Business Continuity – DNS is very important

Business Continuity in today’s world is all about keeping a business on line and is critical.

We, as an organisation, have been absolutely crippled by another companies incompetence when it comes to DNS, so business continuity was all important.

  • Our email and DNS was, up till 2 months ago, managed by Uber Global.
  • They were purchased by MelbourneIT who wanted to bring them and other purchased oprganisations into their primary system. (Including DNS)
  • The worst migration I have seen and worst of all we were caught in the middle of it.
  • Moving the system to Office 365 is normally not that difficult but we have been off line for close to 40 days.
  • We could not move the DNS zone file, we had no access to the mailboxes except through POP3 and IMap and some mail boxes worked and some did not.
  • I was then told by their senior Support manager that a record inside the zone file was talking to another zone file and I had to change the record in that zone file.
  • This was when I initiated action through my legal people and sent a request to the Australian Telecommunications Ombudsman.

Therefore business continuity is an important part of your business requirements.

When something happens you need to know that your eCommerce website will continue to work, your email will be received and delivered, your staff can access information when and where they need to.

SME’s and not for profit organisations are notorious for using the cheapest available systems.

Getting website built and having them hosted on small independent hosting services is common place.

This can have substantial impact on your organisation, not just in the cost area.

This is why we always use large organisations to manage our clients DNS, not including MelbourneIT.

But they are the most expensive, you may say!

They are more expensive for a number of very important reasons, the most important being 24/7 or 12/7 support.   Being able to email or call when you have a problem or need to make a change with your account is very important.

Other important components are knowing that their infrastructure is sound and secure and having a guaranteed up time / on line component through a Service Level Agreement (SLA).

Why DNS is so important

DNS (Domain Name Service) is one of the most important parts of the digital world.

If it stops everything else stops.

And I mean STOPS!

Those transactions that produce revenue will not happen!   That important email from a client will not be delivered!

When it stops, or your Internet connection fails or something else happens in the digital world then you need to be able to make a change ASAP then you need to know that your business continuity will kick in.

There is nothing worse than having your redundant link kick in and still nothing works.

As a business you need to ask these questions

  • Is their system and your account subject to a service level agreement?
  • Do they have agreed uptime?
  • If I want to do it myself is there “how to’s” on their portal?
  • Does the portal show all components of the DNS not just what they think is important?
  • Is their technical support available 24/7 or at a minimum 12/7?
  • Is it free or do I have to pay for it as needed?
  • Are they contactable by both email and phone with response times?

If you are an ICT service Provider you need to make sure that the DNS, the one that has been set up by the nominated person within the organisation, is correct and stable.   You need to check that you can make changes to it as needed.   If not then you need to change it to somewhere you can.

If you are that nominated person then you need to make sure that you understand the implications of the DNS failing, an IP address change or any of the myriad things that can impact the Digital World.

Just one other thing, if you are putting up a new website and the designer and web hosts asks you to change the DNS to their system “because it is easier” make sure they know what they are doing.   If not, things like email, smart devices and other important components of the business could stop working.   Website is great but the rest of the business based systems are just as important.

The digital world is 24/7 and the DNS component is critical to make it all work.    Make sure that at 1 AM on a Sunday morning that you have someone to talk to when all else has failed

If this article has made you think and look at the other parts of your business continuity then I have done my job!

Roger Smith is funny, scary, on point and is focused on one thing – increasing everyone’s awareness and understanding of the problems and issues associated with the digital world.
He was Runner up in the 2017 worldwide Cybersecurity Educator of the Year award and has been nominated for the 2018 Cybersecurity Educator of the Year award.  
He is a highly respected expert in the fields of cybercrime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity) on Cybercime, Cybersecurity and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.   
He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime with his best selling book, Cybercrime a clear and present danger, going to number one on Amazon.   
He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI.   He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cybercrime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.