12 May 2021
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We explore the idea of digital assets and your .au business, look at the need to keep this type of information safe and touch on strategies to do exactly that.

Digital assets and your .au business
In February 2020, we shared a blog post on brand protection and your .au domain name. We covered the importance of protecting your brand including domain name research, online monitoring and legal assistance. In this blog, we want to focus more on protecting your digital assets, why we should regard domain names as intellectual property and how this all fits in with your online presence.

Why we should keep our online information safe
There is a lot of information readily available about Australian businesses’s online. From your business address to your ABN to information about employees. This type of information can be used in Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks, DNS hijacking and social engineering attempts and malicious phishing campaigns.

Your business’s digital assets, including your domain name, are your intellectual property. As Statton Hammock, VP of Global Policy and Industry Development at Clarivate Analytics/MarkMonitor, explains, domain names should also be considered on the same level as trademarks, patents and Copyright. Hammock discusses the differences between domain names and other types of IP specifically relating to contracts and registration before turning his attention to the many similarities. Similarities highlighted include that:

  • Domain names give registered owners certain rights;
  • Domain names are commodities; an IP asset which can be bought;
  • Domain names offer a commercial advantage over competitors in the marketplace; and 
  • Domain names incorporate an industry of experts and practitioners to help the owner manage and protect the asset.

Strategies for managing your domain name as a digital asset
MarkMonitor has provided this helpful resource on Domain Security Services which identifies 7 kinds of protection for optimal security being:

  1. 2 Factor Authentication (2FA) - Strengthens account access through use of tokens and mobile apps.
  2. Domain Masking - keeps domain ownership confidential.
  3. Mission-Critical Domain Security - combines maximum domain license renewals with domain locking, protected by a specific protocol.
  4. Portal Access Control - prevents off premises tampering by only allowing access to specific IP networks.
  5. Secure Account Management - notifies a specified email address when any account changes are made.
  6. Password Management - provides the option to enforce password changes after set periods of time (eg 30, 60, 90 days).
  7. DNS Monitoring - scans registry DNS and triggers alerts to help identify unauthorised DNS updates.

After reading this, we hope you are aware of the value of your business’s domain name as a critical digital asset and form of Intellectual Property. If you have a question or some feedback for us please reach out at blog@afilias.com.au.