Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland (SIDN), the administrator of the .nl zone has stated that the number of .nl domains that implement standards for secure emailing has further increased during last year. For example, the number of domain names with StartTLS rose from 3.2 to 3.6 million in the past six months.
StartTLS encrypts traffic between mail servers, making it more difficult for attackers to intercept or modify email traffic. The number of domains supported by DMARC has grown from 36,000 to 470,000. With DMARC you can set what the mail server has to do when it received a suspicious email. Next to that, DMARC requires that the ‘From’ domain matches with the ‘sender’ domain.
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) prevent emails from being changed. This is now supported by more than 1 million domains within the .nl space and we can see an increase of 732,000. The SPF domains have increased as well from 2.2 million to 2.6 million. SPF (Sender Policy Framework) prevents anyone from sending email in the name of an organization. It works by adding a list of trusted IP’s into the DNS record, and emails that are sent on the behalf of the organization originate from these IP’s pass SPF.
In addition to the use of email standards, the number of DNSSEC-protected domain names grew to 3.1 million. This means that more than 53% of the “.nl” zone is equipped with DNSSEC. At the end of 2017, this involves more than 2.8 domains (more than 49%).
DNSSEC is a DNS extension that must prevent internet users from being redirected to malicious websites by authenticating DNS responses with digital signatures and Public Key Cryptography.
In order to implement this as a standard between registrars, SIDN offers a financial reward. This is done via the Registrar Scorecard – a program that rewards .nl registrars for their contribution to the quality of the .nl zone. The registrar Scorecard encourages registrars to make improvements in 4 areas : active use, IPv6, correct contact details and security. There are hundreds of participants in the program currently. Since last year, SIDN paid more than 1.5 million euros to registrars who participated in the program.