioritized in comparison to ransomware, malware, Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and targeted hacking, are on the rise, and businesses are taking notice. 

A new report from the Neustar International Security Council (NISC) surveying more than 300 professionals in senior positions from six EMEA and US markets found that 55% see DNS compromise as a rising threat, up from 47% this time last year.

Almost three-quarters (72%) experienced a DNS attack within the last 12 months, while among the targets, almost two-thirds (61%) suffered multiple attacks, and 11% get attacked on a regular basis. 


While many manage to recover within minutes, the majority (58%) suffer disruptions lasting at least an hour, the report found, with some taking “several hours” to recover.

Despite websites being vital to business continuity and customer fulfillment for many, less than a third (31%) feel confident their security measures could handle a DNS attack. More than a quarter (27%) lack this confidence, the report further states.

There are various methods cybercriminals use in their DNS attacks. DNS hijacking, DNS flood, reflection, or amplification attacks, DNS tunneling, cache poisoning, were all used in good measure.  

In a DNS attack, the malicious actor tries to take advantage of any vulnerabilities found in the domain name system. While the DNS systems of today are relatively robust, they can still be abused. To defend against DNS attacks, TechTarget’s Search Security says, experts recommend implementing multifactor authentication when making changes to the organization's DNS infrastructure.

“DNS attacks may not grab headlines like a big DDoS or ransomware attack does, but the business impact cannot be ignored and their ability to be overlooked makes them that much more dangerous,” said Michael Kaczmarek, vice president of product management for Neustar Security Solutions.

“To manage DNS security, organizations need to continuously analyze the DNS traffic leaving their organization, make sure they maintain good hygiene and access controls for DNS related accounts, and, most importantly, implement DNSSEC.” 

Looking to stay safe? You might also want to check out our list of the best endpoint protection software

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.