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Domain Name Service (DNS) Security

Cisco Umbrella helps prevent information security incidents by adding threat intelligence into the DNS translation process. That intelligence prevents adware, malware, botnets, phishing attacks, and other known bad Web sites from being accessed.

 

What is Domain Name Service (DNS)?

When you type an address like http://www.yahoo.com in your browser address bar, the computer doesn’t know where yahoo.com points to and it will therefore ask the DNS server. The job of a DNS server is to translate this human-readable web address (like www.yahoo.com) into a computer-readable number also known as an IP address (209.131.36.158). Once your computer knows the IP location of a web domain name, it opens the website in your browser. DNS is working behind the scenes every time we use a web browser, email program, or cloud-based service. 

What is DNS Security?

DNS Security helps prevent information security incidents by adding threat intelligence into the DNS translation process. That intelligence prevents adware, malware, botnets, phishing attacks, and other known bad websites from being accessed.

What is Cisco Umbrella DNS?

Cisco Umbrella DNS is a cloud hosted solution that protects users by blocking connections to sites that have been reported as malicious.

How does Cisco Umbrella Work?

The University of South Carolina’s DNS servers forward all external website requests to the Cisco Umbrella cloud for resolution and a determination on whether a website is safe. End-users who reach out to malicious websites will be blocked and will receive a security notification in their browser.

Will this break access to USC internal sites?
No, Cisco Umbrella only resolves external websites and works in conjunction with USC’s internal DNS systems.
How do I know if I am protected by Cisco Umbrella?
All DNS lookups to external sites from the USC network should already be protected by Cisco Umbrella. Follow the instructions here to test whether Cisco Umbrella is protecting your device. For protection when off the USC network, a roaming client would need to be installed.
Where do I get the Cisco Umbrella Roaming Client?
A software client that works on Mac OSX and Windows is available from Software Distribution. Clients for iOS and Android are available from their respective app stores.
Do I have to install the Roaming Client?
The roaming client offers protection for devices that are not on the Univerity of South Carolina network. Check with your local security liaison on whether this is mandated for your Organizational Unit.
What if Cisco Umbrella blocks access to a legitimate or newly developed website?
Cisco Umbrella may initially block requests to new domains and newly developed websites. After a couple of days, these sites are usually resolved without issue. If not, you can submit a request for your website to be whitelisted in USC’s  Self-Service Portal Self Service Portal. You can find the "Domain Name Services (DNS)" in the "Hosting Services and Technical Administration" category of ServiceNow.

Solution

Cisco Umbrella

Cisco Umbrella DNS uses the internet’s infrastructure to block malicious destinations before a connection is ever established. 

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