More than $10 Billion in Data Breach Losses Over Past Five Years from the Studied Incidents Might Have Been Prevented, and $150 To $200 Billion in Global Losses from Cybercrime
NEW YORK, June 12, 2019 — New research from the Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) has found that Domain Name System (DNS) firewalls, also known as protective DNS, which are freely available and easy to install, could prevent 33% of cybersecurity data breaches from occurring.
Through a simple tweak, DNS firewalls leverage threat intelligence from cybersecurity companies and/or public sources to automatically prevent users from visiting known malicious sites. Most often consumers visit a malicious site when they click on a malicious link or mistype a legitimate web address. Malicious software on a computer or phone can also cause a visit to a malicious site.
According to Verizon’s long-running and industry-leading Data Breach Investigations Report, there were more than 11,000 confirmed data breaches collected and analyzed over the past five years. Independent researchers Shostack & Associates and Cyentia Institute working with GCA were able to determine that 3,668 of those breaches would have been potentially thwarted if users had a DNS firewall deployed.
“The constant stream of breaches has unfortunately caused many small businesses and consumers to simply accept cyber-attacks – that no matter what they do they cannot protect themselves,” said Philip Reitinger, President and CEO of the Global Cyber Alliance. “However, there are many easy-to-implement steps that can prevent businesses and consumers from being another notch in the belt of a hacker. Our research shows that protective DNS services are among the most valuable.”
According to the study, DNS firewalls might have prevented $10 billion in data breach losses over from the 11,000 incidents in the past five years. And the actual figure may be more – the researchers were unable to measure every case where a DNS firewall could have protected the victim, and their estimate of the financial impact is probably biased low.
Finally, as DNS firewalls might affect one-third of cyber incidents, and with current estimates of the scope of cybercrime, DNS firewalls might play a role in stopping $150 to $200 billion in losses every year.
DNS is the “phone directory” of the Internet as it translates human readable names like globalcyberalliance.org into computer addresses – a string of numbers otherwise known as an IP address. In order to access websites on the Internet, your computer must leverage a DNS service that is usually configured by your Internet Service Provider or your network administrator.
“I’ve always been a big fan of DNS-based controls, and I’m glad to see GCA doing something like this. There are relatively few security measures that address so many threats for so little cost and effort. I’ve configured all my home devices to use Quad9, and I suggest you give it a look as well,” Wade Baker, Ph.D., Partner, Cyentia Institute.
The Global Cyber Alliance, in collaboration with IBM and the Packet Clearing House, developed and launched Quad9, a free DNS security service that blocks known malicious domains, preventing computers and Internet of Things devices from connecting to malware or phishing sites.
A fully detailed report that highlights the GCA methodology and research findings can be found in the following report: The Economic Value of DNS Security.
About the Global Cyber Alliance
The Global Cyber Alliance (GCA) is an international, cross-sector effort dedicated to eradicating cyber risk and improving our connected world. We achieve our mission by uniting global communities, implementing concrete solutions, and measuring the effect. GCA, a 501(c)3, was founded in September 2015 by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, the City of London Police and the Center for Internet Security. Learn more at www.globalcyberalliance.org.