Registrar Data Escrow Compliance: Safeguarding Domains Large and Small
March 16, 2012
As an Internet domain name registrar, you’re protecting some of the Web’s most vital information. It’s an awesome responsibility, made easier by data escrow protection.
When you’re a domain name registrar, you’ve got a lot on your plate. Fortune 500 companies, home-based businesses and the future social network giants of the world are all counting on you to keep their domains registered and to keep them online.
Gaining accreditation as a registrar from ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) is no easy feat, and it’s a responsibility you certainly don’t take lightly. And yet registrars can fail for a variety of reasons. To protect the data entrusted to registrars by individual domain holders, ICANN established its Registrar Data Escrow program in 2007.
By escrowing all vital domain data and specifying the conditions under which this information can be turned over to ICANN, you as a registrar are insuring the safety of the domain data entrusted to you.
Adding Value to Your Brand
It’s obvious that your customers reap the greatest advantages of data escrow protection. But think of the greater value you’re providing when you can also assure prospective customers that their domain data is safe and sound, thanks to your data escrow service provider.
Having data escrowed is valuable if a natural disaster or other calamity causes lost or damaged data. Should this happen to your office, you can retrieve critical domain name registration information from your escrow service provider. Should the worst case scenario occur—you go out of business—ICANN receives the data and can help your customers recover.
Getting Started with Data Escrow
Creating a relationship with a data escrow service provider requires some planning, but it’s not difficult. These are the basic steps:
Select a data escrow service provider and open an account. The process takes about 30 days to complete and includes setting up a deposit account, exchanging encryption keys with the provider, and testing the deposit process. Given the sensitivity of the data to be escrowed, all deposits require digital signatures and data encryption for security.
Send your data uploads, in .gzip, .zip or .tar compressed file format, via a secure FTP connection. The compressed file should contain the plain text or .CSV file that contains the name, postal address, email address, telephone number and fax number for the administrative, technical and billing contact for each domain name you manage.
Typically, registrars only need to perform weekly deposits. However, if you’re lucky enough to have high quarterly transaction volumes, you’ll need to make daily incremental deposits and a weekly full deposit.
Automate your escrow system and you’ll find that making weekly or daily deposits is no hassle at all. Once you’ve got everything set up, it should take little work to keep the process in motion.
Data escrow for registrars might be a mandate, but even without that requirement it makes sense. Your company is in the business of helping others build the websites and businesses they’ve dreamed of. They put their trust in you; now show them that you take their business seriously.
Iron Mountain Suggests:
Why Partner with Iron Mountain?
Registrars are free to sign on with any ICANN-approved third-party escrow service provider. But Iron Mountain’s experience places it in a uniquely qualified position to fulfill your data escrow needs. Iron Mountain:
- Was the first company ever selected to protect registry data via escrow agreements (for the .info top-level domain) in 2001.
- Provides registry escrow services to more than 75 percent of registry service providers.
- Was selected by ICANN to be that organization’s registrar data escrow agent in 2007.
- Has earned trust among the world’s major corporations. More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on Iron Mountain for software escrow services.
Do you have questions about domain name registrar services? Read additional Knowledge Center stories on this subject, or contact Iron Mountain’s consulting services team. You’ll be connected with a knowledgeable product and services specialist who can address your specific challenges.
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