Blue Coat recommends that firewall admins simply block traffic to these domains safe in the absolute certainty that legitimate websites won't inadvertently be caught by such a filter. Blue Coat isn't the first to spot this trick with OpenDNS making much the same point earlier this year when it recommended adding commonly-used terms such as 'billing' or 'update' to blocklists when they are used in conjunction with TLDs.
The firm also offered data on the least risky domains (see figure 2), which includes stalwarts such as .gov, .jp, .mil and, pleasingly for the UK, .London.
All of these registered a dubious website counts down to fractions of a percent but Blue Coat cautions against taking the list to literally. Some of the domains such as .gov, have a major presence in the database used to design the test while others are much rarer with only a very small number of sites. TLDs such as .jobs could quickly go bad if even relatively small number of 'shady' sites appear. Domains can be blacklisted but not as easily whitelisted.
Secure TLDs - .bank and .trust
Another movement is to build whitelisting security around key domains and then persuade brands to use them, pushing their virtue and trustworthiness to customers and users. A good example of this is the .bank TLD, which several thousand banks and other finance companies are said to have registered an interest in. As with the .Trust domain launched in 2014 by Britain's NCC Group, a raft of security checking is built around anyone wanting to inhabit these domains, which inevitably adds to cost.
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