New domain name changes and the risk involved for businesses that don’t act fast
The auDA (Australian Domain Administrator) announced that from 24 March 2022, anyone with a local connection to Australia (including businesses, associations, and individuals) would be able to register domain names that end in .au rather than .com.au, .net.au, .org.au, .gov.au or .edu.au.
Now, new .au direct names that are not already registered in any other .au name space (e.g .com.au or .org.au) are available to the public to register on a first-come, first-served basis.
All Australian businesses who already own a domain name in the .au name space (for example: .com.au, .net.au) will have until 20 September 2022 to reserve their .au equivalent domain name. For example, if you are the registrant of yourdomain.com.au, created before 24 March 2022, you will have six months to apply for yourdomain.au, if you would like to license it after which the name will become available to the public.
How do the new changes put businesses at risk?
The new changes give way for cybercriminals to conduct fraudulent cyber activities. Cybercriminals could register your .au domain name ― if you fail to obtain an equivalent .au domain name for your already existing domain names such as .com.au, .net.au, .org.au before the deadline― in an attempt to impersonate your business.
For example, if you have currently registered mybusiness.com.au, a cybercriminal could register mybusiness.au or mybusinesscom.au and use these domains to conduct criminal cyber activities.
What to do to safeguard your business from cybercriminals?
To protect your business, the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) recommends that all Australian businesses with existing domain names register their .au equivalents before 20 September 2022.