A new business line is being created within the insurance industry related to the costs of recovery related to cyber attacks. Consider that it cost over $2.5 million dollars for the city of Atlanta to recover from their cyber attack in 2018.
The Center for Strategic International Studies lists 112 major incidents perpetrated against governments, utilities, military, and large corporate entities since August of 2018. The majority of them have been recorded in 2019 so this problem is accelerating.
In April, 2019, hackers stole roughly $498,000 from the City of Tallahassee, FL. Other U.S. cities attacked in the past year include Lake City and Riviera Beach in Florida, the city of Baltimore and the city of Albany, New York. City and local government attacks often ask for tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most cities and local governments are not yet prepared. The idea of cyber-insurance for cities sounds like a good idea for me.
From my perspective though, it underlines the importance of robust DNS management at the root level for generic and country code Top Level Domains. We need to make sure our roots are signed and educate registrars, and end users on the importance of a secure website.
I’ve been in the domain industry now for nineteen years but the last six have been spent primarily focused on country-code Top Level Domain Names. When I worked at 101domain, that was our primary business. We helped brands around the world to protect their valuable intellectual property by defensively reserving their brand names in ccTLDs from around the world. It’s a specialized and difficult task to register domain names all around the world but 101domain was (is still) good at helping brands to do so.
Now, at Afilias, we help many ccTLDs to reach out to global audiences. It’s the opposite side of the equation. Many country-code registries still use antiquated and obscure methods to offer and maintain their ccTLD databases (aka “registries”). They also, often have special rules that must be complied with. This makes it tough for mainstream registrars to do business with them. Registrars like Godaddy and Namecheap offer domain names to the public but often overlook ccTLDs because they don’t have time to build the special systems needed to connect.
Afilias offers registries a high quality, inexpensive way to connect to registrars and open up the global markets to their ccTLDs because we use standard connection protocols and business rules. Most large registrars are already doing business with us so adding ccTLDs becomes a simple check-the-box and market the domain exercise for them.
Working with ccTLD registry operators has been challenging – but also a lot of fun. I’ve met hundreds of people from every culture and country imaginable. I’ve also learned a lot about country codes.
I recently developed a free ccTLD training tool using Brainscape and wanted to share it with you here. It’s a simple flashcard learning system that allows you to monitor and improve your progress. It’s also a game worth playing if you are in the industry or have employees in the industry. It’s a lot of fun to compete with it.
There are two exercise sets:
Do You Know Your Country-Code Top Level Domains?
Have You Mastered Your Domain(s)?
The first one is focused primarily on the ISO 3166 2-character country codes. The second one is more geared to learning about domain names around the world and includes new a few generic TLD questions. Test your skills and learn. I hope you will enjoy them. Just click on the image below to play and to learn.
Note: You will need to set up a free account there to play (but it’s worth it).
ICANN’s meeting in Puerto Rico was really well attended. There are still many problems down there related to Hurricane Maria, but there was very little degradation of services that I could see while I was there. This is not because it didn’t exist, but because they people of Puerto Rico worked very hard to make it not noticeable to us. I was very impressed with Puerto Rico and would love to vacation there some day.
In the mean time I wanted to share this interesting infographic on the meetings held there.