"Registry operators that participate in the TLD ISAC will strengthen their cyber resilience in the face of evolving threats"


In its latest PTSOC news, .pt, the country code top-level domain registry operator in Portugal, interviewed Kristof Tuyteleers, Chair of the TLD ISAC Working Group, about the TLD ISAC.

1. What are ISAC's main objectives for European TLDs?

The European TLD ISAC's aim is to be the cybersecurity centre of expertise for the domain name system (DNS) in general and the European TLD registry operators in particular. It wants to serve as an expert point of contact for policymakers concerning the DNS ecosystem and related cyber resilience.

Furthermore, it aims to play that same role in international initiatives aimed at improving cross-sectoral and inter-ISAC information exchange and collaboration.

For its members, the TLD ISAC focusses on the timely sharing of security information, the analysis of relevant threats and vulnerabilities and on being a competent source of best practices, standards, methods, and know-how related to the DNS.

The European TLD ISAC's mission therefore consists in strengthening the cyber security and resilience of the European Top Level Domain infrastructure by providing a platform for collaboration and intelligence sharing, by giving unique insights into the technical and governance aspects of cybersecurity and associated risks for the industry, and by leading the improvement of cybersecurity of TLD registry operators.

Finally, it raises public cybersecurity awareness regarding the secure use of the DNS system and associated protocols through seminars and publications.

2. With domain registry operators, security experts and other interested parties, isn't there an overlap with other entities that bring together European cybersecurity organisations, telecommunications companies and others, and is this potential competition healthy?

Registry operators are part of a specialised sector, so we focus on expanding our cybersecurity capabilities and expertise in that very specific domain. On the intersection between the Top-Level Domain industry and the aforementioned entities, convergence occurs in forums, conferences, and collaborative initiatives aimed at addressing cybersecurity challenges collectively. 

This overlap can seemingly lead to duplication of efforts, but we believe that each initiative has its perspective, raison d'être and adds value to all stakeholders involved. Information exchange and cooperation between the different stakeholders in the security landscape is essential and creates numerous benefits thanks to each other's key expertise.

3. At your first conference in last November, the agenda covered "general, technical and regulatory topics". Which do you anticipate will be the most difficult to address in the short term and, in that sense, what can we expect from the ISAC TLD in 2024?

Addressing cybersecurity challenges requires a multifaceted approach based on collaboration, sharing technological best practices and state of the art security measures, and last but not least, implementing regulatory frameworks. We strongly believe that registry operators that participate actively in and leverage the resources provided by the TLD ISAC will strengthen their cyber resilience in the face of evolving threats. This is why the agenda of our first conference touched all these aspects highlighting all the facets of an effective cybersecurity strategy..

The challenges, particularly in 2024 when the NIS2 directive has to be transposed into national law across the EU, revolve around the translation of regulations into practical and comprehensible cybersecurity measures that are efficient and usable. We want to assist our members in this by focusing on enhancing their capabilities to keep up with technological advancements and the evolving tactics of cybercriminals. 

We will intensify our collaboration to better identify and understand the current threat landscape. And finally, we aim to create valuable tools that members of the ISAC can employ within their respective technical and security departments.

The interview was published in the bilingual edition #11 of PTSOC news in December, available here: https://ptsoc.pt.pt/en/publicacoes/. Special thanks go to .pt for letting us reproduce this interview here.