VeriSign Announces Major Initiative to Strengthen and Diversify its Global Internet Infrastructure by 2010
By Derek Iwasiuk
Named Project Titan, the initiative’s aim is to increase the capabilities of VeriSign’s infrastructure to manage the explosive surge in interactions taking place as e-commerce, social networking and Internet-enabled wireless devices place huge new demands on the Internet while at the same time protecting against cyber attacks that are growing in both scale and sophistication.
The Project Titan initiative includes the expansion of VeriSign’s critical infrastructure both in scale and location and investment in new engineering, monitoring and security systems to support the growth in Internet traffic. Over the next three years, VeriSign will increase its daily Domain Name System (DNS) query capacity from 400 billion queries a day to over 4 trillion queries a day and will scale its proprietary constellation of resolution systems to increase their bandwidth from over 20 gigabits per second (Gbps) to greater than 200 Gbps. In addition, by distributing its infrastructure to many more locations around the globe, the .com and .net systems will have greater redundancy and reduced latency, which will improve the experience for users by reducing bottlenecks and increasing speed. State of the art engineering enhancements to the system will also create increased capability to track, correlate and pinpoint security and network related events on a global basis.
“With the emergence of consumer-driven services and the surge in web-ready wireless devices, the Internet we know today is radically different than the one we knew just five years ago,” said Stratton Sclavos, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of VeriSign. “We must make sure that VeriSign’s infrastructure is ready to support a new era of the Internet, the Any Era, where billions of users demand anywhere, anytime, any device access to communications, information and entertainment.”
Sclavos will go into greater detail regarding Project Titan during his Keynote Address at 2 pm PT today at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, CA.
Project Titan will strengthen the Internet infrastructure to support the explosive growth driven by the emergence of next-generation networks as well as web services and machine-to-machine interactions. Industry forecasts suggest that growth will continue through 2010 as the number of Internet users is expected to nearly double to 1.8 billion, most of the 2 billion cell-phones will be web-enabled and tens of millions of households switch to voice over IP (VoIP) telephony and IP television (IPTV) services.
In addition to increased demand, these networks must be fortified and in some cases re-engineered to address the growing threats from new and increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks. Security vulnerabilities have increased 700 percent since 2000, according to Carnegie Mellon University's Computer Emergency Response Team and bandwidth requirements on VeriSign’s infrastructure between 2000 and 2010 will have increased by a factor of 10,000.
In 2007 and 2008 alone, cyber attacks are expected to increase in size and scope by 50 percent each year, creating new threats to economic and national security. These include incidents that threaten our government, such as last year’s attacks that hacked government websites, and attacks against commercial websites, such as the hacker who used tens of thousands of hijacked PCs to launch denial of service attacks that systematically disabled over 1,500 websites including major Internet service providers. The scope and sophistication of attacks have been highly volatile over the last five years – suddenly spiking as new and more powerful tactics are discovered and deployed – and thus VeriSign must consistently overprovision and adjust its security approach to meet the uncertain nature of these threats.
VeriSign manages the critical infrastructure that handles registration and resolution traffic for the .com and .net systems. In doing so, VeriSign manages an average of 24 billion Domain Name System (DNS) queries a day. A DNS query occurs every time an Internet user clicks on a website, checks email or their computer applications utilize the .com and .net infrastructures. This does not include the vast number of computers that communicate with each other via automatically generated DNS queries. VeriSign additionally operates the “A” and “J” root servers, which serve as the central directory to route Internet traffic to other top level domains.
The multi-year Project Titan initiative includes:
* Deployment of infrastructure into new regions. VeriSign intends to accelerate its deployment of Regional Internet Resolution Sites to over 100 locations globally by 2010. These RIRS extend the .com and .net infrastructures across the world, which diversifies the systems, increases stability and improves resolution speed for end users. These widely distributed sites also direct region-specific DNS traffic to certain resolution sites to enable more effective quarantining of malicious traffic. VeriSign currently has over twenty regional resolution sites deployed in countries such as Korea, China, Brazil, Kenya and Egypt and will extend to locations such as India, Germany, Chile and South Africa.
* Deployment of new network operations centers. VeriSign is building additional network operations centers in the United States and Europe to efficiently manage and provide increased redundancy for Internet traffic. These sites will expand VeriSign’s data center capacity and diversify its locations to improve Internet traffic management and counter region-specific cyber attacks and threats.
* Significant expansion of existing infrastructure. VeriSign is expanding its existing registration and resolution infrastructure to manage the increasing demands on the .com and .net systems. By 2010, VeriSign will increase by more than ten fold the number of resolution sites (or points of presence) and more than double the number of registration servers deployed. These servers run specialized software in fault - tolerant architectures engineered by VeriSign to manage resolution traffic and registration transactions at ever-increasing rates.
* Development of new technologies and processes. VeriSign is developing next generation monitoring and response services that will help better manage .com and .net traffic and better protect the systems against cyber threats. The monitoring systems will rapidly diagnose Internet traffic anomalies, which often appear in advance of a cyber attack, enabling pre-emptive action to minimize impact. VeriSign will also implement new DNS security protocols to better protect Internet traffic.
“Fortifying and strengthening our Internet infrastructure is very technical in nature, but its impact is not. Keeping the infrastructure reliable and secure keeps our economy working, our communications seamless and our government operations reliable,” said Ken Silva, Chief Security Officer of VeriSign. “We believe that the Project Titan initiative is an important part of keeping the Internet a trusted platform and tool that we all rely upon.”
VeriSign’s current financial projections include the costs associated with Project Titan. For more information visit, www.verisign.com/titan.
VeriSign, Inc. (Nasdaq: VRSN), operates intelligent infrastructure services that enable and protect billions of interactions every day across the world’s voice and data networks. Additional news and information about the company is available at http://www.verisign.com.
VeriSign, and other trademarks, service marks, and logos are registered or unregistered trademarks of VeriSign and its subsidiaries in the United States and in foreign countries.
Copyright © 2007 VeriSign, Inc. All rights reserved.
For more information, contact: VeriSign Media Relations: Rufus Manning, [email protected], 703.948.4126
VeriSign Investor Relations: Ken Bond, [email protected], 650.426.3744
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