Tag Archives: NCC Group

Study Finds UK And US Internet Users Unsurprisingly Unsure About New gTLDs: NCC Study

Internet users are reticent to visit websites using new gTLD domains research conducted on behalf of the NCC Group has found.The survey found over half of consumers (52%) express discomfort in visiting websites ending in new domains, an increase on last year (49%) and this state of unease is underlined further with just two percent of consumers claiming to be extremely comfortable visiting them.The research, from the Group’s Trust in the Internet Study 2016, was carried out by IDG Research Services and questioned 10,000 consumers across the US and UK regarding their attitudes to new gTLDs.However maybe the results are not surprising. Anecdotal evidence is that most people know very little about the new gTLDs. They might know about a geo new gTLD for their local area and maybe something they have an interest in. But just like most people know of very few ccTLDs, they are likely to know of very of the new gTLDs.So it is likely to take time, publicity and awareness raising and reassurance that the gTLD is genuine for internet users to be confident in using many of the new gTLDs, at least apart from the brands.And brand gTLDs were viewed more favourably than generic gTLDs such as .ninja.”Trust in the new domain endings is getting worse,” Rob Cotton, CEO at NCC Group. “This will put organisations off from moving on from legacy domains which is a problem for registries whose businesses hinge on selling them. If the new endings are to be successful they need to somehow establish a reputation of trustworthiness.”.brand domains are faring the best when it comes to consumer perception, but there aren’t enough currently being used for this trend to continue. Doing nothing isn’t really an option as this comfort will erode though lack of use. For the generic domains the message is clear: you need to differentiate on more than just the name, otherwise consumers are very wary.”There were some factors that increased confidence in new domains. 50 percent of consumers felt more confident if companies clearly communicated the steps taken to secure personal data, while 46 percent said a branded logo indicating the site was safe would boost confidence.Cotton continued: “Security is clearly an important issue for consumers. While ‘secure’ logos have in the past proved to be nothing more than logos, the appetite for them from respondents shows that companies need to do more to show that the safeguarding of customer data is front of mind.””Security is going to play an increasing role in the fight for consumers online. Companies that prioritise it now – and see their domain strategy as part of their wider security strategy – will be the best positioned to win that fight.”The NCC Group claims to be a global expert in cyber security and risk mitigation, working with businesses to protect their brand, value and reputation against the ever-evolving threat landscape.To download the study in full, see:

.BANK Commences GA With Trust For Banking Customers At Its Heart

BANK gTLD logoAs the new gTLD roll out rolls on one that has trust and security at its heart launched its General Availability today (24 June). The .bank gTLD became available for the global banking community and is intended as a way internet users can be sure their financial institution is legitimate.

“For .bank, the level of security provided is crucial. Consumers need to be absolutely certain that their personal and financial details are safe,” said Gunter Ollmann, CTO of NCC Group’s Domain Services division.

“Open generics aren’t good for businesses or customers alike unless security has been given the utmost priority.”

“The Technical Policy that we created for the .trust domain is a benchmark that they should be looking at. Network, web application, email, malware and DNS risks all need to be covered.”

.Bank is operated by fTLD Registry Services, LLC—a coalition of banks, insurance companies and financial services trade associations from around the world—to ensure it is governed in the best interests of banks and their customers. fTLD has a deep understanding of the banking and insurance communities, their customers’ and their institutions’ needs.

fTLD was granted the right to operate .BANK on September 25, 2014, and .INSURANCE on February 19, 2015. All applicants will undergo a thorough verification process before being awarded a domain and must comply with strict registry policies. Verification of the eligibility of registrants will be undertaken by Symantec.

CentralNic and NCC Group join forces to protect businesses and their brands from domain abuse

CentralNic logo[news release] CentralNic, one of the world’s leading backend distribution platforms for new Top-Level Domains, has partnered with global information assurance specialist NCC Group, in order to protect its growing list of clients from domain abuse.

NCC Group’s Domain Assured service uses expert threat intelligence to deliver a complete picture of a domain’s threat landscape. This allows registry operators to monitor the overall health of their domain portfolios and major domain abuse types such as spam, typo squatting, hosting of malicious code and phishing. The Domain Assured service also has a rapid response system to immediately notify clients of any attacks.

By integrating the Domain Assured service with its other offerings, including policy assistance, sales and marketing, billing and financing, CentralNic provides the operators with increased visibility of threats and additional assurance that their domains, and consequently their brands, are protected.ncc group logo

CentralNic currently has 21 delegated TLDs on its platform, as well as a stream of already-contracted and newly migrated TLDs that will be launching throughout 2015.

Ben Crawford, Chief Executive Officer at CentralNic, said: “Domain Assured allows our clients to take a proactive approach to seeking out abuse, while having a real-time snapshot of a TLD’s landscape.

“It allows TLD operators to clearly demonstrate their compliance with ICANN’s anti-abuse requirements for new gTLDs, as well as providing peace of mind to all Internet users. It’s a great addition to the services NCC Group offers to make the Internet safer.”

Rob Cotton, Chief Executive Officer at NCC Group, said: “Signing up to Domain Assured further cements CentralNic‘s profile as one of the most service-oriented of the TLD backend providers, as well as underlining their focus on compliance and best practice.”

Mixed Responses on Knowledge of New gTLDs in British, American and Belgian Surveys

A new study from the NCC Group claims to have found 87 percent of British and American consumers do not feel very comfortable visiting websites using new gTLDs. Meanwhile another study in Belgium found almost half (46%) of small-to-medium enterprises and those engaged in the “liberal professions” were aware of new gTLDs and over half (54%) found this to be a positive trend.The NCC Group study, the “New Internet Study”, questioned 10,000 consumers across the US and UK regarding their attitudes to these new gTLDs.Without access to the questionnaire used by the NCC Group or its findings, it does appear it was geared to promoting the NCC Group’s services. The findings suggest 40 percent of web users reported feeling less secure online since their introduction, however the anecdotal evidence of this writer suggests far fewer than these numbers actually know about new gTLDs. It could be the lack of knowledge and awareness of new gTLDs, as with many things in life, leads to fear. A fear of the unknown.”The internet is undergoing the biggest change in its history, causing uncertainty for consumers,” said Rob Cotton, chief executive officer at NCC Group. “We’ve also shown that the new domains are already being used for nefarious purposes, with users expressing security concerns too.””Currently there is a lack of awareness of this change in the business community. This is an issue that affects a number of different departments, from marketing and IT all the way up to the board – but most firms are oblivious.Meanwhile another survey by DNS Belgium among SMEs (2 – 250 employees) and the liberal professions, a group that one would expect to have a higher level of knowledge of new gTLDs, found 46 percent were familiar with new gTLDs.DNS Belgium contacted some 500 SMEs distributed among Flanders, Wallonia and the Brussels-region of their knowledge of new gTLDs, and in particular the geographic new gTLDs .vlaanderen and .brussels and follows on from a similar study in 2013.The DNS Belgium study found almost half (46%) of the professionals were aware that there are new gTLDs, an increase of nine percent from the previous year while over half (54%) found this to be a positive trend.Among professionals who are familiar with these new extensions, 36 percent knew of .vlaanderen (compared with 22% in 2014) and 20 percent of .brussels (compared with 9% in 2014).

NCC Group Buys Open Registry

NCC Group have announced they have acquired the Belgium and Luxembourg based Open Registry group of companies for a maximum of £14.9m (€19.5m) in cash depending on performance-related targets.

NCC Group is a provider of Escrow, Assurance and Domain Services while Open Registry is an independent group of domain service companies providing backend registry operations to brand customers, registrar and trademark validation services.

This acquisition will enable the Group to offer a one stop shop providing secure domain services to corporate customers globally, including both registry and registrar services, whilst ensuring that their brands are properly protected in the domain world.

NCC is also the operator of the .trust gTLD that is currently in its Sunrise registration phase. For Open Registry, it is a leading European Registry Service Provider for global brands and globally is ranked number six in terms of brand gTLD applications under management.

Open Registry also operates the Clearinghouse for Intellectual Property S.A., one of three key service providers authorised by ICANN to operate the Trademark Clearinghouse (TMCH). The TMCH is the most important rights protection mechanism built into ICANN’s gTLD program and provides a centralised database of over 33,000 verified trademarks, which are connected to every new TLD. Additionally they own Nexperteam CVBA, an accredited registrar for several TLDs managing over 8,000 domain names.

The deal comprises an initial payment of £7.9m (€10.3m) followed by two further payments of up to £7.0m (€9.2m) in total over the next 36 months against performance related targets.

“The addition of registry, registrar and trademark protection services to our own web security capabilities, in our Domain Services division, will provide us with a considerable competitive advantage in this fast growing and extremely dynamic market,” said Rob Cotton, NCC Group Chief Executive.

“With the introduction of thousands of new gTLDS – 22 to over 1,400 in the next year alone, corporates are looking to outsource the registration, brand protection and management of their web presence securely.

“The business is a highly respected ICANN and industry player.  It significantly increases our presence and profile in the domain services sector and mainland Europe, as well as bringing a number of leading blue chip technology customers to the Group.

“We are delighted that OR’s very experienced management team is staying with us and look forward to working with them as we together enhance the business’ reputation as it benefits from the Group’s scale, reach, security expertise and experience in growing multi-national services businesses.”

.TRUST Opens Registrations For Safer And Trustworthy Place Online

Companies are now able to register .trust domains for those wanting to provide their customers with a safer and more trustworthy place online.

The NCC Group plc, the international, independent provider of Escrow, Assurance and Domain Services, announced that companies were able to submit requests to become part of the .trust community on 16 December 2014.

A 90-day “Name Collision” has now begun and a “Sunrise Period” will shortly commence for trademarked brands.

“After a number of months of working closely with ICANN, we are delighted that companies will be able to reserve their .trust domains with us,” said Rob Cotton, NCC Group CEO.

“This is a key milestone in the rollout of .trust and brings us closer to making the Internet more trustworthy.

“A combination of the Internet’s endemic security issues and the introduction of thousands of new TLDs over the next few years, means that trademark and brand owners need to take action to protect their online presence and interaction with their customers.”

.trust is a unique gTLD that aims to provide a safer and more secure Internet for both businesses and consumers.  This extension will help protect an organisation’s brand, reputation and sensitive customer information by enforcing the highest level of security and reliability.

The gTLD is aimed at industries such as Financial Services, health care, start-up enterprises, non-profits and e-commerce companies.

For consumers, a .trust web address will provide a clear indication that a site is what it claims to be and is a safe place to do business, interact and share information.

In October the Group published its .trust Technical Policy, which sets the rules and governance to measure security compliance on .trust domains.

All applicants for a .trust domain will have to verify their identity and ownership of the trademark or brand used for the domain name. They will also have to ensure their organisation is secure by complying with .trust’s strict and specific code of security policies and undergo regular security monitoring to assure their infrastructure remains safe.

For more information about .trust and how to register a trademark in Sunrise please visit: www.nic.trust

NCC Group Publishes .TRUST Technical Policy

[news release] NCC Group, the global information assurance company, today (14 October) published the .trust Technical Policy, which, unlike industry compliance standards that dictate minimum standards for Internet risk governance, provides a high standard of achievable goals for protecting an organization’s online assets and brand integrity, and securing confidential customer information.

The .trust Technical Policy is an industry first – focusing on securing websites and other critical Internet services while protecting customers as they transact, interact and share information online. Specifically, it provides requirements to address network, web application, email, malware, and DNS risks.

“This Policy encompasses not only the best security practices but also serves as a means for companies to reclaim a corner of the Internet that will foster secure and confident engagement with likeminded businesses and customers,” said Gunter Ollmann, CTO of NCC Group. “As Internet technologies advance, best practices in security similarly evolve and need to be updated. The .trust Policy is not a static compliance document. It is designed to be a live framework that reflects the real-time expert guidance on these acknowledged best practices in security.”

The policy has been carefully developed by a coalition of industry luminaries and NCC Group experts as a proactive way to protect online businesses and consumers. Adhering to them will help provide robust protection from vulnerabilities that threaten to compromise integrity, availability and privacy.

“The management of domain registration is too often forgotten from a security strategy perspective,” continued Ollmann. “Yet, it is a critical element to the integrity of an organization’s entire online brand. Security policies that rely on self-certification against the lowest common-denominator have been the bane of the industry for over a decade, and we aim to change that with the .trust Policy.”

As this policy is implemented across the Internet, the .trust Policy will help provide a safer Internet in a world of dwindling consumer confidence – sites complying with the .trust Policy will be differentiated by a high level of security unprecedented on the Internet.

“The Internet has no level of standard for security, and .trust, operated under the .trust Policy, will set that standard for businesses,” said Rob Cotton, CEO of NCC Group. “In today’s evolving Internet, it can be daunting to know how to combat every security vulnerability a company may be at risk for, but we plan to work with each .trust business individually to put this policy in place and help bring consumer confidence to the Internet.”

The .trust Technical Policy will provide the rules and governance to measure security compliance on NCC Group’s soon-to-launch .trust domain. All brands operating on a .trust domain will be required to adhere to the Policy and will subject to a mechanism that promotes a high standard of security to their consumers and business partners.

NCC Group is currently working closely with ICANN to release .trust to the public and plans for the gTLD to be live in early 2015.

For full access to the Policy please visit https://trust.guide

To learn more about .trust please visit https://www.nccgroupdomainservices.com/

Notes to editors – Further Details About .trust

What is .trust? .trust is a unique gTLD that will provide a safer and more trustworthy Internet. The .trust gTLD signals that a site is a safe website to interact and do business with. Organizations using .trust domains will be required to comply with the .trust Policy in order to prevent the use of .trust domains for malicious activity. A continual process of security review and improvement will help ensure those sites stay in compliance with .trust requirements.

How does .trust work? The .trust gTLD creates a more trustworthy Internet through the application of three core principles by which we require applicants to abide:

1)     Verify: All applicants must submit identity documentation and proof of intellectual property and naming rights to help prevent misleading, abusive and malicious registrations. Organizations are verified so consumers know that .trust domains are representative of the brand they know and trust.

2)     Secure: All registrants must abide by the security control policies and procedures, giving consumers confidence that their online transactions conducted via .trust domains will be secure and trustworthy.

3)    Assure: Organizations within the .trust domain will be continually monitored for compliance with the .trust Technical Policy and will actively work with NCC Group experts to remediate identified issues.

How is .trust more secure than other TLDs? Registrants of .trust domains will be required to adopt the .trust Technical Policy that strictly prohibits malicious activity or the hosting of vulnerabilities. The .trust service uses a unique, technology-driven process to automatically monitor domain owners for compliance with NCC Group’s best-in-class security policies. This process incentivizes and helps domain owners to quickly restore security when their sites exhibit web application flaws, network misconfigurations and other security violations.

To improve the end-to-end security experience for users of .trust and other domains, NCC Group is working with major Internet companies to implement new technologies into web browsers, email servers and operating systems. The end goal of the security policies is to create a seamless and safe experience whenever a user browses a website or emails someone on a .trust domain.

How are these rules enforced? Registrants in the .trust space agree to follow the Technical Policies that NCC Group strictly enforces via monitoring .trust domains for network, web application, email and malware threats.

About NCC Group

NCC Group is a global information assurance firm, passionate about making the Internet a safer place and revolutionizing the way in which organizations think about cyber security.

Through an unrivalled and unique range of services, the company provides organizations across the world with freedom from doubt that their most important assets are protected and operational at all times.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, NCC Group is a trusted advisor to more than 15,000 clients worldwide. Headquartered in Manchester, UK, NCC Group has 20 offices across the world and employs over 1,000 specialists in information security, assurance and technology.

NCC Group delivers security testing, software escrow and verification, website performance, software testing and domain services.