By Craig Schwartz, Managing Director, fTLD Registry Services, LLC

One year after fTLD Registry Services debuted our first financial Internet web extension, .BANK, we launched .INSURANCE – the place for members of the global insurance community to enhance and differentiate their online presence in the marketplace.  We want to share with you in this blog a few tips we learned from the launch of .BANK and .INSURANCE.

It’s clear and needs no amplification from us that there is a heavy demand on all institutions to offer additional layers of online protection for themselves and their customers. That’s why we made security – with multifaceted requirements for end-users and their service providers — paramount for these two domains.   The top three key consumer protection safeguards fTLD’s customers used most often include:

  1. Email Authentication: to ensure brand protection by mitigating spoofing, phishing and other malicious email borne activities;
  2. Strong Encryption: (i.e., TLS) to ensure confidentiality and integrity of communications over the Internet; and,
  3. Mandatory Verification and Re-Verification of Charter/Licensure for Regulated Entities: to ensure that only legitimate members of the global banking and insurance communities are awarded domain names.

Read more about fTLD’s Security Requirements here.

 

No Silver Bullet

There is no silver bullet to eradicate cyber security issues in the financial services community. Notwithstanding the benefits and security of .BANK, .INSURANCE and other domains, we, as an industry, must constantly innovate and remain vigilant to protect the sector and the customers it serves.  Chip Register, senior vice president and chief information officer at The Fauquier Bank and an fTLD customer in a recent statement about online banking said it best:  “TFB’s desire is that every customer has a secure online banking experience – and .BANK helps us do so by signaling identification and security when you log onto our website.”

Over the last year we have found that adopters of highly-controlled gTLDs tend to use the migration of their websites and email away from their current Internet web extensions as an opportunity to have a conversation with customers about cyber security.  This transition is an opportunity to reinforce domain name security best practices such as:

  • Reminding customers of the risks of not updating their Internet browser.
  • Reinforcing the need for operating system updates.
  • Prompting the changing and/or use of strong passwords.

In short, at fTLD we also use this opportunity to engage with our customers around how they can use our products and tools to improve the operation or security of their business.

Three-hundred and sixty five days ago we launched the second of two of the most popular gTLDs available today.  We are learning new things all the time but two themes are always dominant and constant. The first is that customers place a lot of trust in us to deliver a great experience every time a customer interacts with .BANK or .INSURANCE.  gTLDs are a key way the business identifies and differentiates itself in the market place. The second is that security is of paramount importance to both the domain name customer and the end-user.

 

About fTLD Registry Services

fTLD Registry Services, LLC’s mission is to operate generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs) to enable verified members of the banking and insurance communities to meet their security, technology and business needs arising from ICANN’s introduction of new gTLDs. fTLD is owned, operated and governed by banks, insurance companies and their respective trade associations. For more information please visit www.ftld.com.