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How to Address Blended Threats with Domain Data

Fighting off individual threats is challenging enough, but things get complicated, and the results more damaging when organizations face blended threats. The practice of combining security threats such as malware and attack vectors confounds if not overwhelms victims, making them easy prey.

Cybercriminals launch attacks using a combination of spam, malicious links, and vulnerability exploits. As a result, organizations have their hands full fighting off an attack coming from different parts of their network simultaneously. It's like fighting a hydra with many heads.

So, what can organizations do to address what we've come to know as blended threats? The conventional approach is to counter each threat using different tools. Not all companies, however, have such a resource on hand; some need to hire various vendors that specialize in individual security tasks. Organizations can end up hiring a malware expert, perhaps, to address system infections, an analyst to further investigate Domain Name System (DNS)-related threats, and other skilled individuals to defuse vulnerability exploitation.

A possible solution, however, exists to simplify the process by addressing several security issues with a single appliance — a unified threat management (UTM­) solution. This post explains what a UTM appliance does and how domain data can help it fight off blended threats.

A UTM Appliance: A Potential All-in-One Solution

A UTM appliance is a piece of security hardware capable of undertaking multiple security functions. It's a technology that can simultaneously perform firewalling, antimalware, antispyware, and threat detection functions. As such, it can respond to blended threats as a single point of network defense.

Organizations with a small cybersecurity budget may find a UTM appliance a less expensive solution because they don't need to hire different specialists to do several jobs.

How Does Domain Data Complement a UTM Appliance?

As pointed out earlier, a UTM appliance addresses blended threats from a single point of defense. No solution, however, can work well without data to correlate. Domain data that can be used to verify the legitimacy of a communication source, for instance, is required. For accurate analyses and findings, an organization needs a reliable source of threat intelligence. And what better way to find out if a website has ties to malicious activities than a domain database?

Domain data can enrich a UTM appliance's security analytics because it helps determine where attacks come from. With it, organizations can gather information not just on domains sporting gTLDs but also ccTLDs, helping them flag and monitor suspicious domains, regardless of type. A domain database can also reveal elements that comprise a complicated infrastructure by finding connections between sites, for instance.

Domain data can help organizations identify the senders of malicious emails, malware-laden site owners, and others. Security logs can be cross-checked against domain records to spot inconsistencies. Some tools are even capable of issuing alerts tied to domains that are monitored, thus strengthening users' proactive defense efforts.

More specifically, domain data can enhance a UTM appliance's various capabilities, including:

  • Email filtering: Some appliances scan emails for malware attachments. Domain data can be used to verify if the email's source matches the information on the domain owner's records. Emails coming from suspicious or outright malicious sources can thus be easily blocked from the source.
  • Intrusion detection: Security logs, specifically white lists, can be compared with domain data to find inconsistencies. Any domain that isn't on an organization's list of domains with network access rights can automatically be blocked should it prove suspicious or malicious.
  • Web filtering: Blacklists can also be compared with domain data to scan for websites with security violations. All domains with ties to known threats can be added to an organization's unwanted visitors.

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New technologies for threat detection and monitoring are being developed and deployed over time to provide businesses with more robust security protection. UTM appliances are just one of the tools organizations can use to better mitigate risks that can come from various sources. Like any tool, however, UTM appliances are not foolproof. Ensuring that your tools remain effective, enhance them with accurate and timely threat intelligence that includes domain data packages.

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About WhoisXML API – Whois API, Inc. (whoisxmlapi) is a big data and API company that provides domain research & monitoring, Whois, DNS, IP, and threat intelligence API, data and tools to a variety of industries.  Visit Page

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