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DNS attacks are costing organisations over $1m on average

The average DNS attack cost has risen 49% to $1,070,000, reveals EfficientIP’s 2019 Global DNS Threat Report, sponsored research conducted by market intelligence firm IDC.

Over the past year, organisations faced on average more than nine DNS attacks, an increase of 34%. Costs too went up 49%, meaning one in five businesses lost over $1 million per attack, and causing app downtime for 63% of those attacked.

Other issues highlighted by the study, include the broad range and changing popularity of attack types, ranging from volumetric to low signal, including phishing (47%), malware-based attacks (39%), and old-school DDoS (30%).

Also highlighted were the greater consequences of not securing the DNS network layer against all possible attacks. No sector was spared, leaving organisations open to a range of advanced effects from compromised brand reputation to losing business.

“With an average cost of $1m per attack, and a constant rise in frequency, organisations just cannot afford to ignore DNS security and need to implement it as an integral part of the strategic functional area of their security posture to protect their data and services,” said Romain Fouchereau, research manager, European Security at IDC.

DNS is a central network foundation which enables users to reach all the apps they use for their daily work. Most network traffic first goes through a DNS resolution process, whether this is legitimate or malicious network activity. Any impact on DNS performance has major business implications. Well-publicised cyber attacks such as WannaCry and NotPetya caused financial and reputational damage to organisations across the world. The impact caused by DNS-based attacks is as important due to its mission-critical role.

The report also found that 63% of organisations suffered application downtime, 45% had their websites compromised, and 27% experienced business downtime as a direct consequence. These could all potentially lead to serious NISD (Network and Information Security Directive) penalties. In addition, 26% of businesses had lost brand equity due to DNS attacks.

Data theft via DNS continues to be a problem. To protect against this, organisations are prioritising securing network endpoints (32%) and looking for better DNS traffic monitoring (29%).

David Williamson, CEO of EfficientIP, commented: “While these figures are the worst we have seen in five years of research, the good news is that the importance of DNS is at last being widely recognised by businesses. Mainstream organisations are now starting to leverage DNS as a key part of their security strategy to help with threat intelligence, policy control and automation, thus building a good foundation for their zero trust plan.”

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