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Ekim Maurer
Posted by
Ekim Maurer on
December 2, 2021

Why Protecting Brand Reputation Starts at the DNS Level

The performance and reliability of your consumer-facing websites and applications matter more than ever in our digital-first world

Protecting your brand reputation is not a new concept. It is, however, increasingly complicated given the explosion in digital properties your organization now manages. Consider, for example, how your company must now protect digital brand assets, maintain a positive reputation on various platforms (review sites and social media channels), and continue to provide a secure and reliable experience for customers on your company website / applications.

At this point, you’re probably wondering: why is a company like NS1 writing about brand protection?

In short, because protecting your company’s digital properties - and by extension, your brand - starts at the DNS layer.

Keep reading to learn:

  • Why DNS is a critical part of your brand reputation

  • How to ensure your DNS is up to the task

  • And how to upgrade your DNS if not

Why is Your DNS Critical to Brand Reputation?

DNS acts, in essence, as the phonebook of the internet. It’s been around for decades, yet has become increasingly critical in recent years as more and more of our activity has moved online.

An issue with your DNS can in turn bring down your company’s digital storefronts - website, applications, and so on. In some instances, it can even bring down key functionalities of your physical offices (like employee access to your buildings).

Naturally, this can seriously impact your bottom line. According to Gartner, 98% of companies reported that downtime costs their business at least $100,000 per hour.

Brand Reputation Damage from Internet Outages

Think back to the many high-profile internet outages that occurred in just the past year. Companies experiencing a service disruption are at risk of social media backlash from affected users, negative press, and more - and the longer your outage, the worse the fallout. In today’s hyper-competitive business environment, your customers can and will turn to another solution that is highly available and more reliable.

For example:

  • 1 in 4 users will abandon an online shopping cart if it takes more than four seconds to load

  • 75% of users will abandon a website if they have to wait more than five seconds to load

Brand Reputation Damage from Cybersecurity Issues

Security or data breaches can be equally damaging to your brand reputation. Once you lose your customer’s trust that you can protect their sensitive information, it is very difficult to regain.

Security at the DNS layer is just as important as other cybersecurity initiatives. Some attacks - like DDoS attacks, for example - can render your DNS unavailable and cause an outage. Others, like cache poisoning, can in effect redirect user traffic to malicious websites.

So given how critical resilient DNS is to your brand reputation, how do you ensure yours is up to the task?

How to Build Resilience at the DNS Layer

At a high level, the following actions can help you build resilience into your DNS and underlying IT infrastructure in general:

  • Implement redundancy for critical infrastructure

  • Automate failover mechanisms to minimize downtime when a system is compromised

  • Approach updates and deployments strategically to avoid downtime or disruptions

  • Automate routine maintenance and other tasks to minimize likelihood of human error

Implementing the above initiatives successfully requires DNS that is (among other things), API-first and easily integrates with the rest of your tools and infrastructure.

If you are considering replacing your current DNS provider, keep reading for an overview of how to seamlessly migrate your DNS without risking disruptions or downtime.

Why Changing DNS Providers is Nothing to Fear

When considering switching DNS providers, it's common to be concerned about issues and connectivity loss during the migration process. However, it can actually be quite painless to migrate if you follow some simple guidelines.

DNS is a public cache system, so you do not want to have a hard cut window. Instead, the focus should be on operating in a dual-stack manner for a grace period. The grace period should be as long as your longest TTL for your zone, which usually is on the Start of Authority (SOA) record. During the grace period, the new systems would be announced as your new DNS servers, but all your data should exist in both places to ensure that caching resolvers who go to the old nameservers would still get resolution. DNS has built in technology to transfer data between different DNS providers to keep them in sync.

Once you exceed the longest TTL, removing all data from the old provider and resuming operation on your new solution is safe. Most advanced DNS providers have methods that allow you to automate those tasks and have dedicated support staff that can help with unforeseen issues or simply answer any questions you might have.

The performance and reliability of your consumer-facing websites and applications matter more than ever in our digital-first world. Protecting and maintaining your brand reputation requires investment in your underlying IT infrastructure - like your DNS.

To learn more, check out the following resources:

Further Reading