As simple and streamlined as it seems, the internet can be tricky to navigate these days. On Facebook, Google, YouTube, etc., you’ll see targeted links and ads that may or may not be genuine in their authenticity. Unless you’ve verified that a source is safe, the destination to which a link may take you is relatively unknown. That’s where DNS comes into play.
What is DNS and why should I care?
DNS, which stands for “domain name system” or “domain name server,” translates a website’s fully qualified domain name (such as www.myitpros.com) to its IP address (188.8.131.52). Each website’s unique IP address is separated into four different quadrants of numbers, as shown in the MyITpros example from the previous sentence. DNS helps almost everybody who touches a computer every day – for instance, it’s what allows you to access Netflix through www.netflix.com instead of having to remember one of the site’s many IP addresses.
OK, but what’s special about OpenDNS?
By default, most types of DNS will run through your network’s internet service provider (ISP) to ensure that your domain name translation is working properly and you can get to websites. Composing part of our Advanced Endpoint Security package, OpenDNS is a security service owned and maintained by Cisco that runs over 5 billion DNS queries through its servers every day, flagging and diverting traffic away from malicious sites.
In the past few years, cryptolockers andother crypto-x flavors have wreaked havoc on users across the globe by sending out phony emails with bad links. When clicked, these links allow bugs to encrypt and seal off files on your hard drive until you pay a ransom to unlock said files, and rely on a command-and-control (CnC) server to send instructions. Due to the amount of traffic that OpenDNS has seen over the years, the system is able to detect CnC servers and prevent most attacks from ever occurring in the first place.
OpenDNS is also a great resource for filtering content at your office or home. It offers free accounts for home users, allowing you to set up special filters for your children’s internet-connected devices based on time of day or category of content. If you’re worried about employees streaming music on YouTube or visiting racy gossip sites while on the clock, the same restrictions can be put into place at the office. OpenDNS also provides advanced traffic reporting to facilitate pattern analysis.
There is a whole lot that you and your IT department can do with OpenDNS. To find out more, please call us at 512-472-6000 for additional information about OpenDNS and all the other products and services we offer.
Are you or your clients currently using OpenDNS on your network(s)? We’d love to hear about your experiences.
Thanks, and safe browsing.