News

SWITCH wins Security Award for .ch registry

SWITCH and its counterparts in Austria (nic.at) and Germany (denic) have been rewarded for their joint efforts to protect the Domain Name System. They have won the Security Award from the Council of European National Top Level Domain Registries (CENTR).

Published on 09.10.2015

The Austrian, German and Swiss registries joined forces to improve their processes for protecting the Domain Name System (DNS). SWITCH, nic.at and denic have won the CENTR Award in the category Security for this new form of collaboration. The award is for innovative projects and cooperations in the field of top-level domain registries. Urs Eppenberger, Head of Commercial Customers at SWITCH, is delighted by this honour: “SWITCH endeavours to make the Internet safe in Switzerland. The award from CENTR vindicates these efforts and shows that we are on the right track.”

Improved processes thanks to collaboration with German and Austrian registries

SWITCH had the information security management system (ISMS) for the DNS certified according to ISO 27001 just over a year ago. This is the global standard for ISMSs. The .ch registry is among the first in Europe to be certified. In order to meet the high standards required for ISO certification, SWITCH must continually review and optimise its own security processes. It made the decision to share the tasks of internal auditing under the ISO standard and assessing compliance with the registries in Austria and Germany. SWITCH, nic.at and denic thus meet three times a year to check each other’s security processes and draft recommendations for greater security.

Continual optimisation of security levels

The Domain Name System (DNS) is a critical infrastructure. It links Internet addresses with the servers hosting the associated websites. Should it be hacked or fail to work for any other reason, many areas of day-to-day life in Switzerland would practically grind to a halt. Payment transactions and large parts of the public transport network are just two examples that would be hit hard by a breakdown. SWITCH works to protect the DNS against downtime and continually optimise its security. Its efforts regarding security are bearing fruit: .ch domains are among the most secure throughout the world.

 

Explanation of terms

Registry

A registry is an organisation that centrally administers the operation of a country’s Domain Name System (DNS). In particular, it is in charge of registering the country’s domain names. Examples include nic.at in Austria and denic.de in Germany. SWITCH is contracted by OFCOM in Switzerland to register domain names ending in .ch and by the Office for Communications in the Principality of Liechtenstein to register domain names ending in .li.