Because a Domain Name System (DNS) server is such a necessary component of an operating system, it’s a prime target for cyber-attacks. Although a DNS attack is rather rare in the senior living industry, they do occasionally occur, and when they do, they can cause significant damage. Thankfully, you can ensure the integrity of the network of your senior living business by taking steps to reduce the risk of DNS attacks.

What Is the Domain Name System (DNS)?

The DNS is often referred to as the internet’s phonebook because it connects domain names to IP addresses.

An example of a domain name is https://rsntechnologies.com. But web browsers only interact with numerical labels known as internet protocol (IP) addresses, so the DNS must translate between the two by a program within the operating system, called a DNS resolver, to query the DNS server. Once the IP address is found, it returns it to the requesting program.

If it weren’t for the DNS, internet users would have to remember numerical IP addresses to find websites or applications.

Types of DNS Attacks

Below are four types of DNS attacks that cybercriminals use to compromise the cybersecurity of your senior living facility.

DNS Server Attacks – These are aimed at DNS servers, typically by using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), which is a method that disrupts the network by flooding a website with uncontrollable traffic, resulting in decreased functionality. These attacks damage the server and also compromise any devices connected to the server.

DNS Spoofing – This is also known as DNS hijacking or cache poisoning. This occurs when a hacker hijacks the DNS server through the cache. Instead of visiting an intended website, users are redirected to a fake, malicious website, which allows the hacker to then access personal or financially sensitive information.

DNS Amplification – This type of attack targets third-party systems instead of DNS servers, and occurs when a hacker uses a malicious bot to infect a network by sending traffic from infected devices to the third-party system. This overloads the system so that it completely crashes. This is the most common type of DNS attack.

DNS Tunneling – This type of attack exploits the DNS protocol, tunneling malware that bypasses firewalls. The hacker does this by registering a domain that leads to their server, which is where the malicious program is located.

Ways to Prevent DNS Attacks on Your Senior Living Business

Although taking these steps will not guarantee the prevention of DNS attacks on your senior living facility, they will help to keep it as secure as possible.

  • Keep your DNS servers and security patches up-to-date and check them routinely.
  • Install firewall protection.
  • Host your infrastructure on various servers, so in the event of a DDoS attack, you will have a backup server ready to take over.
  • Restrict the resolver from external users–keep it private and protected
  • Encrypt your network and devices.
  • Use a virtual private network (VPN) with DDoS protection.
  • Make sure your DNS host offers the following protective features:
    • Two-factor authentication
    • DNS change locking – instituting processes that must be carried out before DNS settings can be changed.
    • IP-dependent log-ins – using a range of IP addresses instead of a single one to log in.
    • Domain Name System Security Extensions (DNSSEC) technology – additional protection for DNS records that authenticate the data received.

RSN Can Help You Choose a Provider

It’s a priority of RSN Technologies to ensure senior living communities have exceptional cybersecurity. As a partner to your IT department, we can help you choose a domain host that has a proven track record of safeguarding IT infrastructures from DNS attacks.

We are experts at ensuring comprehensive protection and can guide you on how to best protect your IT system. Reach out to us to learn more about our IT services.