In this past fiscal year, the .CA domain saw a return to pre-pandemic norms with a growth rate of 2.7 per cent, which still outpaces the top 30 country code top-level domain (ccTLD) operators which grew by an average of 1.9 per cent. As of March 31, 2023 there were 3,362,057 .CA domains under management. The increased investments made in .CA awareness continue to pay dividends and the board is optimistic that the .CA team will continue to outperform the industry.
Several years ago, CIRA made the proactive decision to build its own next-generation registry platform to power the .CA domain into the future. With this advanced registry platform now running the .CA domain, the industry has begun to take notice.
The CIRA Registry Platform entered the market with a very specific goal, to provide a platform for like-minded, community centric registries around the world who were looking for a new technology base. To date, the CIRA Registry Platform manages more than 4.5 million domains including .IE , .SX .MLS .KIWI and .ECO. In FY23, the ccTLD for New Zealand, .NZ, was onboarded onto the platform along with .CROWN.
This strategically benefits CIRA’s core mandate, the operation of .CA, as each TLD added to our registry strengthens not only market viability but also enables us to implement best practices from international TLDs into the CIRA Registry Platform code base. CIRA is truly building a global community of TLDs and the strength of that community will only serve to protect .CA as the industry matures, consolidates and changes.
One area that has not seen a post-pandemic slowdown is cybersecurity. Indeed, the pace of cybersecurity challenges has only grown as our world becomes more reliant on the internet and threat actors see an opportunity to capitalize.
CIRA is uniquely positioned as a critical player in Canada’s security landscape. Leadership and investment in new products and services have set the stage for CIRA to be a key player in the cybersecurity defense of our country. More than 8.4 million users in schools, hospitals, universities, small businesses, government and even Canadian households, are now protected by CIRA Cybersecurity Services. CIRA DNS Firewall alone blocks more than 180 million malicious queries every month and CIRA Canadian Shield, the organization’s free service for individuals and families, blocks another 17 million queries and has more than 4 million users. When you consider that a third of all ccTLDs users are protected from DDoS attacks via CIRA Anycast DNS it is easy to see how the organization is developing a reputation as a cybersecurity leader.
Last year was also a big year for CIRA’s community initiatives, with the launch of Net Good by CIRA, the new name that encompasses all of our programs, products and activities intended to support making the internet a better place for everyone. A big part of the Net Good initiative is the annual grants program that has provided $10.45 million over the past 10 years to various projects that support a trusted internet for Canadians.
CIRA’s ability to make an impact is a direct result of its people. CIRA is recognized as a leading-edge, inclusive workplace that attracts and maintains top talent. CIRA has adopted a hybrid work environment that has struck a balance between flexibility and collaboration. CIRA has been recognized for the eighth year in a row as a top employer in the National Capital Region by Canada’s Top Employers and our Vice-President of People, Culture & Brand, Sanita Alias, was named HR leader of the year. It is this high performing team and dynamic culture that makes CIRA such a great place to work.
As Chair of the CIRA Board, I am proud of the work we have done to help guide and oversee this organization. CIRA and its board are committed to the highest standards of governance and the multi-stakeholder model that has served this organization so well for more than 20 years.
CIRA is well-positioned to navigate the dramatic changes taking place in the market. The work that the organization is doing to strengthen and protect the .CA domain through registry services and exchanging best practices with like-minded registries around the world is a testament to the forward-thinking approach of its leadership. CIRA has the leadership, people, tools, processes, products and culture to do great things in our 2024 fiscal year and beyond.
On behalf of the board, I would like to thank CIRA staff and management for their efforts and dedication. In particular, I would like to express my confidence in, and appreciation of the leadership provided by Byron Holland, the President and CEO. I look forward to continuing to work with this incredible team to help build a trusted internet for Canadians.