New tool gives enterprises insight into their internet traffic

11th June 2015

turing by Nominet - a breakthrough in identifying threats and improving network efficiency.

Today we announce the launch of a new visualisation tool for Domain Name System (DNS) traffic that quickly produces meaningful analytics from vast amounts of data. A British world-first, turing by Nominet gives enterprises unparalleled insight into their internet traffic and represents a powerful breakthrough in the war against cybercrime, enabling them to identify threats and improve network efficiency.

Every time someone types in a web address or an app makes an internet request, a DNS query is generated. Nominet processes four billion queries every day and the company’s DNS experts originally developed turing as existing network tools couldn’t process the volume or nature of internet traffic crossing its systems fast enough. It quickly proved invaluable, identifying a major vulnerability in server software, as well as helping to track down malicious activity over the internet.

“We’re excited that we can now give any organisation running DNS services a key to unlocking the patterns in the data”

Whilst it was initially developed to help Nominet as a registry, there was an evident gap in the market. Over the last four years, the company has developed the technology into a product for network administrators, cyber analysts and DNS data experts. turing can perform a multitude of services including identifying botnets, pinpointing latency issues, recognising different bugs and errors, as well as detecting malware and man-in-the-middle cyber attacks.

turing is unique as it is capable of rapidly storing and analysing DNS query data in-depth. Using a patent-pending DNS metadata storage architecture, it can process terabytes of DNS traffic, handling over 250,000 queries per second, providing both real-time and historic overviews of network activity. It gives enterprises a new, tactile and very visual way of working with this data. It helps them to understand what their normal traffic patterns look like so that they can quickly spot any anomalies and take action, whether that’s to optimise systems for performance or efficiency, to identify and deal with malicious behaviour, or exploited or vulnerable code.

Russell Haworth, CEO, Nominet, commented on the launch: “We’re excited that we can now give any organisation running DNS services a key to unlocking the patterns in the data. One of the world’s largest ISPs is already using our technology and it has also attracted the attention of some major corporations who see its potential for spotting vulnerabilities in what they thought were secure networks.”

Simon McCalla, CTO, Nominet whose team developed the tool, commented: “Any enterprise with a large DNS infrastructure will know how difficult it is to understand what is happening with real-time and historic traffic. To build it we had to stop thinking like engineers and start thinking like detectives. Up until now, the available network management tools have simply not had the capability to rapidly store and analyse DNS query data in depth. turing changes the game completely.”

turing has been developed to provide real-time visualisation and analysis of DNS data which can be easily used by any enterprise. Its features include:

  • An overview window which shows a summary of DNS traffic, allowing the user to select a particular time scale – from a whole year down to a single day. Traffic information is shown in a simple graphical format where the size and colour of each dot represents the query volume and the ratio of error responses for each time segment
  • A purpose-built storage and retrieval system that means that manipulating vast quantities of data is simple and fast
  • It can be viewed on any browser on any device, circumventing the need for bespoke hardware
  • An intuitive touch-based user interface to easily interact with the data
  • A rich API to integrate with other network management systems

Find out more at www.nominet.uk/turing and for more information, see our infographic or click the image below.

turing infographic

Notes to Editors

turing by Nominet has been designed to work on Linux and Microsoft Windows platforms and supports a variety of database engines. The hardware required depends on the topology of each customer’s network but needs no special provision to implement the software. In some designs the turing components can be deployed on existing servers in the customer’s network.