Akamai Technologies > Case Studies > CIRA's Expansion into Cybersecurity with Akamai Secure Internet Access Business

CIRA's Expansion into Cybersecurity with Akamai Secure Internet Access Business

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 CIRA's Expansion into Cybersecurity with Akamai Secure Internet Access Business - IoT ONE Case Study
Technology Category
  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) - Cloud Databases
  • Networks & Connectivity - Routers & Bridges
Applicable Industries
  • Education
  • Telecommunications
Use Cases
  • Cybersecurity
  • Tamper Detection
  • Cybersecurity Services
  • System Integration
The Customer

Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)

About The Customer
CIRA is a member-based not-for-profit organization, best known for managing the .CA internet domain on behalf of all Canadians. It develops and implements policies that support Canada’s internet community and represents the .CA registry internationally. CIRA is committed to building programs, products, and services that leverage all the internet has to offer to help build a better online Canada, while providing a safe, secure, and trusted online experience to all Canadians. Its customers range from small businesses to large universities and government institutions.
The Challenge
The Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) was established in 2000 with a mandate to run a safe, secure, and reliable .CA domain for all Canadians. With over 2.8 million domains under management, CIRA saw an opportunity to complement its registry revenue with new services. In 2015, CIRA moved into DNS cybersecurity with the introduction of D-Zone Anycast DNS, a service now used by ISPs, the Canadian government, and many educational institutions. However, after the release of this service, many of CIRA’s customers requested a recursive DNS Service, particularly organizations in the education sector who were interested in a service with content filtering. CIRA considered building a recursive DNS service solution in-house but realized the real value was in a threat feed, which they couldn’t develop on their own.
The Solution
CIRA partnered with Nominum (now part of Akamai), the market leader of DNS-based security solutions with recursive servers in large ISPs. Through this partnership, CIRA was able to launch a trial of its D-Zone DNS Firewall within six months, and go live three months later. The solution uses smart resolvers deployed across Canada that evaluate more than 100 billion DNS queries each day to determine whether they're malicious. Threat coverage is continuously and automatically updated through a cloud service to deter highly dynamic exploits. By leveraging its infrastructure in Canada to deploy a cloud-based service powered by Akamai, CIRA was able to bring on customers without a huge capital investment. This also allowed CIRA to build a Canadian-focused service that keeps all DNS query data in Canada for data sovereignty purposes.
Operational Impact
  • The D-Zone DNS Firewall has been a significant success since its launch, particularly in the municipal sector. The service provides a foundational layer of security to a wide range of organizations that might otherwise be underserved because they cannot afford security protections, or lack the technical resources to take advantage of them. One of CIRA’s academic customers used the service to quickly block new attacks, significantly reducing time and effort for its IT department. CIRA also uses Akamai DNSi Big Data Connector to integrate all DNS query data and bot and phishing blocked data gathered from Akamai resolvers into an Elastic stack. This makes it easy for CIRA to conduct research and debug customer issues. The service has given CIRA's business a new direction and access to a different market.
Quantitative Benefit
  • The D-Zone DNS Firewall has been protecting more than 1.5 million Canadians since its launch in 2017.
  • The service has protected more than 70 Canadian municipalities to date.
  • The service has driven a 90% reduction in desktops impacted by spear phishing attacks.

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