Dejan Đukić, Director Of The Serbian National Internet Domain Registry Foundation (RNIDS)

Business Growth Is Our Goal

The Serbian National Internet Domain Registry Foundation (RNIDS) harmonises its operations with best practices, implements new services, provides the most modern ways of protecting data etc. RNIDS is one of seven world registries whose domains have not experienced operational interruptions since becoming visible on the internet

The pandemic has led to a slight increase in demand on our market, ensuring that the number of registered .rs domain names in the first six months of this year is slightly higher than in the same periods of the previous three years, says Dejan Đukić, director of the RNIDS Foundation, speaking to CorD.

You spent a year as the acting director of RNIDS, but you were recently named as its full director. Congratulations! We’re sure you have major plans for this foundation where you’ve spent over a decade?

Thanks for the congratulations! It is an honour, but also a challenge, to be selected as the director of an organisation that performs such an important job as managing the registry of national internet domains and infrastructure of special importance. The aim is to preserve the stability and growth of operations, but also accompanying trends and the best practices of our industry, improving and perfecting certain processes and services. We will maintain the flawless functioning of our technical services, both for registrants and partners, authorised registries, and we will also work on adapting rules and policies to new international and domestic legislative trends.

In accordance with our activity as a foundation, we will strive, more intensively than has been the case to date, to work on encouraging use of the internet in business and education regarding successful and desirable practices. We plan to intensify our participation, as well as to utilise the expertise of our professionals to contribute even more to the work of international organisations that manage internet infrastructure, such as ICANN and RIPE.

How does the .срб domain rate? What does the register of national internet domain names that’s managed by the RNIDS “say”?

Although there is fierce competition among generic domains, the .rs domain is the first choice of registrants in Serbia. The fact that the number of .rs domain names has been growing steadily year on year testifies to the fact that businesspeople are aware of the advantages provided by the national domain, primarily when it comes to doing business on our market and positioning websites in searches. As you know, search engines still give preference to sites with domain names of the countries in which, or for which, searches are conducted. In a survey that we conducted recently, the .rs domain was characterised as reliable, good for business purposes and secure. When it comes to the Cyrillic .srb [.срб] domain, growth is much more modest, because it shares the fate of all internet domains with internationalised names (IDN).

However, significant efforts exist in the international community to popularise use of the internet in the native language and script, and to entice technology giants to fully respect existing standards and protocols that allow equal use of other scripts in addition to the English alphabet. People from RNIDS have been engaged in several different working groups that have addressed this issue, and I’m currently personally engaged in a working group that deals with improving the use of Cyrillic domains, which is part of a global initiative to improve the use of internationalised domain names.

Cyber security is as important as physical security in the real world, and one of your jobs is to protect the infrastructure you manage and the domain names themselves. What does that encompass in total?

RNIDS is one of seven world registries whose domains have not experienced operational interruptions since they became visible on the internet. In order for the service we provide to registrants of the .rs/.срб domains to be flawless, a complex mechanism exists for defending and preserving the infrastructure we manage. However, considering that almost two thirds of all hacker attacks on the internet are realised via manipulations of the DNS service, i.e. domain names, RNIDS has made several types of protection available to registrants of the .rs/.срб domains.

We believe that businesspeople not only protect their business by protecting their domain names, but also their clients

These include as many as three ways to lock domain names that protect against the attempts of hackers to take control of websites, and during the year we’ve enabled the DNSSEC digital signing of domain names.

Thus, we are one of the few registries in the world that provides all of these possibilities of domain name protection to registrants, because we believe that businesspeople not only protect their business by protecting their domain names, but also their clients, and using the internet is thus rendered safer for all of us. Of course, these services are available to all users, regardless of whether they are engaged in economic activity.

There is no job or sphere of life that hasn’t been impacted – either positively or negatively – by the pandemic. What has the coronavirus outbreak brought you?

I honestly doubt that the pandemic has brought anything positive to anyone. The only thing that can be called positive in all of this, conditionally speaking, is that the process of digitising commercial and state services has been accelerated. Practically “overnight” something was completed that would have taken up to several years under normal circumstances. When the pandemic one day passes, those services will still be there – returning to the old ways will be neither possible or necessary. Moreover, the pandemic is a kind of agility test for all businesses, and still requires exceptional powers of adaptation.

Our organisation has – given the nature of the activity, but also existing plans for business continuity – reorientated to working outside the office without major adjustments, in a very short period, without that impacting in any way on the quality of services or internal processes. On the other hand, there has been a slight increase in demand in our market, so the number of registered .rs domain names in the first six months of this year is slightly higher compared to the same period of the previous three years. Under the conditions of urgent digitisation that domestic companies have embarked on, we’ve endeavoured to provide help to beginners in navigating digital waters and launched the site, which is a kind of knowledge base for establishing a business presence on the internet, where businesspeople can, through an array of content by reference authors, find useful advice on how to build their online business presence on stable foundations.

Does this mean that we aren’t lagging behind the developed world in this area?

Without exaggeration, one could say that not only are we not lagging behind the rest of the world, but we are also on a par the world’s most successful registries, primarily in terms of the speed and automation of the domain name registration process, then mechanisms for protecting domain names from the aforementioned cybercriminals, but also mechanisms for the protection of rights. In connection with this last element, a specialised body exists in Serbia that resolves disputes arising in connection with domain names out of court, while methods of collecting and processing personal data are harmonised with domestic and European regulations and practises.

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