DNS Blocking Explained

DNS blocking is a method deployed by commercial Internet filters to stop Internet users visiting malicious websites. It works by contrasting IP addresses with those assigned to websites known to be harboring web-borne dangers – such as malware and ransomware – and stops devices viewing with them when a match is discovered.

Because DNS blocking uses comparisons between IP addresses, rather than between alphanumeric domain names, the process is speedy – in most cases imperceptible. Therefore, groups using an Internet filter with DNS blocking to control access to online content do not have to compromise efficiency for security.

The second benefit of DNS blocking is that comparisons against Acceptable Use Policies are equally as speedy – allowing system administrators to apply as many policies as necessary without creating latency within the filtering process. Due to this, organizations using an Internet filter with DNS blocking have the option of applying a wide-range of granular policies. For instance:

  • Firms can stop everybody except marketing personnel accessing social media platforms, and set up an exception for lunch breaks.
  • Retail companies and hotels can implement a watershed for adult content in order to ensure a family-friendly environment during the day.
  • School districts can create policies that manage access to online content by grade or by subject, with specific teachers given power to override policies.

Both the primary and secondary advantages of DNS blocking provide a better user experience. As well as groups being protected against malware and ransomware, individual users are secured from phishing and spyware. Productivity is improved; and company employees, hotel guests, and school children are protected against being exposed to inappropriate material.

The quickest and most simple way to set up an Internet filter with DNS blocking is to subscribe to a cloud-based service and redirect your Domain Name Server to the service provider´s IP address. This is much easier than installing hardware or software, and it also has the advantage of minimizing your maintenance overhead, as ensuring the filter’s software is up-to-date is the service provider’s responsibility.

Another advantage a cloud-based service has is that it is infinitely scalable. You can grow the number of users and devices being secured as your company grows, as your retail business becomes more popular, or your school district expands. Conversely, you can cut the number of protected users and devices if necessary, and avoid the scenario in which you are paying for capacity you are not availing of.

Cloud-based Internet filters with DNS blocking are also easy to operate.. System administrators can log into their service from any Internet-connected device, and apply or amend policies for any user(s) within their network. It is also possible to allow temporary exemptions to filtering policies through the use of Cloud Keys, or delegate a restricted amount of administrative responsibility via role-based access management controls.

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