Nominet Spreads Its Wings Westward to North America With Security Services Offering


Nominet, best known as the .uk ccTLD registry operator, has spread its wings to North America, opening an office in Washington D.C. But the new office isn’t to sell its registry services, but to sell their security services.

Announcing their office opening, Nominet tout themselves as a “security specialist enabling threat monitoring and detection, prevention and analytics at the DNS level, today made its official launch into the North American market.”

This security service “supports organisations wanting deeper visibility and the ability to pinpoint threats through massive data noise, and stop them instantly. The new capabilities are differentiated from competitive offerings that don’t operate at the DNS level, with deep inspection technology uniquely suited to identify and block threats such as targeted malware, ransomware, phishing, Zero Days, APTs, and data exfiltration attempts.”

Nominet has been diversifying in recent years. From its origins as the .uk country code top level domain registry, it’s now using that expertise to provide registry services to the .wales and .cymru new generic top level domains, which together have 20,260 registrations, as well as backend registry services for another 34 new gTLDs making them the fifth largest by domains under management with 1.873 million domain names and eighth largest by new gTLDs with 36. And now Nominet is using its expertise on the security front, providing security services to companies that want them. They’re one of a number of TLD registries diversifying and providing their expertise to both other registries and other sectors. Some examples are DENIC, SIDN, nic.at and CIRA.

“We feel like a new company despite a 22-year history in infrastructure security, and we’re excited to enter the North American market with a distinctive and proven set of skills and offerings,” said Russell Haworth, CEO of Nominet. “We’re proud of our expertise and experience in critical infrastructure—in 2017 alone, Nominet analysed over 3TB of data across the U.K. public sector and blocked 2.5 million malicious requests—and we look forward to working with U.S. organisations to enhance their security strategies and implementations.”

In announcing their new office, Nominet promote their new security service, Nominet NTX, by saying:

Whilst enterprises typically have numerous security layers, Nominet operates at a vital nexus: All networks rely on DNS traffic, which makes it a critical source of information for specific threats to the network. This area often gets overlooked in the security stack. Meanwhile, leveraging its long experience analysing data for threats, Nominet’s security researchers can identify malicious domains even before they register on standard threat feeds.

There is certainly broad-scale awareness of this critical issue: In a new study conducted by Nominet in partnership with Osterman Research, CISOs at over 30 large enterprises, a full 97% of respondents, say they see the value in monitoring, threat detection, attack blocking and analytics at the DNS level to enhance security; the few others didn’t know or were unsure. The fact is, many large organisations are, or believe they are, monitoring at that level already, yet the reality is less definitive: Even enterprises with significant resources dedicated to security may lack the technologies needed to analyse billions of DNS data packets in real time, as optimal to identify today’s threats.