July 8, 2019
We often hear domain reputation as something that involves email marketing, but did you know that it can also impact network security?
In fact, there are domain reputation APIs available today that allow users to evaluate the reputation of a domain or IPv4 address based on several security data sources. These programs go through numerous parameters to come up with an overall score for the target. This capability lets companies analyze the properties of a website or IP address and gauge its risk level to help them make informed decisions moving forward.
To better understand what domain reputation software do, let’s first take a look at the parameters they examine.
Understanding Domain Reputation Scoring
A domain reputation API can acquire a score on an entity by assessing items such as:
- Domain SSL certificate. Having an SSL certificate is a good thing but it doesn’t always guarantee trustworthiness. This tool checks if the domain’s SSL certificate was issued by a reputable organization. Other SSL details that are examined include the validity period of the certificates and several other vulnerabilities.
- Website analysis: This takes into account how risky a website is using factors such as certain file extensions capable of executing code, host configuration problems, insufficient CMS protection, and more.
- Domain WHOIS record: Domain reputation protocols monitor WHOIS data feeds to identify possible anomalies such as suspicious registration dates, host location in a known high-risk country, and the like.
- Mail server: A domain reputation API also checks if a domain or an IP address has been blacklisted in relation to spamming or other malicious email-related activities. Its mail server feeds ensure that companies follow best practices specified for SPF and DMARC record configurations, response time, and reverse IP address matches.
- Malware detection: A domain reputation API can collect the latest details from malware databases to see if a given domain has been flagged in any of them. Some programs come with their own security intelligence to provide users with more exhaustive malware coverage.
- IP resolution: The tool also checks data feeds related to main infrastructure servers, other domains within the same IP block, and other connected domains. This lets users know where the host server is located.
Some Use Cases for Domain Reputation
It’s possible to check each feed in a domain reputation API individually to know if a domain or an IP address is dangerous or has exploitable vulnerabilities. However, going with a tool that can analyze all these feeds and come up with an overall score is simpler and more convenient.
A reliable domain reputation API can be used for many practical applications including:
- Enterprise security: In a digital world where a single data breach can spell the end of a company, stringent protocols and automated systems are needed to help monitor data traffic and maintain overall security. An API that can assess the reputation of any given domain or IP address and can be integrated with existing systems will enhance its overall protection from external threats.
- E-commerce safety: Many e-commerce systems today allow the conduct of transactions from one domain to another automatically. Using a piece of software that can evaluate the security of any website despite jumping domains before interacting with them can prevent mishaps and losses related to cybercrime.
A domain reputation API is capable of examining a wide range of feeds to come up with a safety score for a certain domain or IP address. This can range from 0 (high-risk or definitely malicious) to 100 (low-risk). Checking the reputation of a domain allows users to identify online entities that are potentially harmful so they can avoid accessing these.
Jonathan Zhang is the founder and CEO of Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) — a data, tool, and API provider that specializes in automated threat detection, security analysis and threat intelligence solutions for Fortune 1000 and cyber-security companies. TIP is part of the Whois API Inc. family which is a trusted intelligence vendor by over 50,000 clients.