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Expanding Domain Capabilities for Unified Threat Management

Posted on October 7, 2019
Expanding Domain Capabilities for Unified Threat Management

Many years ago, a sturdy firewall was all that a company needed to keep itself safe from external threats. This tool was what sat between the outside world and the inner network, examining ports and protocols to decide what can go in and what stays out. Then things started to change, as they always do.

Then there were new threats capable of gaining entry into applications and systems, and open ports became threat entry points, making the examination of packets as important as knowing where they come from, their type, and where they are going to.

Nowadays, to stay safe companies have to deploy several solutions, content filters, antimalware, and more. Rather than just one solution, enterprises require a wide range of appliances and solutions, each with their own interface, presenting many possible points of failure. Businessed required a better, more efficient way and so unified threat management (UTM) came into existence.

The range of functions offered by UTM became the preferred choice by many enterprises as it was a more practical means compared to purchasing several individual offerings. Despite how robust some UTM products may seem, however, they can still come with weaknesses that can be abused by threat actors. Take a look at these loopholes in the next two sections.

Updates Are Few and Far Between

Perhaps one of the most significant weaknesses that most UTM solutions suffer from is the fact that they get very limited updates. Usually, depending on the vendor of the product, updates are provided between every few months to once a year. With how bad the threat landscape is these days, this is a very long time to go without the latest safety patches.

The reason for this could be that such updates are only released after all systems and software are scanned and subjected to penetration tests. The test findings are only sent to the vendor for remediation after at least a month. Some tests last for three months. Only then can the vendor start creating the patches. As such, users are left insufficiently protected while the patches are being issued.

Lack of Specialization

Another crucial weakness that UTM vendors have is the fact that they provide general protection and therefore do not specialize in any one aspect. Imagine having a multifunctional tool and an entire toolbox on hand. Which of the two would you choose to fix a certain malfunctioning appliance at home? Of course, the toolbox is the more reasonable choice because it far better matches the yet unidentified task.

A UTM, like a multifunctional tool, is designed to take on all types of security threats. This means that it may fail to pay close attention to a specific kind even when needed. As such, a carefully configured malware can still bypass its built-in protocols.

What Can UTM Vendors Do to Address These Concerns?

Even an all-in-one solution can still benefit from the use of third-party tools, particularly in the area of domain intelligence gathering.

The reason behind this is simple: most threat actors today establish their own malicious networks for attacks. To do that, they need their own domain infrastructure. Their campaigns usually involve the use of several websites all the way from the initial stages until the end of their operations.

By making use of TLD and WHOIS data, a UTM vendor can provide clients with up-to-date information on who might be behind a certain attack. This can be especially handy since WHOIS records contain data on any domain registrant. Details such as its name, organization, contact details, location, and more can be found here.

All of these contain crucial registrant information that can be beneficial for cybersecurity purposes. When paired with an effective security solution, the domain registration information can also be used in content filtering. For instance, specialists can identify other domains that are connected to a suspicious domain and have it automatically blocked within their network. This security protocol is essential for clients to prevent accidental access to any flagged domains that could pose a risk.

What Does Domain Name Stat Offer?

Either in the form of a database or API, you get access to more than 5 billion WHOIS records and more than 300 million active domain names — made available by TLD type, TLD, country, and registrar. This means that you will receive accurate information on a wide range of active domains. And these domains span nearly 3,000 gTLDs and ccTLDs to work with.

UTM products have come a long way and are seen by many as an effective approach to safeguarding their digital assets. However, a UTM isn’t a silver bullet and despite being an all-in-one solution, it will still require essential data from other sources.

Millions of individuals and organizations register new domain names or update existing ones each year. By utilizing domain registration data, UTM vendors can gain access to a reliable source of information to extend their cybersecurity capabilities.

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