The effectiveness of using DNS as a foundational element in future network security best practices

As cyberattacks escalate, Infoblox and Forrester Consulting investigated how security and risk (S&R) teams are using their DNS investments. The 203 respondents to the study reveal they most often use DNS to detect and block threats early in the kill chain, identify compromised devices, and investigate and respond to malware.

DNS investments

DNS is effective but under-utilized

The top findings underscore DNS is an effective but under-utilized tool for threat hunting and resolution even as alert fatigue challenges security teams to scale:

  • 94% of S&R leaders either use or consider DNS as a starting point for threat investigations but only 43% of security and risk leaders rely on DNS as a data source to complete their investigations.
  • 66% of respondents use DNS to catch threats — from DNS tunneling/data exfiltration, domain generation algorithms (DGAs), and lookalike domain attacks — that other security tools miss but only 34% anticipate using internal DNS to stop malicious attacks at scale.
  • 52% of leaders cite alert fatigue among teams and 51% report challenges dealing with threat triage; but only 58% of teams incorporate some automated processes for incident response.

DNS investments can help save the day

“It’s good to see the vast majority of security and risk teams recognize DNS as a powerful threat hunting tool,” said Anthony James, Vice President of Product Marketing at Infoblox.

“At the same time, most companies are leaving money on the table by under-using their DNS investments. With 56% of leaders looking to improve security ROI, DNS can help save the day by providing a single pane of visibility into threats across the network and the edges.”

DNS investments

“DNS can also help automate some of the more repetitive tasks in threat hunting, freeing up security teams who spend an average of 4 hours per incident investigation to address more complex problems,” continued James.

“DNS is one of the most effective ways that companies can fortify their security and risk frameworks and maximize their existing security investments.”

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The effectiveness of using DNS as a foundational element in future network security best practices