OpenDNS Leverages Position As "First Touchpoint" To Provide Proactive Enterprise Security


The Internet can be a scary place these days for big businesses, especially those running highly-regulated, mission-critical applications. The web has plenty of bad neighborhoods where malware, botnets and phishers wait in the shadows to attack innocents who have wandered astray.

Those dangers coupled with a mobile, global, cloud-based workplace in which employees no longer sit at their desktop behind a firewall means a security solution must do more than just attempt to clean up problems after they arise -- it must implement proactive measures to protect the enterprise, Jeff Samuels, OpenDNS chief marketing officer, told CRN.

OpenDNS was founded in 2005 as a more-or-less typical Domain Name System management service, one trying to lure consumers away from the telecoms providing them access to DNS servers. That initial product not only proved successful, but it also presented new opportunities for the company to start protecting its clients.

[Related: OpenDNS Launches Platform To Ease Security Management For MSPs]

“Staying ahead of attackers, that’s the Holy Grail for security,” Samuels said.

OpenDNS, which provided its clients their first touch point to the Internet, first extended its offering by adding features like spelling correction and phishing protection.

“We’re at a point where we can block certain sites, so we started selling to enterprises just content filtering. We started putting in security at that level, blocking phishing sites,” Samuels said.

Today, OpenDNS routs 2 percent of the world’s Internet traffic for more than 50 million users. That puts the company, which operates 24 data centers around the world, in a unique position.

“On the intelligence side, we built software and systems and classifiers and algorithms to score every public-facing thing on the internet,” Samuels said. “We see the whole Internet, so we have intelligence."

OpenDNS offers a cloud-based security service called Umbrella that delivers granular network security for remote workers and distributed offices.

The company this month expanded the service to leverage the power of its global network to protect all its clients. OpenDNS now monitors malicious traffic during early stages of online attacks and compares that traffic to activity across the entire network, providing intelligence about attackers and preemptively blocking network connections before they do damage.

OpenDNS logs attacks and scores sites on a scale from negative 100 to 100. 

“Everything negative we will block. We won’t let our customers go to it,” Samuels said.

OpenDNS has also built an extensive MSP distribution channel.

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