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Securing your domains

8 September 2016

Despite the rise of apps and the walled gardens of Facebook and other social media platforms, domain names remain the Internet’s signposts and they are an important piece of any business’ intellectual property. Protecting them in the face of increased cyber-attacks and the potential nightmare of letting one lapse is the concern of IP experts and business owners across the globe.

In order to avoid any domain name mishaps it is important for businesses to choose the right registrar, a registrar that has all the tools at its disposal to ensure that all domains, particularly a company’s key names, are well-managed and kept safe.

There have been a few high profile cases of domain name hijacking and despite the many regular warnings about how to protect your domains we continue to see news stories of hapless businesses whose main website has gone down for minutes to hours or even days through simple mismanagement and allowing domain name renewal to lapse.

To prevent such attacks, as well as making sure important domain names are not lapsed by mistake, there are a number of things to look out for in a registrar. These include auto-renewal services, a secure domain name management portal, and registrar and registry locks.

Every business will own domains considered as key. These names either match an important company trademark, host e-commerce activity, or are core corporate websites. If these sites were to fail or fall foul to a malicious attack, there would be a direct and tangible customer or business impact.

In order to prevent any negative impact, businesses and their registrars should be sure to set these key domains to auto-renew. The names should be renewed for long periods of time, ten years for example, and your registrar should keep you up to date with each key domains’ expiry date.

A secure domain portal also plays a vital role in ensuring your names are safe. The portal should have 2-factor authentication which, when combined with restricted IP access, is an effective way of keeping out any potential hackers or other potentially harmful intruders. Businesses should also check whether the registrar is security certified to the latest ISO standards.

Also contained within the portal should be the ability to highlight the key names of the portfolio. This reduces the risk of employees who have access to the portal making mistakes with the important names.

Lastly, businesses should look to utilise registrar and registry locks. These locks give authority to a small number of people within the business to make changes to key domains and a specific procedure must be followed when modifications to domains are necessary.

These are some of the simple tools and techniques that could help save you the potential embarrassment of waking one day only to find that important website you’re responsible for protecting has gone. If you’d like to know more about securing your key domains do get in touch: