How DNS Security Protects Privacy, Autonomy, and Profit
In a move that raises concerns for private corporations, the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security has taken initiative to begin blurring the lines between national security and regulatory overreach. This is occurring against the backdrop of Canada’s incoming Bill-26 (the “Cyber-security Bill”), which we wrote about last year over on easyDNS – and for which public hearings started on January 30th).
Bloomberg recently reported, “The Canadian government is joining forces with the cybersecurity ratings firm SecurityScorecard Inc. to bolster defenses for that country’s critical infrastructure.”
While aimed at strengthening national security, this collaboration could also be used to establish “private-public partnerships” by force. It also has the potential to allow the Canadian government to regulate how private corporations operate online. So this should raise questions among CEOs, CIOs, and CTOs about the implications of this initiative.
In recent years, several international organizations have promoted the idea that governments are primarily responsible for the economic profit of a nation. And in order to reduce economic risk, more trust must be established through private-public partnerships in cybersecurity. A recent article from the World Economic Forum argues that these kinds of partnerships are critical:
“In today’s interconnected world, trust is the currency that fuels our economies and sustains our societies. As global leaders, we must recognize that transparency is key to trust, especially when it comes to securing our data and critical infrastructure.”
So, are we witnessing a necessary step towards safeguarding Canada’s economy, or is this a precursor to more intrusive regulatory oversight and a potentially negative impact to corporate profit?
The New Partnership Between the Canadian Government and SecurityScorecard
The Canadian government’s partnership involves SecurityScorecard providing letter grades to businesses and organizations based on their cyber resilience, and represents a significant step towards increased government involvement in the private sector, online.
Sam Khoury, Head of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security, recently explained that Canada faces many of the same cyber threats as the United States. For the Canadian government, this means increased surveillance.
Bloomberg reports: “The partnership with SecurityScorecard began at the beginning of the year, and Khoury said the company’s intelligence provides an “outside-in view” of an organization’s cyber preparedness. His staff is working to understand what goes into the grades and using that information to “raise the resilience” of Canadian critical infrastructure providers, he said.”
SecurityScoreCard uses ten groups of risk factors to give clients their “this-is-what-a-hacker-sees” view, and then sends clients a simple letter grade. Eight out of ten factors rely on the security provided by a secure DNS.
SecurityScoreCard’s 10 Risk Factors:
- Network Security.
- DNS Health
- Patching Cadence
- Endpoint Security
- IP Reputation
- Application Security
- Cubit Score
- Hacker Chatter
- Information Leak
- Social Engineering
Here are the vague letter grade rankings that come from this:
On one hand, these factors promise a standardized measure to assess and improve “cyber resilience” across industries. On the other hand, it raises concerns about the growing reach of the government into the private affairs of corporations. Businesses are constantly monitored, reported on, and graded by a government-endorsed entity, whose profits rely on providing corporate information to the government.
Although publicly available, the cyber resilience surveillance business model relies on consolidating information on private organizations. So trust becomes something governments can purchase, and a simple accreditation for private corporations. Instead, we ought to question if cyber resilience standards really do build trust and protect our national economy, or if they place unnecessary restraints on private corporations.
Can Cyber Resilience Build Trust and Protect National Economies?
The term “cyber resilience” is being used with increasing frequency in discussions of national security, particularly in the context of protecting critical infrastructure for a more secure economy. Most international cybersecurity organizations would say cyber resilience refers to an entity’s ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from cyber attacks. Therefore, making corporations resilient against corporate profit losses.
Although cyber resilience mostly refers to an organization’s ability to deflect losses from cyber attacks, what does that actually mean? What makes an organization cyber resilient? And who gets to define the standards?
In this case, standards are defined in partnership with the biggest clients of the one private organization providing the cyber resilience standard – government. State administrators from the United States are also interested to throw their vote into the buying auction. This kind of partnership does not need
“Since then, the Biden administration has pushed to improve cybersecurity in other critical sectors. Anne Neuberger, deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, raised the idea in September of a rating system for critical infrastructure companies in the US. She described a letter grading system as “game changing.”
When the government partners with a private cybersecurity firm, it implies and necessitates “private-public partnerships.” But what this actually does, is this: it leaves no practical option to choose between “private-public partnerships” and an organization’s own autonomy. Is this a trustworthy partnership?
Instead, it leaves corporations no choice, but to implement a government-mandated “cyber resilience” program. How would this work out economically? There are several potential negative implications for profitability:
Increased Operational Costs: Compliance with government-mandated cyber resilience standards often require significant investments into new technology, training, and personnel. For many businesses, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), these costs can be prohibitive, directly impacting their bottom line.
Reduced Flexibility and Responsiveness: Government regulations can be rigid, limiting an organization’s ability to quickly adapt to new market demands or technological advancements. This reduced flexibility can hinder a company’s ability to capitalize on new opportunities, directly impacting its profit-making potential.
Innovation Stifling: Strict regulatory frameworks can discourage innovation, particularly in cybersecurity strategies. When companies are focused on meeting specific government standards, they may be less inclined to develop or adopt innovative security solutions that could be more effective and cost-efficient.
Competitive Disadvantage: The additional burden of compliance can place domestic companies at a competitive disadvantage compared to foreign competitors who are not subject to the same regulations. This can lead to loss of market share and decreased profitability.
Bureaucratic Red Tape: Navigating the complexities of government regulations can be time-consuming and costly. The bureaucratic processes involved in ensuring compliance can lead to inefficiencies, further eating into profits.
Market Distortions: Government intervention can distort the market, potentially leading to an uneven playing field where success is driven more by the ability to comply with regulations than by innovation and efficiency.
Risk of Penalties and Fines: Non-compliance with government standards, whether intentional or accidental, can result in hefty fines and penalties, further impacting an organization’s financial health.
Opportunity Costs: The focus on compliance can lead to missed opportunities. The time and resources spent on navigating and adhering to government mandates could have been used to pursue profitable ventures or innovations.
While the concept of national “cyber resilience” is heralded as the answer for national economies, it inadvertently places a strain on the very backbone of nations – the private corporations. The reality is that while cyber resilience aims to fortify against cyber attacks, the associated costs and rigidities of government-imposed standards can stifle innovation, reduce operational flexibility, and impose financial burdens, particularly on SMEs. These challenges not only hinder the profit-making potential of businesses but risk distorting market dynamics, leading to an uneven playing field skewed more towards regulatory compliance than genuine innovation and efficiency.
It’s essential that private corporations prioritize privacy, autonomy, and focus on profitability. This can not only align with the goals of cyber resilience but also ensure a sustainable and growing business.
Instead of significantly expanding your workforce to meet compliance demands, suffering the opportunity costs, and risking a competitive disadvantage, simplifying cybersecurity at the infrastructure level (DNS) can help promote an organization’s corporate profit, autonomy, and privacy.
How DNS Security Protects Privacy, Autonomy, and Profit
DNS security and domain management are critical to protecting your privacy, autonomy, and profit. By using DNS security and domain management strategies, organizations can defend against cyber threats while maintaining the organization’s freedom to operate and innovate effectively.
The Vital Role of DNS Security and Domain Management
DNS security extends beyond mere protection from external threats; it’s a crucial tool for maintaining control over your digital identity. A well-structured DNS and domain management strategy is key to thwarting cyber threats like phishing, typosquatting, and other domain-related frauds, which can jeopardize both security and brand reputation. This not only enhances security but also significantly boosts an organization’s profitability by protecting its brand value.
Upholding Privacy and Autonomy
Effective DNS security means comprehensive monitoring of your organization’s naming infrastructure. This vigilance is essential not only for security but also for protecting user privacy. By proactively managing DNS, organizations can exert greater control over their digital assets, ensuring uninterrupted operations and the security of sensitive data. This is pivotal in maintaining the autonomy of the organization, allowing it to operate without external interference.
Beyond Compliance: Ensuring Operational Security
Navigating potential risks such as DNS hijacking or registrar conflicts requires a strategy that transcends basic compliance. Implementing features like ‘Never Expire Protection’ keeps domain names perpetually active and secure. A ‘Never Monetize Guarantee’ further ensures that domains are not exploited for unintended purposes, thus preserving the integrity of your online presence and preventing conflicts with service providers. These features safeguard an organization’s autonomy, ensuring that its digital assets remain under its control.
Defensive Measures Against Reverse Hijacking and Trademark Disputes
Organizations with valuable domain names must be wary of reverse hijacking and trademark disputes. Proactive defense strategies, including legal protection and signaling strength to potential aggressors, are crucial. Aligning with services that provide legal defense and intellectual property expertise can deter attempts to seize your domain names, safeguarding your assets and market position. This protection directly contributes to profitability by securing the organization’s valuable digital assets.
DNS Management for Operational Efficiency
The operational side of DNS management is critical. Continuous monitoring of domain name health and performance ensures optimal online presence. This includes regular health checks, DNS zone consistency checks, and monitoring the validity of DNSSEC keys and encryption certificates, all vital for maintaining operational continuity and avoiding downtime. Efficient DNS management directly impacts profitability by ensuring consistent and reliable online operations.
Advanced Threat Detection for Business Continuity
Incorporating advanced threat detection that monitors DNS environments and scans the broader web, including the dark web, adds a significant layer of security. Coupled with business continuity measures like offsite zone backups and rapid migration capabilities, these strategies prepare organizations for any contingency, be it a cyber attack or a failure on the part of a vendor. These measures are essential for maintaining business continuity, which is crucial for sustained profitability.
Efficient Portfolio Management for Large-Scale Operations
For organizations managing extensive domain portfolios, a comprehensive portfolio management solution is indispensable. It simplifies the process, ensuring each domain is secure, compliant, and contributes to the organization’s overall cyber resilience. Effective portfolio management enhances both the privacy and profitability of an organization by ensuring that each domain is a secure and productive asset.
As cyber resilience becomes a mandated norm, the challenge for organizations lies in adopting solutions that enhance privacy, autonomy, and profitability. By focusing on securing your organization using the backbone of the internet, Domain Name Systems, you ensure your privacy, fortify your privacy, and potentially increase profitability without extra costs. Using DNS security and domain management strategies, organizations can defend against cyber threats while maintaining the organization’s freedom to operate and innovate effectively.