- David Goldstein -
Signing up to a Registry Lock for your domain names is a significant help in protecting your domain name from a malicious hijacking by cybercriminals. There are many instances around the world of domain names being hijacked, companies large and small, after malicious actors have gained control of a domain name and thereby doing what they want with not just the domain name, but any service associated with it including the website and email.
A domain name hijacking can lead to a damaged reputation and loss of sales as the malicious actors take control of a website and a company’s entire online presence. And while a Registry Lock has a small cost attached to it when registering a domain name, the cost is small compared to the damage that can be done. And even with a small cost attached, in 2019 SIDN, the .nl Registry, reported that only 150 of the 5.8 million .nl domain names are secured with .nl Control, SIDN’s name for their Registry Lock. Another survey of Forbes list of the World’s Largest Public Companies found around 22% of the domain names tracked have secured Registry Locks.
Malicious actors have repeatedly used nefarious means of tricking Registrars and Registries around the world that they are the rightful Registrant of the domain name. The introduction of the Registry Lock means an added layer of protection for Registrants against unauthorised or accidental administrative changes of a domain name, attempted deletion or takeover due to, for example, a cyberattack, error or unauthorised action of third parties.
A Registry Lock works by any request received for change of registrant details needs to be manually verified by the Registry or Registrar. Hence the need for an additional cost. The slow uptake among domain name Registrants of Registry Locks can in part be attributed to a lack of standardisation across top-level domains. But hopefully this can be resolved in the not-too-distant future as it is being discussed between Registries and Registrars such as at a CENTR Registrar Day in 2019.
The list of TLDs offering Registry Locks has been increased in recent months with the .bank and .insurance gTLDs adding the option, as did ZA Central Registry, the TLD Registry behind South Africa’s country code top-level domain (ccTLD) .za and the new gTLDs .africa, .capetown, .durban and .joburg.
If you would like to find out more about Registry Locks and even enabling Registry Locks on your domain names where available, check out BrandShelter's Domain Security page for more information or contact our team.