Welcome back to the definitive checklist for securing your domains, where we’re taking a thorough approach to your cybersecurity with some expert support. Informed by our Chief Technology Officer, Anouar Adlani, parts one and two of our checklist documented some initial cybersecurity mainstays. These include safeguarding the links between your domains and your registrar, and protecting your business from any unwanted changes to your domains.
Here, in Part 3, we’ll tackle another vital principle in domain security, so let’s dive in.
Domain Cybersecurity Strategy 3: Domain name protection
Domain names form a crucial cornerstone of the internet. Around this cornerstone, businesses build the robust walls of a valuable online presence. An effective online presence means productive branding and lucrative commerce, so it’s well worth a company’s time to get it right. However, that’s far easier said than done. While businesses typically secure their websites and emails, they often neglect the domain itself. We must all ensure that our domain names remain active and under our control.
Here, we’ll cover all the essential principles and tools for securing your domains. These protocols help prevent cracks in your cornerstones and ensure your digital buildings stay firm and effective.
Activating a transfer lock on your domain names is important for several reasons:
- Prevents Unauthorized Transfers: It stops unauthorized parties from transferring your domain to another registrar, crucial for preventing domain hijacking.
- Protects Brand Identity: Your domain is integral to your brand. A transfer lock helps ensure that your brand identity remains under your control.
- Avoids Disruption of Services: Losing control of your domain can lead to disruptions in your website, email, and other services. A transfer lock maintains business continuity.
As cyberthreats rise, fuelled in part by smarter hijacking algorithms, the internet becomes a higher risk area to park your assets, and locks become even more valuable. Transfer locks deliver that value, restricting any unauthorized transfer requests, and ensuring that only authenticated individuals with the correct codes can transfer your domains from your current registrar to another.
To apply a transfer lock, you need to work closely with your domain registrar’s control panel, either by yourself, or by collaborating with domain management experts. These domain name protection tools help reinforce your brand’s online presence, creating a proactive defense mechanism to secure your portfolio.
Registry level locks
To protect domain names from changes and hijacks, secure businesses implement registry level locks. These tools offer significant security benefits, including the following:
- Enhanced Security Against Unauthorized Changes: They provide an additional layer of protection above standard transfer locks, preventing unauthorized changes at the registry level.
- Protection Against Domain Hijacking: By securing the domain directly at the registry, these locks are highly effective in preventing domain hijacking.
- Business Continuity Assurance: They help ensure that your domain remains secure and operational, avoiding disruptions to your website and related services.
Registry level locks apply the industry-standard principles of multi-factor authentication all the way up your domain infrastructure. These principles protecting your email, websites, and ecommerce sites. Adding MFA mandates human confirmation from the domain owner, registrar, and registry for any change request. Ultimately, MFA streamlines domain name protection, whether your interactions involve contacts or DNS servers. These principles mitigate hacks, hijacks, and human error alike.
Registrant Information: Cybersecurity and compliance
National and international laws govern domain cybersecurity, helping keep your business and its visitors safe. However, companies must follow these rules to stay on the right side of regulators. The ICANN Registrar Accreditation Agreement requires registrars to validate and verify certain Whois data fields, which may include contacting you by phone, email or postal mail. Registrars must suspend or delete domain names that are not timely verified.
This verification is crucial for several reasons, including addressing Whois inaccuracy complaints and managing domain transfer matters. Regularly updating and confirming your domain’s contact details is a proactive step in safeguarding your online presence and ensuring compliance with regulatory standard.
Automatic renewal and long-term registration
Imagine your domain name as the cornerstone of your digital presence, essential not only for customer interaction but also for the smooth operation of your internal systems. Imagine the chaos if this cornerstone were to suddenly disappear because the domain expired: customers are met with dead ends, employees cannot access crucial work systems, and vital internal processes come to a standstill. This disruption, all due to an overlooked domain renewal, can significantly impact your business operations and damage trust.
To fortify your digital foundations, treat your domain as a vital asset. Engage automatic renewal to prevent accidental lapses. For domains critical to your business, consider securing them for up to 10 years. This long-term approach not only provides peace of mind but also ensures uninterrupted operation of both external and internal digital services, maintaining the seamless functionality and reliability your business, employees, and customers depend on.
When managing domain portfolios, it’s important to balance the need to be resource-efficient with the risks associated with letting domains expire. While not all domains may be valuable to retain, allowing previously used domains to expire can be risky. This is because expired domains can be registered by third parties, potentially leading to unauthorized access to previously associated websites, files, and emails.
Effective domain management involves conducting thorough research to determine which domains are worth keeping, based on their history, previous use, and associated risks. This approach helps in making informed decisions about domain retention, ensuring both security and efficient use of resources.
Again, manually conducting, compiling, and building a strategy with domain name expiration research requires plenty of resources. From providing expertise to saving your company time, EBRAND Corporate Domain Management experts would be happy to help.
Conclusion: Domain name cybersecurity
In conclusion, strengthening your domain’s cybersecurity requires a strategic blend of protective measures. By implementing Transfer Locks, Registry Level Locks, maintaining accurate Registrant Information, enabling Automatic Renewal, and conducting Domain Name Expiration Searches, you create a multi-layered defense against potential threats and disruptions.
We appreciate you taking the time to explore these essential strategies. To tailor this domain checklist to your company’s bespoke need, just get the conversation started with our EBRAND experts. In the meantime, you should also stay tuned for Part 4! There, we’ll delve into the critical realm of DNS Servers. We’ll see you there!