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An Introduction To Cisco Umbrella

  • 29 January, 2018

Article, Cisco, Security

As you may already be aware, DNS is the principal engine of the internet. It provides a way to match names (the ‘worded’ address of a website you are seeking) to numbers (the actual address of the location where the website resides). Everything connected to the internet, be it a laptop, mobile phone, tablet, desktop, printer, ATM, websites and more will all have an IP address (for example,

Thanks to DNS syncing up domain names with IP addresses, we can use memorable domain names (eg., brand names and other useful words to represent the address of a website. Visiting the BBC website would be a chore if you had to remember and type in its IP Address of:

There are hundreds of millions of domain names pointing to different IP Addresses representing servers all around the globe. Keeping track of all of this manually is not possible, especially when you consider that well over 100,000 new domains pop up every single day!

The potential threat

Out of the hundreds of millions of domains that make up the internet, how many do you think are malicious? or potentially malicious?

How can we secure ourselves against such a vast source of potential threats?

With the prevalence of Corporate and Personal internet access these days, we’re continually exposed to a major source of threats via email, browsing, social networks etc.

cisco umbrella secure internet gateway diagram

The Solution

If we wanted to secure ourselves on the front line against all of these potential threats, what would be the simplest and most logical approach?

The answer is of course, DNS based protection.

Wouldn’t it be ideal to have DNS as our first line of defence, providing us protection against a whole host of different threats, some of which we know about, many of which we don’t, across all of our devices and in all locations?

This is now a reality thanks to Cisco Umbrella.

Umbrella is a Cisco platform which is based purely on DNS protection and an Intelligent Threat Detection Ecosystem. The team behind Umbrella utilises the knowledge and research of Cisco’s TALOS threat intelligence organisation, employing the combined intelligence of hundreds of highly regarded security experts. Taking advantage of behavioural analytics and information reported through other Cisco solutions, Umbrella can provide an organisation with a first line of DNS-based defence which will cover every single device, application, user and situation.

intelligent proxy cisco umbrella diagram

How it works.

All domains which meet the criteria for suspicious activity, are the source of a malicious threat or have been used in an attack are automatically imported into the system. If a user tries to reach one of these domains, they are instantly blocked from accessing it and redirected to a landing page explaining why this domain is inaccessible. This list can also be manually tailored to the individual requirements of a user or business.

A most welcome additional feature which has been recently added to the platform is the New Seen Domains feature. This allows you to block entirely new domains which are observed on the DNS grid, long before any other solution gets wind of a potential threat, you can cover yourself against a domain that none of your users should ever be reaching.

Easy management

Due to its simplicity and the way in which it sits just ‘outside’ of your environment, Cisco Umbrella is incredibly easy to deploy and ongoing management is a breeze.

As a cloud-delivered service, Umbrella scales seamlessly to accommodate your growing business needs. As you add new networks, locations or devices, simply add them to your account through the cloud-managed dashboard, assign policies to them and you’re done.

With its simple deployment and easy to manage approach, you save both time and money allowing you to focus on other projects.

cisco umbrella services report

Try it yourself.

Don’t just take our word for it, why not sign up for a comprehensive FREE 14-day trial where you can test out the features of Umbrella and see the potential difference it can make to your security.

The trial can be set up in under 10 minutes and you’ll get a full 14-days to test Umbrella in an environment you’re entirely familiar with.

For more information on the trial, DNS Security, Cisco Umbrella or to ask us any other questions please get in touch with us.

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