Neustar, Inc., a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information services, today released findings from new research into how UK businesses are provisioning domain name system (DNS) servers and services, finding that 92 percent have limited visibility of the impact DNS performance is having on their internet users and visitors to their online resources. Although DNS is a fundamental utility supporting the internet and relied upon by all businesses, visibility is hampered by complexity with 45 percent of organisations having as many as 8 different ways of provisioning their DNS infrastructure.
The report, titled ‘Winning the domain game: the business case for a specialist DNS provider’, commissioned from independent analysis firm, Quocirca, presents new UK-focused research into how businesses are provisioning DNS servers and services in the interests of both their internal and external internet users. The full report from Quocirca can be read here: https://hello.neustar.biz/2017-quocirca-dns-research-paper-security-lp.html
“The internet is now a core utility for all businesses, as essential as electricity and water supply. However, unlike these utilities, internet use is bi-directional; outward, for employees and other internal users to engage with the world, and inward for customers and other visitors to find an organisation’s online resources. It’s also reliant on its own fundamental utility, the domain name system or DNS,” explains Bob Tarzey, Analyst & Director, Quocirca. “At its most basic, DNS is an address book which matches websites to internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Our research reveals that many organisations have yet to realise that DNS can be so much more than that; sitting on the front line in the online security battle, maximising use of backend resources, ensuring governance and providing a rich source of data for marketing teams.”
Key findings from interviews with 100 senior IT decision makers at UK-based businesses in a variety of sectors reveals:
- Critical Issues – 72 percent of organisations reported regularly suffering from at least one of 6 critical issues that impact website and application availability (including Distributed Denial of Service [DDoS] attacks, network access issues and web server downtime), and 61 percent revealing the same for performance – any of these ‘internet problems’ are potentially DNS-related.
- DNS Complexity – Despite being relied upon by all businesses, only 8 percent of respondents claim to have full visibility across all areas of DNS, including frequency of dropped requests, cache poisoning, latency and overall load on DNS infrastructure, rendering it impossible to ensure a consistent service to internal and external Internet users. DNS complexity is a major reason for lack of visibility with 45 percent of organisations having as many as 8 different ways of provisioning their infrastructure.
- Room for improvement – 89 percent of respondents claim to be using a specialist DNS service provider, but just 15 percent have committed to using it for both internal and external DNS purposes to provide advanced features such as mitigation against DDoS attacks, reducing infrastructure load and central management tools to improve visibility. With so few benefiting from advanced features, it would suggest a lack of knowledge about the value add that can be provided via DNS, and what could be achieved by using a specialist DNS service provider.
When complexity starts to prevent the delivery of efficiency and security benefits, businesses need to sit up and take notice. The report found that the majority of organisations use ISPs, managed hosting providers and internet registrars as way of provisioning some of their DNS needs. Such suppliers provide DNS services as a spinoff from the other things they do. On the other hand, 92 percent of organisations polled maintain some in-house DNS capability to cover recursive DNS (for internal internet users) and/or authoritative DNS (for external internet users) requirements. However, this unfocused approach to DNS management has its own drawbacks. Advanced DNS provision and management, as performed by a specialist DNS service provider, can deliver a number of valuable features to address these issues and provide significant value-add for businesses.
“DNS has been called the most important part of the internet that people don’t know about and its time IT managers woke up to what a professional DNS service can deliver to business,” said Rodney Joffe, SVP and Fellow at Neustar. “As the report highlights, DNS can be so much more than a website address directory. Provisioned correctly, by a reputable specialist DNS service provider, it can defend the front line in the fight against cyber-attacks, maximise the use of backend resources, ensure governance and be a rich source of marketing data.”