The DNS is a core protocol of the Internet, connecting IP addresses to website domain names. But the DNS was not designed with security in mind. Within the technical community there is consensus about the value of DNSSEC, securing authentication and integrity of the provided domain name. Yet, recent research shows huge differences in the adoption of DNSSEC. In the (semi) public sector 59% of all domain names are DNSSEC signed, while in the ISP sector only around 22% of all companies use a signed domain.

 

 

This raises the question how these differences can be explained. The adoption of DNSSEC in the (semi-) public sector is due to the comply-or-explain policy quite well incorporated. The Wet GDI is designed to take this policy one step further by introducing an obligation to use DNSSEC for (semi-) public institutions. ISPs are not within scope of the comply-or-explain policy, nor of the Wet GDI. ISPs are in a good position to invest in cyber security, but because of public good characteristics and market failures they will not do this on their own. It is also economically rational to accept some insecurity. Co-regulation is the best option for policymakers to increase the adoption of DNSSEC.

 

Key words: DNSSEC, Wet digitale overheid, Internet service providers, cyber governance, policy makers

 

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