Having domain management strategies in place is a crucial component to running a comprehensive brand protection program. As 2022 progresses, it’s a great time to review policies, procedures, and the security of your domain assets to see if any adjustments need to be made. Have you added new domains to your account that should have an additional layer of security added, registry lock for instance? Have new users been added or removed from your account or have responsibilities changed? Are your domains pointing to relevant content?
Here are a few tips to help you organize, secure, and maximize your domain management and brand protection efforts in 2022.
Review Domain Management Account Settings.
Limit access to domain management accounts and regularly review secondary account access. Remove any users who may no longer be with the company or who may have changed job roles. It is also important to regularly review user permissions to ensure that proper permissions are applied to each user. You should also consider implementing two-factor authentication to help protect your account against unauthorized access. By requiring users to enter a one-time security code in addition to their username and password, online accounts are protected in the event that login credentials are lost, stolen, or compromised.
Never Share Login Credentials to Your Domain Management
or DNS Management Accounts.
This goes without saying, but sometimes we all need a reminder that sharing login credentials poses a security risk. Not only does it make it more difficult to identify the person making a change, but it also increases the chance of someone with malicious intent gaining account access and causing a serious security breach. Every account user should have a unique username and password. Also consider requiring mandatory password updates every 30, 60, or 90 days. Implementing forced password changes makes it more difficult for bad actors to gain access to valuable login credentials.
Lock Core Domains at the Registry Level, Wherever Possible.
Registry lock should be applied to domains used for eCommerce, transactional sites, email systems, intranets, and site-supporting applications. This elevated locking mechanism, which prevents erroneous name server updates, hijackings, and social engineering attacks, freezes all domain configurations at the registry level until a customer-specified and registrar-specified, high-security protocol is followed.
Review Domain Registration and Renewal Policies.
Now is the time to ensure your domain registration and renewal strategies align with your policing and enforcement programs. Do your strategies support online objectives? Are core brands adequately protected across key markets and geographic locations? Do you have a localized strategy that includes Internationalized Domain Names (IDN) in key markets? It’s also important to have methods in place to determine what domains to keep and what to let expire. How are you identifying domains that are no longer required? What factors are you considering and who are the key stakeholders involved in those decisions? When developing domain strategies, there is no one size fits all model. There are many criteria that should be considered and every company’s business objective and risk tolerance will differ.
Track Website Traffic and Make Necessary Adjustments.
Whether you’re using your own DNS, a registrar’s DNS, or a trusted third-party provider, tracking DNS queries and web forwarding statistics allows you to effectively promote and protect brands, recapture lost traffic and potential lost revenue, and assists with domain renewal decisions. Review domains that have transferred into your domain portfolio within the last year to make sure DNS settings are accurate and the domain is resolving to appropriate content.
Stay Ahead of Industry Changes That May Threaten Your Online Presence.
Brand owners constantly have to stay ahead of industry changes and trends to protect their brands online. Cybersquatters and phishers continue to capitalize on industry changes by registering domains that are confusingly similar to legitimate sites and redirecting internet traffic to fraudulent websites. Partner with a corporate-only domain registrar that not only keeps you abreast of industry changes but also advocates on behalf of brand owners’ rights.
Monitor For Brand Abuse.
Continuously monitor for abuse and take action when necessary. It’s not possible to register every brand and typo in every top-level domain (TLD). Companies need to have a solid brand protection strategy in place that allows them to quickly identify and address abusive registrations when they occur.
Stolen business, angry customers, damaged reputations, and legal battles are just some of the problems that can ensue if preemptive brand protection measures are not taken. To learn more about keeping your domain secure including how to combat abuse, we’ve created a guide to domain name enforcement, including sample templates for reporting infringement. You can download it here.