The Dynamic Web Security Duo

Malicious actors have been around since the inception of the Internet. The need to improve your cybersecurity plan has become a new reality in the aftermath of the pandemic, with the majority of businesses transitioning to work from the hybrid home model.

Phishing attacks increased by 220% during the pandemic as hackers exploited insecure remote access vulnerabilities. This poses a serious threat to your organization and critical assets. Other attacks that have begun to plague IT professionals are man-in-the-middle attacks when remote workers connect from an unsecured Wi-Fi connection at their local Starbucks or from the living room. of the airport.

An employee connecting to a site containing harmful content such as gambling or gambling may inadvertently open a backdoor to a malicious actor.

This is why URL filtering and DNS filtering solutions are among the most popular content filtering methods that help maintain network security and reduce security risks. These services evaluate site content and assign a risk score based on site user traffic, domain page threat history, geolocation, associated networks, internal and external links, and other contextual trends. .

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There remains a debate about which works best between DNS and URL filtering to secure your online environment. The combination of both options is the most ideal method to fight against online cyber threats. The two work together to provide essential security features against harmful sites and content.

These services assess online sites and assign a risk score based on site user traffic, domain page threat history, viewing age, geolocation, related networks, internal links and external, as well as other contextual tendencies.

Let’s take a closer look at URL and DNS filtering.

Defend against web threats with URL filtering

URL filtering is used to identify and block harmful websites to improve network security and protect employees from potential attacks.

URL filters classify sites according to topics and allow or deny a user access to them. These sites usually include games, shopping, adult content, malware, social media and other high-risk unwanted websites that could threaten your private networks.

URL filtering helps improve employee productivity because you control which sites can and should be visited during working hours.

How does the URL Filtering Service maintain network protection?

The simplest explanation of how URL filtering works is to compare the site the user wants to visit against a list of sites that have been restricted or allowed to be used by the company. If the site the user wants to visit is blocked, the filtering system will redirect him to a similar site containing what he needs.

All websites in the database belong to a specific URL category, also called a URL filter. This allows organizations to group certain types of websites while assigning specific actions to each category, such as blocking or accepting the destination address based on its URL category.

The best way to use URL filters is to create a URL filtering profile and define site access based on URL category. You can choose to completely restrict access to the site or block certain site functionality based on its URL category. Once completed, the security policy will apply to all users by default.

URL filtering can be done using a cloud-based database, a local server, or a combination of both. A cloud-based server gives organizations information on the latest sites to block. A local database server stores a list of sites frequently visited by users and ensures maximum efficiency and minimum latency.

Block Domain-Level Threats with DNS Filtering

When a search query is entered into a browser, DNS translates the DNS query to the user’s IP address and directs you to the desired site. While simple, this process does not protect you from malicious activity or malicious content online.

With DNS filtering features, the search process becomes more secure. The DNS lookup query redirects to a DNS resolver. The resolver filters the domain and compares it to the company’s blocklist and allowlist before taking action. If the domain is not listed in the block list or allow list, the DNS filter can perform real-time scanning of the website to check whether it is safe or unsafe for the organization.

DNS security filtering can block either the domain name or the IP address.

What are DNS servers?

DNS servers connect domain names to IP addresses to allow you to access the website you want. Without DNS servers, it would be impossible to access online sites.

Secure DNS servers can block malicious websites and help users protect their personal information. DNS encryption protects your personal data from theft, a big concern for IT as the shift to remote working is here to stay.

URL filtering and DNS filtering? What’s best for you?

DNS protection and URL filtering each have their strengths in security management. When used correctly, they can both create a strong barrier between your organization and unwanted online content, prevent data breaches, and secure third parties on the other side of the globe with just a few clicks.

But which is the better of the two options? Here is a side-by-side comparison chart.

DNS Filtering URL filtering
Granularity Network-level rules based on DNS lookup queries Access policy based on users and groups
Malware Protection Blocks DNS queries to malicious domains Anti-malware engine that inspects all traffic
Execution point Perimeter network 81 requires agent login Agent-level enforcement even when not logged in
DNS app over HTTPS No DNS inspection capability over HTTPS Can inspect DNS over HTTPS

In conclusion, DNS and URL filtering features work hand in hand to improve an organization’s security posture. A secure web gateway offers URL filtering with additional layers of security to prevent malware and enforce company policies.

DNS filtering provides surface control against malicious content and all types of online attacks by blocking the domain before the user can access it. As the threat surface continues to grow, organizations will face new challenges.

Take security measures in advance. Protect your employees and company assets from web threats with Perimeter 81.

Sponsored by: Perimeter 81

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