Eastern Europe Regional DNS Forum (EE DNS Forum 2020) was held in Georgia, which focused on the development of Internet domains and digital infrastructure throughout the region. The annual forum was organized by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and supported by Caucasus Online as the top-level domain administrator of .GE Georgia.
Mikhail Anisimov, Head of Global Stakeholder Engagement for Eastern Europe and Central Asia, spoke to BMG about the main issues discussed at the forum. As Anisimov noted, the representatives of DNS companies shared their experience gained operating through the times of COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from it, the panelists also discussed the state of adoption of new technologies like 5G and IoT.
"The forum covers a wide range of DNS related topics. 2020 is a very specific year as you know, this year was really tough for DNS market players and for the whole industry. That is why we are discussing some new solutions to keep our industry sustainable.
In addition, we discussed how the market is changing, how the economy is changing. Of course, we also discussed cybersecurity and technical systems like the internet of things; 5G network; digital object architecture and object authentication and all of these technologies work thanks to DNS. Therefore, that is a very wide range of topics we are trying to cover within this forum," Mikhail Anisimov said.
ICANN’s mission is to ensure the stable and secure operation of the Internet’s unique Identifier Systems, the organization also seeks to maintain trust in the DNS, which security threats can erode. That trust is a key tenant to the security and stability of a decentralized interoperable Internet. The work of the ICANN community and organization to mitigate DNS security threats does not exist in a vacuum. It is dependent on collaboration with a number of other Internet ecosystem organizations that share ICANN’s concern about DNS security threats. Recently, we’ve seen how some attacks target directly the DNS by making unauthorized changes and replacing the addresses of intended servers with addresses of machines controlled by the attackers. These attacks, called DNSpionage and Sea Turtle in the press, have leveraged vulnerabilities at registrars and registrants that could have been mitigated with conventional cyber-hygiene, such as using strong passwords or better yet, multi-factor authentication, not reusing passwords, ensuring software is up to date, etc.
Mikhail Anisimov notes that the threat from cybersecurity is not a localized challenge and it needs a global coordinated answer.
"Threat from cyber security could not be localized on a geographic basis, because all malicious actors are globally distributed. They might be sitting in one country and they can be attacking infrastructure in another country by the means and tools that are located in the third country. So these networks are spread around the world.
Cyber threats have no borders, and the only way to mitigate them is to make a joint effort. That is why specialists should exchange the information and collaborate closely around the world no matter where they are. In order to increase awareness, ICANN staff and community members regularly participate in trainings and events around the world to share knowledge on matters relating to the unique identifier system management and cybersecurity.
Through partnerships with global law enforcement agencies, anti-abuse organizations, researchers, and operators, ICANN staff and community help educate and inform investigators, prosecutors, judges, and government leaders on the potential correlation between abuse of unique identifiers and cybersecurity issues, said Mikhail Anisimov.
The Eastern European DNS Forum was conducted in a fully remote format considering the epidemic situation.
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