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Why Is It Important to Have a Robust DNS Filter?

In the modern era, a robust suite of cybersecurity tools is a vital necessity for any business. Failing to protect your network and devices can have huge financial consequences. On average, small businesses account for 46% of yearly cyber-attacks.  Tech Target recently reported how “a single attack — be it a data breach, malware, ransomware or DDoS attack — cost companies in the U.S. a median of $18,000 in 2022, up from $10,000 in 2021, with 47% of all U.S. business suffering a cyber-attack in some way, according to theHiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2022.”

Many rely on antivirus software for complete protection. While those tools are valuable, it’s important to realize that they only work on known threats. What about new versions of malware or completely novel threats that develop over time?

To ensure that your network is truly safe, you need to consider adding another tool to your arsenal: DNS filtering.

How Does DNS Filtering Work?

DNS filtering works a lot like website blocking. The technology denies access to unwanted domains by using IP addresses to identify them.

Once pinpointed, a DNS filtering tool automatically blocks them by refusing to resolve queries. They can do this in several ways, including creating a blocklist that automatically blocks all the domains on it. A DNS filter may also block certain domains based on their reputation.

4 Major Benefits of Using a DNS Filter

DNS filters are more than just a tool — they’re an investment in your business. Here’s how having your IT team set up a DNS filter can provide big benefits across your organization.

1. Blocking Without Latency

DNS filtering tools have no latency, meaning you can block malicious websites before they have a chance to wreak havoc on your computer or network. That translates to fewer concerns about malicious websites downloading malware before you can stop it.

2. Eliminate Phishing Scams

Statistics estimate that 85% of employees take the bait of phishing scams within 10 minutes of receiving the initial email. DNS filtering tools can help prevent damage by blocking the website as soon as an employee clicks the link.

3. Enforce Company Policies

Most company-wide acceptable-use policies have rules about what sites employees can visit on company time or devices. A blocklist allows you to enforce these policies from the ground level by denying access to employees who try to visit them regardless of where they are, physically. It protects the device, regardless of what network the employee is on.

If you want to boost employee productivity, you can also use DNS filtering to block websites that take away productive time, such as social media pages and video-sharing sites, customizable to specific needs.

4. Protect Your Remote and Hybrid Workforce

With so many companies moving to a distributed team model or only having employees come into the office part-time, it’s important to think about how to guard your workers when they’re off-site unprotected by the corporate firewall.

DNS filtering tools can protect employees connected to public networks and give your IT team visibility into unusual requests and possible device exposure.

Could This Have Been Prevented With a DNS Filter? Examining Two Real-World Examples

DNS filters aren’t simply “nice to have” luxuries. They provide real protection against cyberattacks that have the potential to devastate your business.

Here are two real-world examples of companies that could have used these tools to prevent costly security attacks.

Facebook and Google

Between 2013 and 2015, Facebook and Google collectively lost nearly $100 million to a phishing scam in which a hacker impersonated Quanta, a Taiwan-based vendor both companies used.

The malicious party sent fake invoices, which the tech giants promptly paid. If either company used a suspicious link to pay the invoice, DNS filtering tools might have been able to warn and prevent employees from using the site before any money was stolen.

Sherwin-Williams and Ryanair

In 2014, bad actors from the Russian hacker group Dyre pretended to be tax consultants. They convinced employees from several companies, including paint manufacturer Sherwin-Williams and budget airline Ryanair, to download malicious files and enter credentials into a fake site.

DNS filtering tools could have kept the dubious site off-limits and prevented downloads immediately, potentially saving those companies millions.

Use DNS Filtering for All-Around Business Protection

Improving cybersecurity for your business means maintaining total control over employee access across your organization. Blocking websites using DNS filtering ensures that those with ill intentions can’t worm their way into your business.

While it’s true that one honest mistake can result in a multitude of costly issues, it’s also the case that one good decision can prevent them. Consider adding DNS filtering to your cybersecurity stack to reinforce your security strategy, catch threats swiftly, and provide the very best protection for your business.

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