7 new year’s questions for Philip Du Bois

23.01.2018

Philip Du Bois, managing director of DNS Belgium, looks back with satisfaction to 2017, during which the ‘virtualization’ of the registration platforms was the main achievement. In 2018, he wants to create even more added value in terms of security, service and sustainability, so that DNS Belgium can continue to play a vanguard role in the world of domain names.

1. What was the most important achievement for DNS Belgium in 2017?

Philip Du Bois: “The migration of our registration platform for .be domain names to a virtual platform was an important project in 2017. We replaced our hardware entirely by a cloud platform. As a result, DNS Belgium assumed a real vanguard role in the world of registries.”

2. Can you look back at the previous year with satisfaction for DNS Belgium?

“Definitely. In addition to the virtualization of our registration platform for .be domain names, we also assumed the management of the registration platform for .vlaanderen and .brussels and virtualized it in the cloud. Up to 20 November, that registration platform was outsourced to our Austrian partners of .at. Now we have the stability, quality and flexibility of that platform entirely in our own hands.”
“Furthermore we, as an organisation, were a very strong contender for a number of awards.  For instance, our ‘Claim your idea’  marketing campaign won a silver  Cuckoo Award as the best content marketing platform and DNS Belgium was elected fourth best registry (out of a total of 50 members) in the CENTR community by the registrars.”

3. What does 2018 hold in store for DNS Belgium?

“In 2018 we want to create even more added value for our registrants and distributors. We want to proceed with a number of developments to protect domain names and property rights better.  For instance, we are considering a tool that informs registrants automatically when someone registers a variant of their domain name – something like an app where you can activate that function.  A procedure that uses artificial intelligence when a domain name is registered to detect whether it will be misused for abusive practices such as phishing or to spread malware is another line of investigation we are going to pursue.”

4. What impact does the GDPR have on DNS Belgium?

“A fairly major impact, since one of our most used services, the search to find out to whom a certain domain name belongs (our so-called WHOIS function), has to be adapted in order to comply with the GDPR. We have always been a pioneer on the privacy front in the past, because privacy goes hand in hand with quality and security, both of which are necessary to boost consumer confidence in the digital society. We therefore see GDPR as more of a confirmation of our earlier approach and not as a hindrance or obligation.”

 

5. And how will an internet user feel the consequences of the GDPR?

“The information that will be available for individual and professional registrants will be more limited. Those looking up to whom a domain name belongs, will find it less easy to get the information. This is not relevant for the average surfer however, and will not make any difference at all.”

6. 2017 was inter alia a year of increased cybercrime.  How do you see this developing further?

“Unfortunately, just like crime in the real world, cybercrime will also increase. The virtual world is still at the development stage and that means that fraudsters are constantly looking for loopholes and they will probably have more chances than in the offline world. In concrete terms, this means that the average internet user will have to pay far more attention to his protection in future. We cannot leave everything to the legislator either.”
“Just as it is not up to the government to close our front door when we leave or to install an alarm system in our house, internet users must also protect their laptop, desktop, tablet, etc. with a virus scanner. We must remain alert when we get odd questions by e-mail or through the social media. In the end, the possible financial losses that you can suffer from e.g. digital identity fraud (I am thinking of the famous CEO fraud where companies were asked to make payments by someone who pretended to be their CEO) are not virtual.”

7. We are seeing that sustainability is beginning to play an increasingly more important role in companies. How does DNS Belgium see this developing in the domain name market?

“We have been very firmly committed to sustainability for 2 years now. Our mission is to create a digital world where everyone has easy access and a level playing field:  a sustainable digital world, in other words. Such a digital society will make it possible to use the scarce resources on earth more efficiently. In the coming years, we will try to rally all our partners behind this objective. We are starting with awareness and communication and are going to set the good example ourselves, which is very important. Many of our registrars are already working to that end and have set up sustainability programmes. So we certainly do not have to do all this hard work on our own.

CENTR

Council of European National Top-level domain Registries. It is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to supporting the interest of country code TLD managers. 

phishing

Tricksters lure you to a fake website that is a copy of a real one. They then get you to log in with your user name, password and credit card number. Once you’ve done that, the fraudster has your details.

WHOIS

Look-up which gives information about the registrant of the domain name, his registrar, the name server and also some information about the domain status. 

registry

Organisation that handles the registration of domain names. A registry maintains the data base containing information about one (or more) domain name extension(s) as .be, .com, .org, .vlaanderen, etc.

malware

Collective name for harmful or damaging software. Root kits and backdoors come under the heading of malware, as do viruses, Trojan horses, worms and spyware.

DNS

Domain Name System or Domain Name Server. The global DNS is the system and protocol used on the internet to translate domain names into IP addresses and vice versa. 
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