Lucent Switches Gears with New DNS Security Tool

Though best known for its optical, data and voice networking applications,
Murray Hill, N.J.’s Lucent Technologies
Wednesday unveiled something different; a monitoring service
to protect domains from those with bad intentions.


DNS ProPerformance helps
mind a customer’s domain name system (DNS), a service that
translates a host name to a numeric IP address, by scanning a customer’s DNS
infrastructure for security vulnerabilities from
hackers. In addition, it’s quite the diagnostic administrator because it
performs more than 70 tests to assure that the DNS
configuration is operating without any glitches.


How does this work? As previously stated, IP-based applications refer to a
DNS server to translate domain names to their IP
addresses in a numeric form. DNS ProPerformance helps ensure reliable DNS
performance for applications. It notifies systems
administrators of inaccurate or invalid DNS information that would render a
site or application unreachable to prevent service
glitches.


When problems are detected, the software sends e-mail notifications to the
administrators, which saves them troubleshooting time. The product, a departure from the company’s usual switch and router offerings, was created under the aegis of the Network Software Group.

“DNS-related errors are the second most frequent reason for failed Internet
connections,” said Madan Kumar, vice president of the
Network Software Group in Lucent Technologies. “The DNS ProPerformance gives
customers an automatic and proactive DNS management
approach to provide carrier-class reliability and availability for their
domain names.”


Cricket Liu, DNS specialist and author of the O’Reilly & Associates Nutshell
Handbook, “DNS and BIND,” took a peek at DNS
ProPerformance and discussed the importance of such applications at a time
when security concerns run at all time highs.


“Because of the complex nature of DNS, companies often neglect to manage and
configure DNS properly. This puts critical
infrastructure, such as web presence and e-mail traffic, at risk,” Liu said.
“This new service provides a fast and simple way to get
a comprehensive health report on DNS from an external source. It offers
clear reports and detailed recommendations that are helpful
in identifying and correcting configuration problems and security
weaknesses.”


Research yields huge estimates for the information security industry. RBC
Capital Markets said in a recent report that corporations
and governments will invest more than $30 billion per year by 2005 to
protect information systems from terrorist and other security
threats. It also said that, to date, low or inadequate security expenditures
resulted in 15 billion in losses last year related to
network security breaches, viruses and other hacker attacks. Companies and
organizations, the firm said, spent only $10 billion by
way of comparison.

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