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20, Jul 2022
Get familiar with Whitelisting and Blacklisting

In this article, we will focus on one really interesting topic, which is Whitelisting and Blacklisting. First, we will explain what Whitelisting is and then what Blacklisting is. Finally, we will make a comparison between them. So, let’s start.

Whitelisting: Definition

Whitelisting is compiling a list of dependable programs or websites that are authorized to run and function on the network. When whitelisting, the default behavior is to either deny access to all other apps or to infer that any applications not on the list pose a security risk. Those apps that aren’t on the list need to gain your trust before they can access the network.

Some network managers prefer allowlisting because it offers a high level of protection by default. However, it can also be quite simple and quick just to grant access to a small selection of reliable applications while blocking all others.

What is Blacklisting?

The reverse of whitelisting is blacklisting. A denylist notifies the server that a particular website or email is hazardous in the eyes of the healthcare expert. On a denylist, any website or email address is not retrieved or received. Never is the existence of an email on a blacklist disclosed to the email sender or website host.

Additionally, Blacklisting is a technique for limiting the access that denies those entities that were added to the denylist access to a network or system based on their distinctive identifier, which is typically their distinct IP addresses.

Blacklisting is the process of denying access to an object to ALL entities that have been put on the BLACKLIST.

Whitelisting and Blacklisting – Main differences

  • While Allowlisting is focused on building trust, Denylisting is threat-focused.
  • While Whitelisting allows access to individuals on its list, Blacklisting restricts access for those on its list.
  • While the default is forbidden when using Allowlisting, it is permitted when using Denylisting.
  • If we are talking about a massive network with several variables, denylisting and safelisting may be challenging to maintain.

What are Whitelisting and Blacklisting across devices?

  • In routers

Through your Black List or your White List under Access Control, you can prevent or let a particular client device from connecting to your network (wired or wirelessly).

  • In Firewalls

Choose Firewall from the menu bar to stop unauthorized users from using your computer. Ensure that Access Control is active. IP addresses can be blocked by adding them to a whitelist or blacklist. Enter the IP address you want to allow access to or restrict access to in the Address New text box after choosing the IP address.

  • In websites

By editing the .htaccess file on your server, you can whitelist or blacklist any IP addresses you want.

If you want to allowlist IP: 

order deny,allow
deny from all
allow from <your ip>

If you want to blacklist an IP address:

Deny from <your ip>

If you blacklist an IP address with .htaccess, the blocked IP will receive a 403 Forbidden HTTP status code when visiting your website.

Recommended article: Monitoring service: Why is it important?

Conclusion

If you are particular about the identity of your bad actor, Blacklisting is a good strategy. It can be included on the list, keeping you safe until a new one appears. Although whitelisting is more drastic, its default practice of refusing access is frequently safer.

7, Jun 2022
What is Shared Hosting?

Shared Hosting: Definition

Shared hosting is a form of web hosting service in which multiple websites coexist on a single Internet-connected server. Your website will not be the only one stored on the server if you choose shared hosting. However, the server’s resources (RAM, processor, bandwidth, disk space, and so on) will be shared with the other websites housed there.

It’s a fairly popular web hosting option. Nevertheless, others may consider it to be too basic, but this is dependent on the demands of each website. There are currently great suppliers who can give dependable service, and you can get as comprehensive a package as your budget will allow.

How does it work?

When you construct a webpage, you must save all of the data that make it up, such as scripts, themes, text, photographs, and videos, on a server that is connected to the Network. That’s the only way for everyone else to see it.

Shared hosting distributes the resources of a single server to hundreds or even thousands of clients. This means that all of those customers share the server’s technical resources and maintenance costs. As a result, it is a very cost-effective option.

Why is Shared Hosting beneficial?

Shared Hosting is really advantageous. Here are some of its main benefits:

  1. Cost-efficient. The expense of sharing the server’s space and resources with other websites is also shared. In general, a basic plan for this service costs between $3 and $10 per month. Although initial costs may appear to be extremely low, always double-check regular prices before signing a contract. After the first year, the initial cost may increase or even triple.
  2. User-friendly. Not only can you set it up, but you can also manage its functions with only a few clicks. To administer it, you don’t need to be a skilled developer. If you are, you will undoubtedly be able to make the most of each of its features.
  3. You are not responsible for maintenance. For some budgets, the time and cost of technical upkeep can be prohibitive. That is a task that your provider is in charge of. It is not a little benefit to assist you in preventing and resolving problems.
  4. Built-in features make managing the website a breeze. cPanel, DNS administration, and a slew of other utilities make it simple.
  5. Customer service. The majority of shared hosting companies provide you with rudimentary customer service. Support can be basic or advanced, depending on the company you choose, its quality, plans, and so on.

Conclusion

Shared web hosting is a wonderful place to start, especially if you have a static site, a start-up, a blog, a corporate site, or something similar. It is a cost-effective and simple-to-manage option.

Choose shared web hosting only if it is the best option for your website. If your site requires more resources and you choose shared hosting, you will almost certainly run into issues.

31, Mar 2022
What is the purpose of Dynamic DNS?

Have you ever heard about Dynamic DNS? It is an absolutely incredible service. Why? Because it lets you connect to your gadgets over the Internet using a simple domain name. In our article, we will take a detailed look at it, how it functions and why it is so beneficial.

Dynamic DNS – what does it mean? 

Dynamic DNS (DDNS) stands for Dynamic Domain Name System. It’s a great way to update your name server automatically and regularly. Whenever they change, it changes IP addresses and their related A (IPv4) and AAAA (IPv6) records. It saves you the time and effort of manually doing this process.

Client IP addresses are continually changing at Internet service providers (ISPs). As a result, they face a significant problem in managing them so that they do not run out. Every device that connects to its network needs its IP address.

Perhaps you are unaffected by these frequent IP changes as a typical home Internet user. Businesses, on the other hand, are a different matter. If a company provides a service -or numerous services- over the Internet, such IP address changes will almost certainly harm its servers. In addition, every update increases the possibility that users requesting the service will be denied access because they are using an old, invalid IP address.

How does it work?

Dynamic DNS continuously monitors IP addresses for changes. When a change occurs, the DDNS automatically updates the new IP address.

Consider sharing service from a server that is connected to the Internet. It must also be connected to the internal network, and it will use a network address translation (NAT) router to communicate with the Internet. This NAT router assigns an internal IP address to the server. Then it must enable its external availability via port forwarding and obtaining a Portex (external port) and an Ipex (internal port) (external IP address). Your service will already be visible at this stage. Users will have easy access to it over the Internet.

Why is it advantageous?

The following are some of the benefits that DDNS can provide:

  • Dynamic DNS is a low-cost alternative. There are both commercial and free DDNS providers available. It is, nevertheless, less expensive than purchasing static IP addresses for your company’s equipment.
  • Access to your server or website without interruption. It makes no difference if your IP address changes. Your website will be accessible to your visitors.
  • A basic and straightforward method. All you have to do now is sign up for the service, and the program will be installed automatically. Ready!
  • You’ll get notified in real time if the DNS server’s IP address changes.
  • Remote access or VPN connection is seamless and straightforward for employees who work from home.
  • Installing security cameras will necessitate a strong and consistent Internet connection. They will continue to function 24/7, thanks to Dynamic DNS.

Best Dynamic DNS providers

If you’ve already chosen that Dynamic DNS is the way to go, here are a few respectable companies to look into:

  • ClouDNS offers a free Dynamic DNS subscription, which may be an excellent place to start for many people. It’s easy to set up on various operating systems and network devices.
  • FreeDNS provides a free Dynamic DNS service for hosting domains and subdomains and web forwarding and URL cloaking.
  • One other great DNS provider is ChangeIP. For IP mapping to a subdomain on their system, this hosting business offers both free and premium solutions and Dynamic DNS to any domain for a fee.

Conclusion

We can infer that Dynamic DNS can help you save time and money. It is a really useful technology. It may even be the only reasonable answer to a problem in some situations. Assume you wish to deliver services or connect and operate many devices, such as CCTV cameras, over the Internet. Take a look!

23, Mar 2022
7 most commonly used DNS record types

The DNS record types are essential for the proper DNS configuration and management. There are various different DNS record types, and each one of them is implemented for a very specific reason.

A record

The A record, also known as the Address record, is the most popular of all DNS record types. The reason for that is simple. It is used to serve the most important function. The A record links the domain name to its IP address. More precisely, it is used for IPv4 addresses. In case you have an IPv6 address, don’t worry. There is a specific DNS record for it – the AAAA record. 

SOA record

The SOA (Start of Authority) record is utilized for indicating the origin of the data. In addition, this record is contained crucial information related to the DNS zone, such as contact information about the DNS administrator and Refresh Rate. Thanks to it, the Secondary DNS servers understand when they should update their information. Every DNS zone is required to have an SOA record. Moreover, it is the very first DNS record that you should have.

MX record

The Mail eXchanger record, or just for short MX record, points to the mail server that is responsible for receiving email messages. This DNS record type is required if you want to make sure that you are going to receive all of your messages. Additionally, it prevents any issues related to spam. 

You can adjust the TTL (Time-to-Live) value of the MX record and set different priorities depending on the capabilities of your mail servers. 

NS record

NS record is another one of our list of DNS record types that is crucial to know. It serves to indicate the nameserver responsible for the DNS zone. Imagine it as the ID card of the nameserver. If you don’t have such a record, your DNS zone won’t function. Note that you should point the NS record to the nameserver.

PTR record

The PTR record becomes a necessity in case you want to send email messages without any issues. The pointer record (PTR record) is serving for the exact opposite action to the A record. It links an IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) to the associated domain name. Thanks to this record, you can implement Reverse DNS. It provides proof to your recipients that the IP address is actually related to your domain name. That way, you avoid any attempts for fraud and improve the deliverability of your messages.

CNAME record

The CNAME record serves to show which is the canonical domain name for the subdomain or domain name. In most cases, the CNAME record is utilized exactly for subdomains. That makes the DNS administration a lot more simple. Every change that you make for your domain name is going to update for each of your subdomains. You just need to create a CNAME record for your subdomains and point them to the domain name.

TXT record

The TXT record is another very useful DNS record. It contains simple text information for different outside sources. In the majority of cases, TXT record is implemented for verification and authentication purposes. That way, you can improve the level of trust in your domain name. As a result, that positively affects your internet reputation.

Suggested article: Basic Internet Terms and Definitions

Conclusion

All of these DNS record types are used very commonly, and it is best to understand the purpose of each one of them. That way, you can easily choose and add the one you need.

16, Mar 2022
DNS outage – Definition and Details

DNS outage is the time when your Domain Name System goes down for any reason (your nameservers are hit, overloaded, etc. ), and the server can’t resolve your domain name to its IP address. The first step in entering a website is to resolve the DNS. Without it, the browser won’t know where your website is located, and it won’t be able to find its content. In addition, visitors who want to access your domain will see an error message and cannot access your site.

So, we can say that a DNS outage is when website guests type your website’s name (domain name) into their device and can’t load it (they are not routed to its IP address).

What can cause a DNS outage?

  • Configuration errors. DNS outages can be caused by various human errors when configuring DNS. Script errors, incorrectly typed IP addresses, firewall configuration issues, etc.
  • The upkeep of authoritative name servers. Updates or reboots are occasionally required as part of routine maintenance. This disables the server’s ability to respond to DNS requests.
  • DDoS and DoS attacks. The purpose of Denial-of-Service and Distributed Denial-of-Service is to cause a failure of the service. You will experience a DNS outage if they succeed.
  • An occurrence in the data center (the location of the name server). The “cloud” is situated in a data center or multiple data centers, not in the sky. And while such locations are safe, they are not foolproof. Especially when it comes to natural disasters, power outages, and other issues.

How to prevent it?

Of fact, you could protect yourself against it, and there are some steps you can do to avoid future DNS outages:

  • Secondary domain name service. The most straightforward approach that could save you is to employ a secondary DNS server in most circumstances. Ideally, with a different DNS provider. The secondary DNS will let you have additional authoritative DNS servers that can still answer to queries even if the primary DNS is unavailable. The more, the merrier.
  • Load balancing. You can set up your nameservers to distribute traffic between them using load balancing. So, you can be sure that the load is not going on one of them. The performance and resilience of your DNS network will be improved by spreading the heavy load.
  • Protection against DDoS attacks. A DDoS attack is often the cause of a domain name problem. Furthermore, traffic attacks have become relatively inexpensive, and it is usual for hackers, sometimes hired by your competitors, to pull your domain down. So, what can you do? You can get DDoS protection for your Domain Name System servers that can withstand heavy load.

Conclusion

We can infer that a DNS outage is highly harmful and can cause significant damage to your business. Therefore, take the appropriate steps to avoid this from happening, such as implementing Secondary DNS, a Load Balancing method, and DDoS protection. This will provide you peace of mind that your Domain Name System is in good working order.

10, Mar 2022
What does a DDoS attack mean?

What exactly is a DDoS attack?

A DDoS or Distributed-Denial-of-Service attack is a form of cyber attempt. It means that the goal of a DDoS assault is to overload a server, computer, or network with massive amounts of traffic generated from various sources. Then, when the target fails, its services or access to it for regular users is denied.

When cybercriminals succeed in shutting down your company, it will have an impact on your revenues. Furthermore, it will increase your costs for resolving the issue and harm your reputation. In addition, a DDoS attack might be used as a distraction by thieves in preparation for another data breach attack. So, if your website is down for an extended period of time, your search engine ranking may suffer.

How does it work?

DDoS attacks are mostly caused by devices connected to the Internet. Malware infects many appliances, computers, and IoT, and the attacker gains control of them. Bots or zombies are terms commonly used to characterize such devices, and a botnet is a collection of them.

The hacker is now ready to launch the attack after establishing the botnet. They’re all controlled from afar, and each one is given orders. All of the zombies or bots that are affected send requests to the victim’s IP address. Eventually, the network or server will become overburdened and unable to handle the load. Because each bot seems to be a standard Internet device, distinguishing between legitimate and malicious traffic is difficult.

DDoS attacks types

We can divide DDoS attacks into three categories:

  • Attacks on the application layer — They overwhelm applications with bogus requests.
  • Assaults that deliver a large amount of harmful traffic to a device, website, or server are known as volume-based attacks. There are ICMP, UDP, and spoofed-packet flood attacks, for example.
  • DDoS attacks at the network layer or protocol level send vast amounts of packets to their target network infrastructures and tools. SYN floods and Smurf DDoS are two well-known protocol attacks.

For all forms of attacks, the purpose is always the same. That is to make the target’s resources sluggish and unresponsive at all times.

How can you defend yourself against a DDoS attack?

  • Always keep your systems up to date. If you run your own DNS server, you must keep it up to date at all times. You should keep an eye out for potential flaws or malfunctions and update your software on a regular basis. 
  • Monitoring of traffic. For stopping a DDoS attack, technology that constantly monitors data and detects abnormal patterns and abrupt traffic surges is critical.
  • Have load balancing technology. It distributes traffic by routing it from one server to another, attempting to strike a balance that keeps servers from becoming overburdened.
  • Invest in anti-DDoS software. You need modern technology to increase your defense against DDoS attacks. A combination of tools, rather than a single one. It will cost you money, but it will be much less than the cost of dealing with the aftermath of an attack.

Recommended article: DNS outage – Definition and Details

Conclusion

DDoS attacks are a significant problem. They are a successful method of disrupting web services. They have the ability to take down your website for an extended length of time. But for this not to happen, prepare yourself!

2, Mar 2022
Monitoring service: Why is it important?

What is a Monitoring service? 

Monitoring service is crucial for providing a reliable service and a great user experience. In addition, it serves to identify issues regarding your services like web, DNS, email, and so on. Thanks to it, you receive detailed data about the conditions of your servers, and it helps you find and fix different problems quickly.

Additionally, you have the ability to check and notice the condition of your servers in real-time. That way, any difficulties, such as a failure of a specific component or very sluggish traffic, are easy to detect and take quick actions.

The Monitoring service also provides automatic notifications. So, if an issue appears, you are going to receive, for instance, an email, text, or in some other way.

What is the purpose of the Monitoring service?

The main goal of a Monitoring service is to notice network problems, such as:

  • Server failures
  • Overloaded routers
  • Network connection issues

In addition, you are able to escape from unwanted outages and failures. That is crucial for online businesses which require availability and high uptime. Constant monitoring is the best way to protect the integrity of your services and networks. 

You can find a lot of amazing tools out there. Yet, there is something very important that you should consider when you are choosing one. It is best if you select a tool that provides a dashboard and you can understand effortlessly. With this in mind, even if you are a beginner, you are going to implement the Monitoring service smoothly.

Types of checks

The Monitoring service offers different checks that allow you to understand the state of a service (server). These types of checks examine the UP or DOWN status of the particular service. Moreover, you are notified whenever a check fails. Here are some of the most common types of checks:

  • Website HTTP(s): The system sends HTTP(S) requests to a particular web or IP address. As a result, it marks it as UP if the URL response code is 200. You or your administrator can modify the following parameters – the hostname, port, and path.
  • Ping (ICMP): This check provides information about the network activity for a particular domain or IP address. The system uses ICMP ping checks to a specific IP address. Then, if a defined percentage of the packets fail, for example, 50%, the check is considered DOWN.
  • Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) – The system establishes a TCP connection with the IP address (IPv4 or IPv6) on the chosen port number. 
  • User Datagram Protocol (UDP) – The system examines the UDP port number you or your administrator chose on the precise IP address. 
  • Domain Name System (DNS) – The system initiates a DNS query for the hostname your or your administrator chose. Moreover, you can set your preference for the query type on the given IP address. 

Why is the Monitoring service important?

The Monitoring service provides complete visibility into all of your network components. That way, you are aware of the overall health of your network. Additionally, such a service helps improve your network reliability by simply indicating if a server is operating or is down. Finally, the Monitoring service is important for you to analyze if a particular component is properly used, overused, and underused.

25, Feb 2022
Basic Internet Terms and Definitions

Here are some of the most popular and basic Internet terms and their definitions.

Internet

The Internet is, also known as the net or web, is a global interconnected network that allows people to share information and communicate with each other. It was created thanks to the extensive progress in computing technology. Additionally, in many cases, the Internet is referred to as a “network of networks.”

WWW

The short WWW stands for World Wide Web, and it is a graphical interface for the Internet. The first time that it was introduced and available for the public was back in 1991 by Tim Berners-Lee. It is important to mention that the Internet and WWW are actually not the same things. Yet, the majority of the people still think WWW is the Internet. However, the Internet allows you to connect and communicate with your device with other devices and machines. On the other hand, the WWW is a group of web pages kept in a web server and connected to local devices through the Internet.

DNS

DNS is a short acronym that stands for Domain Name System. It is a global naming database built in a hierarchical order that stores and links all of the existing domain names with their associated IP addresses. This naming system is essential for the Internet and the overall user experience. Without it, people would be forced to use only IP addresses to connect with their favorite websites. That sounds like a memory challenge!

Domain name

The domain name is a simple text identifier that allows humans to easily find their favorite websites. Each domain name is a string of text that is unique. Due to the fact it exists, humans are able to discover devices, networks, services, computers on the Internet very fast. Two different websites could not share the very same domain name. 

IP address 

The IP address is also an identifier, yet it is numerical. The different machines and servers do not understand words. For that reason, they connect and communicate through each other via IP addresses. Due to the fact that the Internet has grown massively back in the days, the need for more IP addresses increased. That is why there are two versions – IPv4, which is the older one, and IPv6, which is the newer one.

TCP/IP

TCP/IP stands for Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol, and it combines two protocols to establish Internet communication and allow the connection between two devices that are long-distance apart.

The Internet is a packet-switched network. Additionally, the data is divided into smaller packets, transferred separately, and then reassembled at the target destination. TCP is responsible for collecting and reassembling the data packets, and IP is the component that guarantees that the data packets are transferred to the proper target location.

FTP

File Transfer Protocol, or for short FTP, is a popular network protocol. Its main purpose is to transfer files among devices and machines over a TCP/IP-based network (the Internet). Thanks to this protocol, we are able to exchange information across the Internet. The need for sharing data was very common, and the File Transfer Protocol was one of the first developments that could solve it. 

Suggested article: 7 most commonly used DNS record types

Conclusion

So, now you know some of the fundamental Internet terms. Additionally, now you are going to be more aware while you are browsing on the Internet of what the different components mean!