DNS is the first step in any communication on the internet, determining the availability and speed of a customer’s first interaction with applications or content. It’s obvious why DNS services are so crucial for e-commerce companies. In 2021, a one-hour DNS outage caused Amazon to lose an estimated $34 million in sales. And companies that experience frequent downtime incur costs that are 16 times higher than those with infrequent downtime.
Healthcare organizations also need reliable and fast DNS services for reasons other than revenue and customer engagement. For healthcare providers, DNS downtime can impact patient health — and even lives. Here are just a few examples of the catastrophic possibilities that can result from even a few minutes of DNS-related downtime:
Healthcare organizations, just like their e-commerce counterparts, need to make DNS trust a foundational component of their service architecture. However, trusted availability takes work to achieve. It requires an extensive and robust server network that keeps services online and delivers the required performance. Such a network would need enough capacity for incoming traffic to mitigate surges in DNS requests and fend off DDoS attacks. And it may require the management of multiple domains with role-based access and advanced automation.
Choosing a purpose-built, managed DNS service is the safest and most cost-effective way to achieve DNS trust. But what should healthcare companies look for when evaluating the best-managed DNS option for their needs? Here are three things that should be at the top of the list:
Many managed DNS services offer high (99.99%) uptime assurance; a few even provide 100% uptime SLAs that give you a refund or service credit when they fail to meet them. But for healthcare organizations, a 100% SLA backed by a refund is insufficient, given the potential impact on health and safety dangers inherent in any downtime. The DNS service has to have a track record of delivering. To ensure DNS trust, healthcare organizations must analyze the historical performance of a managed DNS provider to confirm whether they truly provide the infrastructure, resiliency and expertise to deliver on their SLA.
This analysis should make sure that the vendor provides the following features that contribute to ensuring 100% uptime:
Large healthcare organizations span many types of entities — some regional, some national and some, as in the case of pharmaceutical companies, global. A typical pharmaceutical company has thousands of domains used for a host of reasons, such as:
Accumulating domains and associated records and required traffic routes too often results in separate administrative silos across multiple DNS providers. However, managing different services places an impossible burden on IT teams across the organization, and it can lead to domains being overlooked and insufficiently protected. A managed DNS solution should consolidate all domains under a single platform that simplifies and unifies domain management. In addition to significantly reducing the burden on IT, such a solution enables IT to align with InfoSec about how configurations should be managed for digital risk protection, compliance requirements and faster performance. Furthermore, working with one vendor streamlines overhead for the IT team.
In addition to centralizing management of multiple domains, healthcare companies must also be able to limit access to domains by role and automate enforcement of this access in a granular way. In practice, however, it’s often difficult to do both. Before buying DigiCert DNS Trust Manager, one healthcare customer found that the only way to limit domain access was to contract with separate managed DNS service providers as a workaround — which became problematic as the company started acquiring other companies. In addition to causing silos and security gaps, as described in the previous section, this workaround couldn’t scale with the company’s growth.
That’s why healthcare companies need a single DNS provider that supplies the capability to set up role-based access for API connections. The best way to achieve that is by leveraging API keys that give users the credentials only to access the domains relevant to their job. A developer, for example, can execute code to turn up a cloud instance and modify records using their unique API without worrying that someone else might inadvertently change those records. Similarly, the developer can accomplish their job without the marketing team worrying that their email records will accidentally change.
Automation further helps with limiting access by enforcing role-based controls. A company with 10,000 or more domains can’t expect to manually change and update records, let alone worry about whether employees have access to domains they shouldn’t. Moreover, they need a way to revoke access to domains should an employee change roles or leave the company. A managed DNS service provider that can automate the use of APIs to streamline domain management hardens security and allows for rapid scaling.
At DigiCert, we’ve helped healthcare companies — from pharmaceutical companies to hospital chains and specialty clinics — achieve the important goals of ensuring continuous availability, fast and reliable performance, and consolidated domain management. In addition to being the only managed DNS service that can boast 100% uptime for more than 12 years, DigiCert DNS Trust Manager has helped healthcare organizations solve a variety of challenges, such as:
With more than two decades of industry expertise, our team of DNS product specialists has designed a DNS solution renowned for its exceptional uptime record, setting the benchmark for the industry. By ensuring DNS trust, healthcare organizations can focus on their primary objective to improve and safeguard patient health. This is where digital trust meets the real world.
To learn more about how DNS Trust Manager can help your healthcare organization with these and other DNS-related goals or to schedule a demo, email email@example.com.