CONFERENCE On Demand: Cyber AI & Automation Summit - Watch Now
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?


Email Security

Domain Name Security Neglected by U.S. Energy Companies: Report

A majority of the largest energy companies in the United States appear to have neglected the security of their domain names, according to CSC, a firm that specializes in securing online assets.

A majority of the largest energy companies in the United States appear to have neglected the security of their domain names, according to CSC, a firm that specializes in securing online assets.

The Biden administration is concerned about potentially damaging cyberattacks aimed at the country’s critical infrastructure, and it’s taking steps to help electric utilities, water treatment plants and other industries protect their systems.

Data collected by CSC last week shows that nearly 80 percent of the top U.S. energy organizations are at risk of cyberattacks targeting their DNS and internet domain names. The data covers the 30 biggest U.S. companies (by market capitalization) that produce and deliver energy.

Specifically, CSC found that nearly 80% of energy firms don’t use registry locks, which can prevent domain name hijacking and unauthorized changes to DNS. More than two-thirds of the analyzed domains are registered with consumer-grade registrars instead of enterprise-grade registrars, which typically provide better security.

The analysis also found that when it comes to DNS security, only 3% use DNSSEC, which provides cryptographic authentication and integrity to DNS data. Furthermore, only 17% use DNS hosting redundancy, which is a backup mechanism for DNS outages that can result from configuration errors, infrastructure failure, or DDoS attacks.

CSC has also looked at the use of the DMARC email authentication protocol and found that 73% of the top 30 energy companies in the U.S. have a DMARC record in place.

Organizations can set the DMARC policy to “none” to only monitor unauthenticated emails, “quarantine” to send them to the spam or junk folder, or “reject” to completely block their delivery. In order for DMARC to be considered fully implemented, organizations must set a “reject” policy — this has been required of federal agencies.

However, CSC told SecurityWeek that it has not looked at the policies set by these energy companies, so despite a high percentage using DMARC, it’s likely that at least some of them have not fully implemented the system.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

The overall findings are in line with data from a global report released last year by CSC. That report showed that only 10% of global energy companies used registry locking, only 2% used DNSSEC, only 19% used a corporate domain registrar, and 41% used DMARC.

CSC has also shared some recommendations on what companies should look for when choosing an enterprise-grade registrar.

“To manage a domain name portfolio, company’s need to work with a provider that has invested in protecting its own systems,” the company said. “With all of the cyber security threats today, not only does a good domain name registrar need to have the right technology—to protect itself and client companies from a data breach—but it also needs best-in-class operations practices that put security at the forefront of its mission, and in how it engages with its clients.”

Related: Major Power Outage in India Possibly Caused by Hackers

Related: Iran Blames Israel for Sabotage at Natanz Nuclear Site

Related: UK Energy Startup ‘People’s Energy’ Discloses Data Breach

Related: European Electrical Energy Organization Discloses Breach

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a managing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join us as we delve into the transformative potential of AI, predictive ChatGPT-like tools and automation to detect and defend against cyberattacks.


As cybersecurity breaches and incidents escalate, the cyber insurance ecosystem is undergoing rapid and transformational change.


Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

Identity & Access

Zero trust is not a replacement for identity and access management (IAM), but is the extension of IAM principles from people to everyone and...

CISO Strategy

SecurityWeek spoke with more than 300 cybersecurity experts to see what is bubbling beneath the surface, and examine how those evolving threats will present...

CISO Conversations

Joanna Burkey, CISO at HP, and Kevin Cross, CISO at Dell, discuss how the role of a CISO is different for a multinational corporation...

CISO Conversations

In this issue of CISO Conversations we talk to two CISOs about solving the CISO/CIO conflict by combining the roles under one person.

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...

CISO Strategy

Security professionals understand the need for resilience in their company’s security posture, but often fail to build their own psychological resilience to stress.

Management & Strategy

SecurityWeek examines how a layoff-induced influx of experienced professionals into the job seeker market is affecting or might affect, the skills gap and recruitment...