6 Corporate Risk Factors Arising from Domain Management Practices

Managing risk is a high priority item for any corporation. Domain names are valuable business assets and the home of your brands online. If they go offline, even briefly, it can have serious implications on revenue, brand and customer trust. If a corporate domain name portfolio is poorly managed, without defined policies and adherence to domain management best practices, or spread across multiple registrars, that business is exposing itself to increased risk and expending unnecessary time, resources and money.

With almost 20-years of experience onboarding corporate clients and managing and securing their domain portfolios, we have identified 6 common risk factors that can increase vulnerability around domain theft and hijacking, DNS downtime, renewal lapses, phishing and brand dilution. Let’s take a closer look at them now.

Risk #1: Lack of Clear Policies and Ownership

In many organizations, domain name management is diffuse, lacking strong policies and accountability. Business units might register domains independently, relying on IT for technical management and implementation. If there is a designated Domain Manager, they are often administratively-focused, with limited resources, time or knowledge to optimize the domain portfolio for performance, cost savings and strategy.

Resulting business problems and threats: Inefficiency, cost overruns, siloed knowledge, missed branding opportunities, lack of cohesive strategy and increased security risk for the corporation.

Risk management
Risk Management Plan Concept

Risk #2: Distributed Domain Management Account Access

Multiple registrar accounts can lead to ambiguity around who has access to what, and weakened security around login credentials. Retail and budget registrars also largely lack enterprise solutions like unique multi-user login credentials and hierarchical roles with limitations around what features or settings can be accessed. To minimize the resultant corporate risk, it is critical to choose a provider that can also offer two factor authentication, domain locks and a fully managed relationship.

Resulting business problems and threats: Unauthorized access and users, rogue registrations, use of personal accounts and/or registrant details, change management vulnerabilities, account lockouts, domain hijacking/ interference/theft.

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Risk #3: Insufficient Domain Name Security

What security measures do you currently have in place to protect your core domains? If you’re having a difficult time answering that question, the answer is probably “few”. Only corporate-focused registrars have the security tools and hardened protocols that enterprises need to remain secure in the face of evolving security threats. IP access restrictions, domain and registrar-level security locks, account activity logs, user control permissions and DNS redundancy are all integral to keeping business-critical domains safe.

Resulting business problems and threats: Account lockouts, unauthorized users, unauthorized changes to domains/ nameservers/ registrant information, domain expiry, domain hijacking or theft and DNS attacks.

Risk #4: No Proactive Domain Name Monitoring

Online trademark infringement, cybersquatting, and domain spoofing pose a significant reputational risk to brands. With more than 1200 top-level domain extensions in market, core brands and trademarks should be continuously tracked in the domain sphere so that cybersquatting and fraudulent domain registrations (copycat, counterfeit and misspellings) are detected fast. Not only does domain name monitoring help to counteract phishing and brand damage, it can help you keep tabs on deleting domains, enabling you to take action around domains of interest. 

Resulting business problems and threats: Domain infringement; cybersquatting; brand dilution and brand damage; phishing attacks via spoofed or typosquatting domains.

Analyzing the data

Risk #5: Domains Spread Across Multiple Registrar

Domain names spread across multiple registrars is not uncommon for large businesses. It can be the result of business units acting independently, acquisition of companies, or bygone business decisions that have simply endured. When domains are scattered, there often is lack of clarity around how many domains an organization owns, where they are pointed, what information is associated with them, and who can access them. Domain consolidation is a necessity to mitigate corporate risk.

Resulting business problems and threats: Amorphous digital footprint, renewal lapses, unresolving and/or unoptimized domains, overspending, incorrect financial forecasting or budgeting, and increased security risk.

Risk #6: Accounting Discrepancies and Payment Mishaps

With the potential for hundreds, even thousands, of small purchases annually and different business units requiring separate forecasting, billing and reporting, the accounting side of domain management can be complex and administratively challenging – especially if multiple registrars are being used. Many organizations lack consistency in payment procedures across departments, or worse, have staff paying for domains with personal or unauthorized credit cards where expiry dates are untracked and unknown.

Resulting business problems and threats: Flawed forecasting and budgeting, wasted cycles and resources in reconciliation and reporting, missed payments leading to service disruption or expiry of services.

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Taking control of your domain names and eliminating unchecked vulnerabilities is vital to the security of your online presence. If you recognize your business in the scenarios outlined above, your corporate domain portfolio is not getting the focus and scrutiny that its critical business importance warrants.

Webnames Corporate has the expertise, processes, and technology to mitigate the above risks, including expert account managers, zero-downtime domain and DNS migrations, secure multi-user access, robust domain and DNS security, and comprehensive domain monitoring. We also provide administrative and billing solutions such as net-30 invoicing, regular statements of account, and preparation of reports for auditors upon request.

Begin the next chapter of effective, strategic and secure management of your corporate domain names with a free portfolio review and consultation today.