Over the past few decades, one of the most significant tools that cybersecurity professionals have relied on has been the WHOIS Database; this is essentially a list of publicly available records relating to domain names. This mainly includes information such as dates when these were registered, updated, or are due to expire. However, what cybersecurity experts mainly used these databases for is the other information that’s also listed there; this includes contact details such as the names of individuals or organizations who own these websites. It also includes details of anyone tasked with maintaining these websites, such as IT staff.

Recent GDPR Legislation

However, recent legislation enacted by the European Union may threaten this very process. This is because recent General Data Protection Rule laid out by the EU mandates that much of this information be removed. Without access to this WHOIS Database, especially in its current form, cybersecurity specialists will find it a lot harder to do their jobs. This is chiefly down to the fact that without being able to access this data, it will be a lot harder to determine trusted entities versus malicious ones. This is increasingly more of a problem when the rise of cybercriminals who use such entities to spread malware around the world. By removing much of the information available on the Database, the European Union is stripping away one of the most effective means that security professionals have in figuring out who’s good and who’s bad.

As a result of this, many in the cybersecurity industry are expecting a rise in malicious digital attacks and hacks over the next few months, and possibly even years. However, it’s next to impossible to predict by how much these attacks will rise. Because of this, many specialists are hoping that the GDPR rules may be changed to provide a certain amount of exception for security experts. With that in mind, many have been attempting to come up with ways that cybersecurity experts may be able to access this information while still being GDPR compliant. However, this may not be easy or even possible to do unless there’s some change to the law as it stands.

How It Affects Cybersecurity Professionals

Without access to a proper WHOIS Database, it’s very likely that cybersecurity experts will become even more reliant on the likes of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. Having said that, this will need a significant amount of time and resource investment, meaning that cybercriminals may be able to launch an untold number of attacks in the interim. Regardless of which approach wins out, it’s essential that some way to keep tabs on malicious actors is found. Legitimate website owners also have a vested interest in ensuring that this is ended amicably; strong and informed cybersecurity means that the vast majority of website owners won’t need to worry about fraud or any other form of digital hack.

Because of that, they’ll be able to better protect their business, as well as their customers, from a variety of unwanted and unexpected scams. Cybersecurity experts and website owners alike are hoping this can be figured out soon.