Is a DNS Redirect Still a Viable Way to Protect Your Website?

If you are using a cloud-based provider for your website security, then the primary line of defense against incoming attacks may be a DNS redirect. It’s the most common practice for keeping your site’s IP address out of the reach of hackers. There’s just one problem. Recent research shows this method is nowhere near as effective as once thought.

What Computer Scientists Have Learned About a DNS Redirect

Those conducting the study found that over 70 percent of the time, the IP address could still be retrieved despite the efforts to hide it with a DNS redirect. Once an IP address is obtained, hackers can produce attacks such as denial-of-service (DoS) and wreak havoc on a website.

The problem is that dedicated in-house hardware, set up specifically to rebuff cyberattacks, is expensive and out of reach for many small- to medium-sized businesses. As a result, cloud security companies are often hired. But these services have now been shown to be lacking when it comes to a genuine ability to keep a website’s original IP from falling into the hands of a skilled hacker.

How the Study Was Conducted

The research was very extensive. Almost 18,000 sites were a part of the study. Five different online security providers were tested. The researchers developed a tool that would automatically try to obtain the IP address of the websites to see if the DNS redirects could stop the attack.

When the research was completed, the results were shared with the cloud security teams. This will allow them to see what went wrong—and to develop more secure defense systems for clients. For now, the important thing to remember is that when you trust your cloud security to a third party, you need to make sure they know what they are doing.

Preventing the IP Address from Being Obtained

The study showed that two things could help prevent attacks from being successful. One tactic was to change the website firewall settings. When traffic is only allowed to the site via the security provider, this delivers additional defense. Second, changing the IP address on initiation with the security provider produces positive results.

In short, protecting a website is a team effort between the site owner and the security company.