You’ve probably noticed the steady increase in the number of data breaches and cyber-attacks reported in the news recently. Not only has there been an increase in the type of attacks that make the news, but there has also been a drastic increase in the number of attacks on small businesses.

The cloud is a very powerful and amazing technology that provides a lot of benefits to businesses. But, like any new technology, it can also be used for criminal activity. So what we are seeing now are criminals using the vast resources of the cloud to accelerate the development of systems and software to gather data illegally.

What are cyber criminals doing?

For instance, a criminal can acquire source code for key logger software online, then use an online tool to modify and encrypt the code slightly in order to fool anti-virus and anti-malware software. To trick people into installing the software, the criminal might incorporate it into a game, coupon software, phishing e-mail, or even buy some advertisements on a website to trick unsuspecting people into downloading and installing the software.

Once in place, the software watches what is typed and captures the entry of credit card numbers, bank account numbers, healthcare information, etc. When the data desired is entered by the unsuspecting user, the software then transfers the data back to a cloud hosted server the criminal controls. The criminal might then use that information directly or sell it on any number of illicit online marketplaces.

Because criminals are now able to develop malicious software so quickly and easily, anti-virus and anti-malware software is becoming less and less effective.

What are we doing to help protect you?

To help reduce this risk, we want to add secure DNS to your protection.

What is DNS? DNS stands for Domain Name Service, and you can think of it as a big phone book for the Internet. When you go to a website, like http://google.com, your request goes to a DNS server, which looks up that name and then provides your computer with a number to reach the server out on the Internet that contains that website. What a secure DNS service does is make sure that the numbers it is giving out are to reputable servers out on the Internet. If a server on the Internet is known to contain malicious software or is a rogue server used to collect key logging information, then the secure DNS service does not hand that number out.

About the secure DNS Service:

This service uses the cloud and big data analytics to uncover when and where on the Internet new cyber-attacks are being staged. You can read about the technical aspects of the service here: https://www.opendns.com/enterprise-security/features/our-secret-sauce/ .  Not only does it work while you are in the office, but using a lightweight agent, it also protects your laptop when you travel, too!

OpenDNS also offers a free service you can use at home.

I use it myself to help keep my family safe on the Internet: https://www.opendns.com/home-internet-security/parental-controls/opendns-home/

What else can it do?

Finally, using the same technology, we also offer an optional web-filtering service that allows you to control web browsing by your employees. Web filtering allows you to control web browsing across your company, or just by groups of users, or even down to individual users or computers. For instance, if social media is causing productivity loss in your company, then you can disable it across all of your users, but leave it on for your marketing department, if desired. You can learn more about web filtering here: https://www.opendns.com/enterprise-security/solutions/web-filtering/

If you have any questions about the secure DNS service, or are interested in getting pricing today, please email support@azbs.com, or call Katie LaPorte at 312.474.9400.