How Does a Geo IP Database Download Help in Cybersecurity?
It helps organizations determine the locations of users, which is valuable information across different business processes
13:54 19 August 2020
In a nutshell, a geo IP database download is a data source that provides IP geolocation data. For instance, we have seen geolocation data in use to boost ROI from location-based marketing and advertising campaigns.
An IP address database download is also a useful intelligence source when it comes to cybersecurity. In this post, we talk about three cybersecurity processes that can benefit from using a geo IP database download.
3 Cybersecurity Strategies That an IP Address Database Download Can Enrich
Identity and Access Management
User access management (UAM) and identity and access management (IAM) have always been critical components of cybersecurity platforms and solutions. However, with most people working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, these processes have never been more crucial. The prevalent remote working setup that most organizations now employ highlights the need for robust UAM and IAM.
IP geolocation services are an integral part of implementing these security protocols as it reveals the physical locations of devices used to access confidential corporate data. Security teams can allow or disallow user access depending on his/her geolocation determined by an IP address database download. Find out more info here.
Consider a business process outsourcing (BPO) company with offices in the U.S., the Philippines, and India. Its security team can implement the following rules with the help of a geo IP database download:
- Automatically deny access to anyone outside the three countries: So when a user with the IP address 200[.]188[.]129[.]20 sends a request to access the BPO company’s phone systems, the UAM or IAM solution would run the IP address against a geo IP database download. Security analysts would then find that the IP address belongs to a device located in Mexico, allowing them to block a potentially unauthorized user.
- Assess user access rights to specific company resources: Employees can’t access all company data and resources. Access privileges given to C-suites differ from those in middle management and the rest of the employees. Geolocation data can help assess if a user located in qualified countries has the right to access specific company resources. Specifically, it can be used in multifactor authentication (MFA).
Fraud Detection and Prevention
Online fraud has many faces. It can come in the form of identity theft during account takeovers that can lead to unauthorized purchases. Threat actors can also commit card-not-present (CNP) fraud on e-commerce sites. A geo IP database download can help protect merchants and account owners, regardless of the type of online fraud attempted by attackers. At the very least, IP geolocation data can be used to:
- Authenticate the identity of a user
- Block account access from high-fraud areas
- Flag account access from unusual areas
If an account owner’s billing and shipping address is in Brooklyn, New York, and someone with the IP address 61[.]177[.]172[.]177 logs into his/her account, the user should be alerted as this indicates that the device used is located in China. For the utmost security, such access attempts should trigger MFA.
IP address database download provides geographical context to incident information. With IP geolocation data, a series of Secure Shell (SSH) login attempts from the IP address 2[.]48[.]3[.]18 can be contextualized as login attempts from someone in Dubai. Does the company have dealings with people or organizations in Dubai that could explain the login attempts? If none, then the company’s security team can immediately block the IP address.
Integrating a geo IP database download into incident management systems can, therefore, hasten response time, thereby reducing the business loss or disruption.
IP geolocation services are among the most useful data source providers to enrich cybersecurity solutions and strategies. Adding geographical context to events such as login attempts, unauthorized access, and transactions can aid security teams in their responses. It can further help strengthen an organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure.
About the Author
Jonathan Zhang is the founder and CEO of WhoisXML API—a domain and IP data intelligence provider that empowers all types of cybersecurity enterprises to build better products and achieve greater network security with the most comprehensive domain, IP, DNS, and cyber threat intelligence feeds. WhoisXML API also offers a variety of APIs, tools, and capabilities, including Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) and Domain Research Suite (DRS).