Security the Biggest Challenge in Domain Management as 2020 Recorded Rise in Domain-Related Cyber Attacks, Says New Clarivate Report
Organizations adopting proactive domain management approach, prioritizing domain security, boosting annual spend despite COVID-19 uncertainty and grasping strategic value of gTLDs
Security: a dominant domain management issue
The global pandemic has accelerated digitalization efforts worldwide. 70% of new value created in the coming decade is estimated to come from digitally enabled platforms.1 However, digitalization has made intellectual property in the digital space, such as domains, a target for cyber crime. According to the
The most popular methods used to secure domains have evolved. While two-factor authentication remains the most popular option, increasing from 41% in 2019 to 53% in 2020, registry locking leapfrogged into third place, up substantially to 39% in 2020 compared to 28% in the previous year, reflecting a growing understanding and awareness of registry locks.
Furthermore, organizations realize that external expertise can help them navigate today's domain security challenges, particularly so with global domain ownership. However, 41% of respondents cited difficulties in overseeing security of numerous global domains and identifying trusted, reputable registrars or providers in each global region.
Protecting brand value with domain management
With the steady rise in cybersquatting case filings observed by WIPO,3 organizations are prioritizing brand protection to mitigate the growing risks of infringement, fraud and other abuse. Mitigating brand abuse is the biggest motivator driving domain registrations, according to 50% of respondents in 2020, a significant rise from 27% in 2019.
The volume of domains organizations own has direct implications on their brand value. Organizations are making use of defensive domain names by redirecting them to their main websites to capture more traffic. Even merely defensive domain names can present security risks, ranging from DNS compromise to email spoofing if not configured correctly and managed securely.4 72% of respondents indicated they have at least one inactive domain, 47% have more than 10 and nearly a fifth (19%) have more than 50.
Strategic value of new gTLDs
As domain strategies evolve, so does usage of new generic top-level domains (new gTLDs) within domain portfolios. Companies are moving beyond legacy gTLDs such as .com, .net or .org, and deploying new gTLDs including apple.store (Apple) and adidas.clothing (Adidas). In fact, more organizations have registered a new gTLD such as .clothing, .software and .consulting in 2020, with 53% doing so compared to 39% in 2019.
The purpose for registering new gTLDs is maturing. While in 2019, respondents' most common reason for registering a new gTLD was to further brand awareness (38%), in 2020, capitalizing on potential commercial opportunity was the most cited factor (27%). This marks a positive shift as organizations move beyond building awareness to grasping the commercial potential and strategic value of new gTLDs.
The 2020 survey was conducted by independent research firm
Clarivate™ is a global leader in providing solutions to accelerate the lifecycle of innovation. Our bold mission is to help customers solve some of the world's most complex problems by providing actionable information and insights that reduce the time from new ideas to life-changing inventions in the areas of science and intellectual property. We help customers discover, protect and commercialize their inventions using our trusted subscription and technology-based solutions coupled with deep domain expertise. For more information, please visit clarivate.com.
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1 Reuters, "Digitalisation and intellectual property in the time of COVID-19", https://www.reuters.com/article/sponsored/digitalisation-and-intellectual-property-in-the-time-of-COVID-19,
2 WIPO," WIPO cybersquatting case filing surges during COVID-19 crisis", https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/news/2020/cybersquatting_covid19.html,
3 WIPO, "Total number of cases per year", https://www.wipo.int/amc/en/domains/statistics/cases.jsp
4 Krebs Security, "Crooks continue to exploit GoDaddy hole", https://krebsonsecurity.com/2019/02/crooks-continue-to-exploit-godaddy-hole/, Feb 2019
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