92% of UK organisations unaware of impact DNS on Internet users

The vast majority (92%) of organisations in the UK have limited visibility of the impact DNS performance is having on their internet users and visitors to their online resources, according to real-time information services provider, Neustar.

Although DNS is a fundamental utility supporting the internet and relied upon by all businesses, the report found that visibility is hampered by complexity with 45% of organisations having as many as eight different ways of provisioning their DNS infrastructure.

Nearly three-quarters (72%) of those surveyed said they regularly suffer from at least one of six critical issues that impact website and application availability, including Distributed Denial of Service [DDoS] attacks, network access issues and web server downtime. Sixty-one per cent revealed the same for performance – any of these ‘internet problems’ are potentially DNS-related.

Bob Tarzey, analyst & director at Quocirca, which conducted the research, said: “The internet is now a core utility for all businesses, as essential as electricity and water supply. However, unlike these utilities, internet use is bi-directional; outward, for employees and other internal users to engage with the world, and inward for customers and other visitors to find an organisation’s online resources. It’s also reliant on its own fundamental utility, the domain name system or DNS.

“At its most basic, DNS is an address book which matches websites to internet Protocol (IP) addresses. Our research reveals that many organisations have yet to realise that DNS can be so much more than that; sitting on the frontline in the online security battle, maximising use of backend resources, ensuring governance and providing a rich source of data for marketing teams.”

Despite being relied upon by all businesses, only 8% of respondents claim to have full visibility across all areas of DNS, including frequency of dropped requests, cache poisoning, latency and overall load on DNS infrastructure, rendering it impossible to ensure a consistent service to internal and external Internet users. DNS complexity is a major reason for lack of visibility with 45% of organisations having as many as eight different ways of provisioning their infrastructure.

Nine in ten (89%) of respondents claimed to be using a specialist DNS service provider, but just 15% have committed to using it for both internal and external DNS purposes to provide advanced features such as mitigation against DDoS attacks, reducing infrastructure load and central management tools to improve visibility. With so few benefiting from advanced features, it would suggest a lack of knowledge about the value add that can be provided via DNS, and what could be achieved by using a specialist DNS service provider.

Rodney Joffe, senior vice president and fellow at Neustar, said:“DNS has been called the most important part of the internet that people don’t know about and its time IT managers woke up to what a professional DNS service can deliver to business.

“As the report highlights, DNS can be so much more than a website address directory. Provisioned correctly, by a reputable specialist DNS service provider, it can defend the frontline in the fight against cyber-attacks, maximise the use of backend resources, ensure governance and be a rich source of marketing data.”


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