New Internet Security Domains Debut

Meet the new .security and .protection domains.

Registry operator these week launched two new top-level Internet domains — .security and .protection — aimed at creating websites with higher security as well as a safer online experience for end users.

Registrants can use domains to reinforce a brand, organization name, service locations, or industry keywords, says Nils Decker, director of business development for  

Big security players such as Norton, FireEye, and Masterlock, have already registered names with the new .security and .protection domains.  An organization in Southern California, for example, might select; could do the trick for an email filtering company. 

Early adopters of the new domains include Microsoft’s site; IBM managed security provider; (formerly; and (formerly

Registrants are strongly encouraged – but not required by — to use both SSL and DNSSEC to bolster security. The protocols ensure that “a website visitor that the company behind the website is a legitimate company, and that they’re actually talking to who they think you’re talking to, not a phisher or malicious site,” Decker says.

Pricing for the new domains is relatively expensive, between $2,500 and $4,000. Decker and are counting on that high price point to discourage spammers and miscreants from using the domains as covers for malicious activity or spoofing.

“If the technology creates more security awareness or makes customers more comfortable, they’re more likely to succeed,” says domain name expert Monte Cahn, president of Rightofthedot, which advises on top-level domain strategies. Cahn notes that he hasn’t seen the details of’s announcement, but did note that other more recently introduced domains such as .bank and .insurance, have been well-received. However, those domains also come with special registration forms to verify that would-be registrants are in fact part of the industries they say they are, Cahn notes.

Decker says isn’t doing any verification itself, but rather leaving that up to SSL providers such as Symantec or Comodo. “At a high level, we are the registry operator, so we control the name space, but don’t sell the names themselves,” Decker says. “End-user companies go to GoDaddy or for that.”

Because the domains are so new and considered premium domains, availability is quite good, Decker says, in contrast to .com or .org, which are much more picked over.

Terry Sweeney is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who has covered technology, networking, and security for more than 20 years. He was part of the team that started Dark Reading and has been a contributor to The Washington Post, Crain’s New York Business, Red Herring, … View Full Bio

More Insights