DNS servers connect URL names that humans can read to unique IP addresses that web browsers can understand. Without DNS, you'd probably be typing in long and random combinations of characters just to get anywhere on the internet.
However, a DNS may not be very safe inherently. You could lead to unsafe websites and compromise your own safety. That is why we use DNS filtering. DNS filtering blocks access to certain sites that pose a threat. Usually, sites having adult content, gambling, or productivity sinking sites are usually blocked.
Benefits of DNS Filters
In this day and age, cybersecurity is of utmost importance. DNS filtering is a very crucial part of the companies cyber security strategy. There are various benefits of DNS filtering. These are:
- DNS filtering helps with content filtering, which can block adult sites and other unwanted content. It prevents employees from entering websites that could potentially lead to a malicious attack.
- DNS filtering helps block malware and phishing. This prevents the company data from falling prey to any kind of theft or scam, or even system crashes due to viruses that then start stealing data.
- DNS filtering provides protection against botnets, a major threat, as IoT devices are becoming more and more popular.
- These days, cyber criminals also set up ad-traps, wherein a pop-up advertisement poses a threat to the device and account's security. DNS filtering helps block any such advertisement.
- Cyber criminals can own the domains that have spellings close to popular domains. So, for example, Google instead of Google. These are malicious websites, and DNS filtering provides protection against them.
Thus it is very important to choose a reliable DNS filtering solution in order to protect you online. Now, the question remains -
How can we choose the right DNS filtering solution?
- Step 1 - Identify the need
Here, you need to first identify the kind of need you have. There are different kinds of uses. The first one is home use, which is particularly helpful for entrepreneurs who run side businesses or small businesses from home on their personal laptops and computers. For these, the usage would still be limited to simply blocking malicious websites. The other kind of use is for office provided laptops and devices, which would basically be for remote working employees and would have a slightly greater purpose. Next is enterprise use, where all devices in the office campus are to have a DNS filter installed. The last is a corporate network, which is for multiple offices across various locations.
- Step 2 - Enlisting requirements and establishing a budget
Once you have analyzed the kind of usage you have, you will need to make a list of all the requirements that are needed. This could include features, number of devices, and support services among other things. Also, check-in with your finance leader or team members to figure out what your IT budget is and how much you can spend on a good DNS filter that is right for your business.
- Step 3 - Research
Once you have a list of requirements ready, you need to look for vendors that provide services that match your requirements. Shortlist the ones that come with good recommendations and find out how you can get in touch with them.
- Step 4 - Initiate interest
Reach out to your shortlisted vendors regarding a potential purchase and ask them if they'd be willing to set up a demo or a meeting.
- Step 5 - Meetings
Once you've set up meetings with a few vendors, make sure all the key decision makers are present in the meeting or demo. Keep your requirement list handy while attending the meeting, and make sure you cross check all of the features and services. Ask any and all questions you may have.
- Step 6 - Closing the deal
After understanding each product thoroughly, you need to receive quotations from the vendors that meet all of your requirements. Make sure to ask them to include all associated expenses as well that they would normally charge separately, such as training fees, installation fees, etc. Also, remember, you can negotiate and reach a price that suits both parties.
Top DNS Filtering Solutions
Once you've found the vendor with the right price for you, close the deal and ask them to secure all of your devices as soon as possible.
Remember to train all of your employees as to how to use a DNS filter, how it works, and, most importantly - what to do in case of a situation where the filter fails to work and you are exposed to a threat.
For ease of selection, here are a few DNS filtering solutions that we'd recommend for any and all uses:
As most of your work shifts online, your network demands also increase. Moreover, your IT budgets may not provide room for upgrading your hardware, but you can always secure your online presence with the GoGuardian DNS. GoGuardian is an easy and affordable way to scale your DNS filter without worrying about replacing inline filtering hardware. It is a solution designed to meet your current and future needs and is our number 1 recommendation.
Cloudflare Gateway is another fantastic solution to use for home or office networks. Cloudflare secures your Internet experience by keeping malicious content away from your network. It allows you to configure what and how to block malicious websites and is particularly good for small scale use.
3. ESET Parental Control
ESET is a solution designed for both desktop and mobile usage, which keeps your online presence safe, all while blocking malicious content, limiting screen time, and blocking downloads from and uploads to dicey websites or software. This is a great solution for home or personal device use.
Sophos is an intelligent DNS filter. This means it is equipped with artificial intelligence, blocking of viruses, malware, and other harmful threats with ease.
5. Webroot SecureAnywhere
Webroot is a cloud-based web security that helps to protect employees and data from malicious content online. It offers threat protection with the integration of Webroot’s BrightCloud Threat Intelligence and provides granular web filtering services.
There are many more options you can find based on your requirements and your budget. DNS is incredibly important to all our internet activity on a daily basis. Simply blocking by IP address no longer serves as a secure method. Thus, filter your internet the right way by choosing the right DNS filtering solution.