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U.K. DNS Security Firm Nominet Keen to Meet U.S. Partners

Nominet, the .UK registry, is ready to cut deals with U.S. VARs and MSSPs.

Pam Baker

March 1, 2019

3 Min Read
British Security
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Nominet, one of the world’s largest domain registries, has run the .UK registry for the last 20 years. It has expanded its services over the years to include a Domain Name System (DNS) resolver service for the U.K. government and all Public Service Network (PSN) connected organizations. It works hand-in-hand with the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC).

Nominet opened an office in Washington, D.C., on Friday, launching a proprietary DNS security product called Nominet NTX. And the company’s coming in hard, competitively speaking.

“We’re keen to build relationships and engage with VARs, MSSPs and partners,” said Nominet’s CEO Russell Haworth. “We’re open and flexible on pricing, and eager to get to market.”

Nominet’s existing client base in the U.S. and South America is modest, consisting mostly of internet service providers (ISPs). With the new NTX product, Nominet is heavily targeting U.S. federal government agencies hoping to match their market performance in the U.K. But the company is also interested in the private sector, within the defense industry and in other verticals.

“Our U.S. office is on the East Coast, but we plan to expand the number of offices and customers. We’re already serving customers in Silicon Valley and elsewhere in the U.S.,” said Haworth.

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Nominet’s Steve Durkin

NTX is an additive solution that is increasingly becoming tightly integrated with other security investments as one of many protective layers for customers, said Steve Durkin, VP, global channel and alliances at Nominet. “The channel is a highly effective way to reach those markets.”

Nominet works with VARs, partners and MSSPs in Europe and the Middle East. But the U.S. is mostly wide open for the company.

“Nominet [has] been protecting the U.K. internet for over 20 years, monitoring and thwarting threats at the DNS level. Our deep expertise in DNS has enabled us to develop a sophisticated DNS monitoring and analytics platform (NTX) that predicts risks involving threat infiltration and data exfiltration, and identifies zero-day activity not spotted by traditional methods,” explained Durkin. “Because we scrub traffic at the DNS level, Nominet NTX prevents users from communicating with the bad guys, quickly identifying the source of the traffic enabling the organization to shut it down and avoid data loss, as well as any misconfigurations on a network, helping to avoid latency issues and improve network performance for companies.”

The company points to several successes for its proprietary technology. For example, it identified a phishing website that looked like the website of the Co-operative Bank in Manchester, England. The phishing website previously got past the Domain Watch anti-phishing initiative and several third-party threat intelligence feeds.

The company handles 10 billion DNS requests a day for 12 million domains. It reports that it has analyzed 1.2 billion DNS queries and blocked 273,000 events for one of its customers alone, in a period of one week.

Nominet isn’t resting on its DNS laurels, however. Plans for cybersecurity products beyond network traffic are already in play, although Haworth says he’s not ready to announce those yet.

“We are a profit-with-a-purpose company,” said Haworth. “We have members, not stockholders, and we have the capital from our DNS business to easily fund worthwhile business pursuits.”

It is indeed a company with very deep pockets. Nominet has already contributed £45M in tech for good projects. Additionally, it has a public benefit program that it claims “will improve the lives of 1 million young people by 2021.”

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About the Author(s)

Pam Baker

A prolific writer and analyst, Pam Baker’s published work appears in many leading print and online publications including Security Boulevard, PCMag, Institutional Investor magazine, CIO, TechTarget, Linux.com and InformationWeek, as well as many others. Her latest book is “Data Divination: Big Data Strategies.” She’s also a popular speaker at technology conferences as well as specialty conferences such as the Excellence in Journalism events and a medical research and healthcare event at the NY Academy of Sciences.

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