A new survey of IT decision makers in the UK claims that most have ‘limited visibility’ of the impact that (DNS) Domain Name System performance is having on their internet users and visitors to their online resources.

The survey of 100 key IT decision makers at UK businesses in a variety of sector found that while “89% of respondents claimed to be using a specialist DNS service provider, only about 15% have committed to using it for both internal and external DNS purposes to provide advanced features”.

Released this week, the survey report titled ‘Winning the domain game: the business case for a specialist DNS provider’, suggests that only those 15% of businesses are benefiting from “advanced features such as mitigation against DDoS attacks, reduced infrastructure load and central management tools to improve visibility” across the DNS.

“With so few benefiting from advanced features, it would suggest a lack of knowledge about the value add that can be provided via DNS, and what could be achieved by using a specialist DNS service provider” the report says.

The research was conducted by Quocirca and commissioned by global information services provider Neustar.

“At its most basic, DNS is an address book which matches websites to internet Protocol (IP) addresses”, says Quocirca analyst and director Bob Tarzey. “Our research reveals that many organisations have yet to realise that DNS can be so much more than that; sitting on the frontline in the online security battle, maximising use of backend resources, ensuring governance and providing a rich source of data for marketing teams.”

The report suggests only 8 percent of respondents “have full visibility across all areas of DNS, including frequency of dropped requests, cache poisoning, latency and overall load on DNS infrastructure, rendering it impossible to ensure a consistent service to internal and external Internet users”.

“DNS complexity is a major reason for lack of visibility” it says, “with 45 percent of organisations having as many as 8 different ways of provisioning their infrastructure”.

Lack of clarity across the DNS can render organisations vulnerable to DNS based DDoS attacks. A survey in 2016 by EffiicientIP found that in the past year 22% of companies surveyed had been subject to DNS-based DDoS attacks, 12% of organizations in North America and 39% in Asia had had data infiltrated via DNS, and almost 20% of the businesses surveyed had suffered an attack using DNS Zero-day vulnerabilities.

“DNS has been called the most important part of the internet that people don’t know about and its time IT managers woke up to what a professional DNS service can deliver to business,” said Rodney Joffe, SVP and Fellow at Neustar, who was awarded the 2013 FBI Director’s Award for Cybersecurity.