“Domain names are far from the only vector of attack, but they're one of the most visible,” says CyberScout founder and chairman Adam Levin.
Although hackers can deploy a wide array of methods to hijack domain names, there are fortunately several ways businesses and organizations can protect against them.
Businesses and organizations can and often do lose track of who has access to their domain name accounts, whether or not they’re protected by multi-factor authentication, and if the passwords used to access them have been compromised in a previous breach. It’s important to perform regular and thorough security reviews and to make adjustments as needed.
“Whether your company is international or a regional operation, the time to invest in a cybersecurity audit was yesterday,” says Levin. “It should include an inventory of who can access registrar accounts, implementation of two-factor authentication, and password hygiene checks.”
Hackers frequently use commonly misspelled domain names to spread malware and pharm credentials. Companies should consider taking a proactive approach to this threat by buying similar domain names to their primary domain. The costs for acquiring and maintaining a broad portfolio of domain names can add up quickly, but when compared against the costs of recovering a compromised domain name, it’s a sound investment.
One of the easiest ways for individuals or organizations to protect against domain name based hacks is by installing security software and keeping it updated to identify new threats. Most modern security software will protect against hosts file hijacks, identify incoming malware and phishing emails, and will block suspicious device activity.