Such massive consequences of the pandemic, were surely unexpected by most during the weeks, leading to the announcement of strict safety measures. Despite of this, Registry staff introduced several precautions. In accordance with our expectations, our systems turned out to be resilient and well planned.
All our services are always operating in a stable and reliable way. Remote work has no effect upon support with registrars and domain holders. As always, Registry team is available for any queries via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you stay at home? We at .si did
We are fully aware that the operation of websites and e-mail adresses under the top level .si domain depends upon uninterrupted, reliable and stable performance of our main services: to maintenan DNS server infrastructure for TLD .si and to ensure uninterrupted registrations of .si domains. That is why information security is integrated into all our processes.
Even during the weeks, when COVID-19 was a mere »news from China«, we undertook several projects. We have reviewed and updated our Business Continuity Plan during epidemy and have set up a Crisis Communication Plan. Of course, we did not expect for the epidemic to be so severe – we approached an entire thing as a good Fire Drill.
Virus continued to spread and we started to work remotely on 16th of March – same as entire Arnes. We took care of testing our communication channels and we can express our satisfaction with the fact that our internal communication runs smoothly. We have laid the ground rules and payed special attention to set up regular checks of all domain-registration components.
We can conclude that – in accordance with our expectations – remote work did not affect any of our key services. All systems performed uninterrupted and no breakdowns were detected. These new and dire circumstances, that have engulfed an entire society, however reflect upon domain registration traffic – in March 2020, we have detected a record growth of domain registrations.
Quarantine for .si domains
After domains expire, they are placed into quarantine. Yes, domains too, must be quarantined (assigned Pending Delete status), not just people. The only difference is, this quarantine is not in any way connected to viruses and is being used for about 15 years. After quarantine expires, domains are deleted from the system and free to be registered again. Redemption period for this purpose was extended from 30 to 60 days. This way domain holders have more time to renew their domains. At the same time, they are more protected in case someone would want to register their expired domains.
4th of April 2005 is also a big day for Registry. Upon this day, new, more liberalized rules were enforced for those, who wanted to register domains. We have set up an automated registration system, which, from this point on, includes registrars. This is the reason many domains expire each year on this date. We wanted to prevent services failing for domain holders due to domain expiration, so we have expanded our registry-registrar communication with a goal of registrars notifying domain holders regarding soon-to-expire domains. The response was great. During mid-March there were around 4.000 domains about to expire, while, after our activity, only 300 have actually expired.
Those, that would like to take advantage of the situaton
As always, there are some people, who want to take advantage of a crisis. Therefore, we are monitoring domain registrations, containing words, connected to COVID-19. We are doing this in concert with SI-CERT.
We noticed, that under other TLD-s, some of these domains have been used for frauds and distribution of malware. Up to this point, we have not encountered any suspicious activity. We are exchanging our information with CENTR (Council of European National Top-Level Domain Registries) too.
Challenges of working from home
As a team which was forced to move from offices to remote work instantly, we have handled this trial well. All systems are customized for remote work. We are using videoconferences, chat apps, and e-mails as a means of communication. Sometimes, we drink a cup of coffee together and share our hardships.
Like many others, we are facing challenges of balancing work, changing diapers, cooking and teaching as well as how to overcome the emotional distress of social distancing. At the same time, we all agree, that we arelucky to be able to work from home and that the work is running smoothly. Many people these days, especially those, who are saving lives, are exposing themselves to infection daily.
With the words of Bob, the Builder: Can we fix it? We from Registry can firmly respond: Yes, we can!