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What is DNS?

By Contegix

After your company has decided that a managed Domain Name System (DNS) solution is the right move there are some important next steps you should take. As a financial agency or an organization with an eCommerce platform, performance and availability are critical. However, there are numerous security factors to consider as well. Surfing the web, you never really think about your DNS. If you type in a website address and immediately have access to it, all is well. Once considered secure, standard DNSs have been found to be potentially weak spots often exploited by hackers. For starters, it’s important to understand what a DNS is and what impact it could have on your security and finances.

Besides being another acronym, what exactly is DNS?

DNS is essentially a directory of what domain (e.g., www.contegix.com) belongs to a particular IP address. Domains often include and manage other aspects such as email, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and sub domains (something to keep in mind when it comes to security).

An IP address is something computers understand, in basic terms; a domain helps you as a human read and comprehend the IP address, which is only understood by your computer. Without a DNS you would not have the internet. It’s that simple.

Threats to DNS performance, availability, and financial security.

Outside threats such as hackers can make your own DNS work against you. If they break into your system, they can switch the entries your DNS server would normally offer your site visitors. Basically, if you were to visit (or request the IP from) a specific eCommerce or financial institution’s website, you would send information to the wrong server and a different site. This tactic is very common for phishing, and helps hackers receive your financial data. Old DNS servers are particularly vulnerable to this trick.

In regard to your website, if your DNS server goes down or is unreachable for whatever reason, you simply are not up and running. This can have dire consequences for an organization, particularly one that utilizes an eCommerce platform for transmitting payments.

When an online merchant, for example, experiences system downtime, non-existent infrastructure monitoring system, and unresponsive technical support, however, the results can be disastrous to its reputation and revenue. In attempting to address these issues, a business will often allocate time, energy, and resources to managing the infrastructure instead of focusing on client-facing applications and business expansion.

Retailers that conduct the majority of their business through their website need hosting solutions that remove the risk of lost sales, eliminate downtime, and promote success through a seamless and enjoyable customer interface platform.

The “S” stands for “Secure.”

You may ask, “Which DNS service is most effective for meeting your financial agency’s availability and security needs – HTTP or HTTPS?” When it comes to finance and eCommerce platforms, the answer is fairly simple. HTTPS services entail encrypting your data, rendering it useless to third parties in the event your network is hacked. Without that “S,” financial data passed through your website is potentially insecure. This is an important consideration if your site accepts online payments or verifies credentials to access financial information.

Protecting your assets against DNS attacks is critical to your success.

In tandem with managed and compliant security services, understanding and maintaining your DNS can keep your financial data secure. Contegix tailors solutions to serve the security needs of agencies and businesses that deal with finance, enabling those agencies to focus on their goals and their customers. Financial website hosting should be handled by industry experts.

Contact us today to learn about how Contegix promotes online security and compliance for financial agencies.