3 Types of Domain Name Analyses Relevant to Businesses
We are living at a time when domain names are as valuable as real estate.
11:35 04 November 2020
Businesses not only need to find the right physical locations for their companies, they also have to obtain the right domain names, which serve as their virtual addresses. Come to think of it, not all businesses have physical locations, but all companies can be found online through their domain names.
Performing different domain name analyses helps businesses make the right decisions, such as choosing domain names for their brands, getting to know their clients, and investigating partners and vendors. Let us take a look at three types of domain name analyses that could help out businesses.
We begin the list with WHOIS history. Using a WHOIS history tool basically answers the question “What is a domain’s WHOIS history?”
WHOIS history is one of the most crucial domain name analyses, as it reveals past ownership details. For people who want to know who previously owned a domain name, digging up its WHOIS history could be the key.
A domain name analysis involving WHOIS history returns the WHOIS records of a domain name on the dates they were modified. Each WHOIS record provides the following information:
- Domain age
- Registrar name
- WHOIS server
- Domain status
- Registrant details
- Street address
- Email address
- Phone number
- Administrative contact details
- Technical contact details
How vital is WHOIS history? By obtaining historical domain ownership records, WHOIS history helps uncover a domain’s past associations. So, if a cybercriminal owned the domain in the past, WHOIS history could tell you. With WHOIS history, businesses can assess third-party vendors better and make more informed investment and partnership decisions.
Another type of domain name analysis requires looking at subdomain intelligence. Subdomains are part of another domain name called the “root” domain. So, blog[.]example[.]com is a subdomain of the root domain example[.]com. Analyzing a company’s subdomains provides insights into its web infrastructure.
Domain name analyses that dig into subdomains can help businesses identify market leaders’ and competitors’ strategies. Obtaining subdomain intelligence for websites also helps companies perform asset discovery and attack surface management. Several organizations tend to forget unused subdomains and leave them outdated and vulnerable to cyber attacks. With subdomain analyses, companies can monitor their subdomains and reduce their potential attack surface.
Domain name analyses that reveal a domain’s associations with others help businesses identify other web properties owned by a specific individual or organization. That provides additional data points for market research, as it enables businesses to know what other ventures their customers, competitors, or partners are interested in.
Reverse WHOIS also brings crucial information to the table during cyber incident investigations. An email address, nameserver address, or any other WHOIS detail can be used to look up additional domain names that contain the same information.
These types of domain name analyses aid in brand management, too, particularly in crafting brand protection measures. Reverse WHOIS allows companies to look up their brands or company names and see if these are being used (or misused) in domain names. Threat actors imitate popular brands to make their malicious campaigns more believable, so it’s best to be on the lookout for copycats.
An organization’s relationship with domain names does not end with registering and using them for their businesses. Domain names can provide more insights into several aspects of a business. In particular, domain name analyses performed with the help of WHOIS history, subdomain intelligence, and reverse WHOIS tools can help businesses in several ways. They add value to market research and competitor analysis and provide more data for deciding on business expansions.
These domain name analyses also fortify a company’s cybersecurity posture, as they aid in brand protection, attack surface reduction, and third-party vendor risk assessment.