December 31, 2018

Glimpses of 2018: Cloud, Domain, Security and Data Center news

Reflecting upon an eventful 2018, WebHosting.Info takes you through some of the defining events of the year of the domain and web hosting industry.

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2018 was filled with major events as far as the domain and web hosting industries are concerned. Partnerships, acquisitions, product launches, relaunches, that too by some of the best enterprises in the industry. The needs of customers are changing and growing and as a result, enterprises are pulling up their socks to get the ball rolling. We look back upon some of the key events that happened in the web infrastructure business and what we could expect in 2019.

1. Alibaba-Paytm partnership

It was no surprise that Alibaba wanted to penetrate the APAC market further with their cloud products and services. After gaining a considerable amount of market share in China, Japan and Singapore, Alibaba were looking at India and MENA region to expand their footprint.

A strategic partnership with Paytm gave Alibaba access to India’s B2B market that includes developers, startups and enterprises. With this alliance, Paytm and Alibaba launched ‘Paytm AI Cloud’, a platform that offers a wide range of services to help the B2B market automate workflows, integrate payments and provide messaging and customer engagement tools. This platform, according to Paytm and Alibaba, will allow users to have a one-to-one relationship with their customers and understand their needs better with the help of the cloud giant’s AI prowess.

In addition to Alibaba, Paytm said that they will also strike a deal with the cloud giant’s enterprise communication and collaboration platform DingTalk. This move, they say, was preplanned but would be pursued once Paytm and Alibaba sealed the terms of their deal. With Alibaba entering the Indian B2B enterprise market, one could only imagine what Microsoft, Google and AWS would do to gain more market share in India.

2. Cloudflare launching domain registrar service

This one really stole the spotlight purely on its strategic merit. Cloudflare very well knew that the one thing customers need while going online is a domain. Being an internet security provider, Cloudflare felt that they should position themselves as a holistic provider of internet services in the domain registration marketplace. Hence the domain registrar service.

But given the number of competitors and the price at which they sold domains, Cloudflare thought that providers were charging a lot for a product that was merely a commodity. In order to stand out in the market and entice more customers, Cloudflare gave away top gTLDs like .COM, .NET, .ORG and .INFO free of cost. This move, Cloudflare say, has helped them acquire a lot of customers to sign up for their domain registration services. Industry analysts believe that other content delivery network providers and internet security firms might pick this trend up in the year to come.

3. Donuts relaunching .TRAVEL to simplify the registration process

After launching URL shortener BL.INK, Donuts started focusing on their .TRAVEL domain which had not picked up since its acquisition in Feb’18 and its launch in June. To simplify this, Donuts relaunched .TRAVEL domain along with other travel related TLDs like .CRUISES, .FLIGHTS, .RENTALS, .HOLIDAY, .TOURS, and .VACATIONS through digital media.

Donuts believe that travel as an industry is growing year-on-year at a steady rate and so are small-medium enterprises that are going online to provide the booking of flight tickets, holiday destinations etc. In order to make the most of this, Donuts simplified the earlier registration process for .TRAVEL which included multiple form fillings and information. Of all the new gTLDs that are launched, analysts say that .TRAVEL is the one that will have the most number of domain registrations on a month-on-month basis.

4. Marriot experiences a massive data security breach

Hotel giant Marriot experienced a large-scale cybersecurity attack that affected their cyber-incident response team. This attack, as Marriot explained, has led to the theft of personal data of more than 500 million customers.

Marriot’s experience is maybe a result of some traces of the SQL injection that they claim had affected them years ago when their Starwood chain of hotels was attacked. They say that there is a high probability that the perpetrators that attacked Marriot’s customer database gained entry from the loopholes that were left unfixed. Though the hotel giant is pointing fingers at Russian cybercriminals after finding some evidence against them, European regulators believe that no one but the hotel giant is to be blamed for keeping loose ends.

The hotel giant is in the process of finding more evidence that can help them take strict action against perpetrators but for every industry, this event serves as an experience as far as cybersecurity is concerned.

5. Kaspersky Lab moves out of Russia to address Kremlin spy fears

IT security provider Kaspersky Lab decided to move out of the Russian jurisdiction following the U.S. Department for Homeland Security insinuated that Kaspersky has been spying for the Russian military services. According to Israeli spies, Kremlin was using Kaspersky’s cybersecurity software to steal American hacking tools.

In May’18, Kaspersky had announced that they were going to build a data center in Switzerland to expand in Europe. However, months later, news broke out that they were shifting base out of Russia to stay away from Russian intelligence and military services. They said that as a company that provides business services, Kaspersky could not run this risk since it could affect their reputation globally.

Market analysts believe that Kaspersky has made a bold move keeping their business interests in mind. However, the long migration process can affect their business but only for a short period of time.

So, these were some of the key events that turned the heads of our readers as well as IT professionals around the world. We believe that you enjoyed reliving them again. Before we step into the new year, we would like to thank you for your support. Here is wishing you all a happy and a prosperous 2019.