Sun. Oct 1st, 2023

Content Assessment: Ensuring Domain Name Security? Risks, Verification, and Best Practices (ENISA)

Information - 93%
Insight - 94%
Relevance - 90%
Objectivity - 91%
Authority - 93%



A short percentage-based assessment of the qualitative benefit of the recent publication by the European Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA) of the report on DNS identity focusing on verification and authentication of domain name owners.

Editor’s Note: ENISA, the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity, was established in 2004 to promote a high level of cybersecurity across Europe. The EU Cybersecurity Act has strengthened its role, and it works towards enhancing the trustworthiness of ICT products, services, and processes with cybersecurity certification schemes, contributing to EU cyber policy, cooperating with Member States and EU bodies, and preparing Europe for future cybersecurity challenges. The recent ENISA report on DNS Identity serves as a critical resource for cybersecurity, information governance, and eDiscovery professionals. By incorporating the insights and recommendations from this report into their practices, professionals in these fields can enhance domain name security, mitigate risks, and contribute to maintaining a secure and trustworthy online environment.

Background Note: Recently, ENISA published a noteworthy report titled “DNS Identity – Verification and Authentication of Domain Name Owners.” The report sheds light on the crucial aspects of ensuring the security of domain names and highlights the significance of verifying and authenticating the ownership of these domains. By addressing the potential risks and attacks associated with domain registration, the report provides valuable insights into safeguarding against malicious activities such as domain hijacking, phishing attacks, and domain squatting.

For cybersecurity professionals, the ENISA report serves as a valuable resource for staying informed about the latest developments in the field. It offers insights into emerging threats and best practices for mitigating risks related to domain name security. Information governance professionals can leverage this report to strengthen their organizations’ information management strategies, ensuring that domain assets are adequately protected and compliant with relevant regulations.

eDiscovery professionals can benefit from the ENISA report by gaining a deeper understanding of the risks associated with domain registration. This knowledge enables them to investigate and respond effectively to cyber incidents and potential legal disputes involving domain names.

Industry Study*

DNS Identity – Verification and Authentication of Domain Name Owners

European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA)

Executive Summary – Synopsis

Domain names and the Domain Name System (DNS) play a crucial role in the modern internet. They enable the transformation of human-readable strings into Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, facilitating services and applications that billions of people rely on. Moreover, the DNS contributes to reducing spam and locating various internet services.

The process of domain name registration involves registering and configuring a domain name to ensure its proper functioning. During this process, the domain name registrant enters into an agreement with the registrar, which includes the requirement for accurate information. Registrars are responsible for establishing verification procedures to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the collected information. They must also implement strong authentication controls to protect the accounts associated with the domain names.

This report focuses on the authentication and verification of domain name owners in the context of domain name registration. It addresses the security challenges, good practices, security controls, and associated risks within the domain name registration ecosystem. The report also highlights the risks associated with weak authentication systems and provides recommendations for establishing identity in the domain registration process.

The first part of the report concentrates on verifying the identity of domain name owners. It identifies key risks related to the verification process, such as weak passwords, password reuse, and privacy risks. The report categorizes potential attacks on the identity of domain name owners into online vectors, which involve electronic means, and offline vectors, including social engineering attacks.

Furthermore, the report explores existing literature on good security practices for verifying the identity of domain name owners. It incorporates practices from organizations such as the NIS Cooperation Group, ISO, and ICANN. The report recommends several good security practices, such as supporting two-factor authentication (2FA) to strengthen verification, utilizing national electronic identification schemes where available, leveraging PCI DSS data, and employing third-party verification.

The second part of the report focuses on the authentication of domain name owners. It categorizes authentication techniques and examines the key risks associated with the authentication process. Finally, the report identifies good security practices for authenticating domain name owners. It suggests that registrars should supplement existing username/password credential systems with 2FA, where possible. The report also explores advanced approaches involving metadata for authentication in domain name registration accounts.

In synopsis, this report provides a comprehensive overview of the authentication and verification of domain name owners during the domain name registration process. It underscores the importance of robust security measures, such as 2FA and third-party verification, to enhance the overall security of domain names and the DNS. Implementing the recommended good practices can significantly mitigate risks and ensure a more secure online environment.

Read the original announcement.

Complete Report: Cybersecurity of AI and Standardization (PDF) – Mouseover to Scroll

DNS IDENTITY – Verification and Authentication of Domain Name Owners

Read the original paper.

*Shared with permission under Creative Commons – Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) – license.

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Additional Reading

Source: ComplexDiscovery


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