Verisign Company Brief

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Company Brief

by Faulkner Staff

Docid: 00018492

Publication Date: 2112

Report Type: VENDOR


Verisign is a major Internet infrastructure services provider. It
operates the Internet registry for more than 172 million domain names using
the .com and .net extensions as well as other generic top-level domains. The
firm also manages two of the world’s 13 Internet root servers and the country
codes .cc and .tv, originally assigned for use by the Australian territory of
the Cocos Islands and the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, respectively.
Under Verisign’s management, .cc is more often used for sites as varied as
cycling clubs, Christian churches, and even Cape Cod, while .tv has become a
popular extension for Web sites related to television shows. Before moving
into naming services, Verisign started as a certificate authority providing
digital certificates that ensure the secure operation of the Internet. This
report reviews the company’s latest news and offerings, along with a snapshot
of Verisign’s history.

Report Contents:

Fast Facts

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Name: Verisign
12061 Bluemont Way
Reston, VA 20190
(703) 948-3200
Type of Vendor: Internet infrastructure services
including Internet registry
Founded: 1995
Employees: Approximately 900
Revenues (2010): $1.27 billion
Stock Symbol: VRSN (NASDAQ)


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Verisign, which was divested from RSA Security in 1995, was founded by
Stratton Sclavos and Jim Bidzos, who remains the company’s chief executive
officer. It began operations by introducing
digital trust services and in the late 1990s went public and
began selling encryption products overseas. Verisign acquired Network
Solutions in 2000, gaining the rights to the .com, .net, and .org Internet domain name
registrations that Network Solutions managed under agreements with the Internet Corporation for
Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and
the United States Department of Commerce. Three years later, Verisign gave
up operation of the .org domain as part of an agreement to assure that “org” Web addresses
would be reserved only for nonprofit organizations and to prevent the government from forcing
the firm to split into two businesses – one to manage the master list of Web addresses and
another to sell addresses. During this time, Verisign also operated as a certificate authority and offered
digital authentication services to companies. Its security suite included
public key infrastructure, Secure Sockets Layer certificate services,
trust services, and identity protection.

In 2007, Verisign announced a strategy to refocus its business and divest
some of its offerings. In 2010, the company sold its authentication
business to Symantec for $1.28 billion. The sale to Symantec included Verisign’s majority stake in Verisign
Japan. In 2018, Verisign sold the
customer contracts related to its Security Services business to Neustar
for about $120 million. In November 2020, Verisign’s R&D team
developed new methods for authenticating and optimizing DNS traffic on the
client side of the domain-name resolution process.

Verisign is the registry for the .com and .net generic top-level domains
and the .cc and the .tv country-code top-level domains. Aside from its
Registry Services, Verisign offers a range of Internet infrastructure
services and manages two of the world’s 13 Internet root servers – the
only company to control more than one of these operations that form the
backbone of the Internet.

Key Executives

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Verisign’s executive team includes the following individuals: 

  • Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer: D. James Bidzos
  • President and Chief Operating Officer: Todd Strubbe
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer: George Kilguss III
  • Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary: Thomas Indelicarto
  • Executive Vice President and Chief Security Officer: Danny McPherson
  • Senior Vice President, Naming and Directory Services: Patrick Kane
  • Senior Vice President, Marketing, Product and Channel Management: Ebrahim Keshavarz
  • Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer: Dr. Burt Kaliski, Jr.
  • Senior Vice President, Global Controller: John Calys
  • Senior Vice President, Human Resources: Ellen Petrocci
  • Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel: Jacquelyn Stewart
  • Senior Vice President, Technology Services: Bill Major
  • Senior Vice President, Executive Strategic Advisor: Scott Schnell

Major Services

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Table 1 lists and describes Verisign’s core services.

Table 1. Verisign’s Core Services



Registry Services
  • Operates the authoritative directory of all .com,
    .net, .cc, .tv, .gov, .edu, and .name domain names.
  • Verisign also operates the exclusive registry of domain names
    within the .com, .net, and .name generic top-level domains.
  • Internet Infrastructure
  • Provides routing support for approximately 172.1 million
    domain names, processing more than 238 billion domain name service (DNS)
    queries daily.
  • Manages relationships with approximately 2,000 ICANN-accredited regulators
    who submit mor than 100 million domain name transactions daily.
  • Major Competitors

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    In terms of its Registry Services, Verisign’s main competition comes from Neustar, Afilias, and CentralNic. To a lesser degree, search engine
    operators like Google, Bing, and Yahoo, along with the social networking
    site Facebook and microblogging platform Twitter, also pose

    Recent Activity

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    At the end of its 2021 fiscal year third quarter, Verisign
    reported revenue of $334 million, up 5.1 percent from the same quarter in 2020.
    Net income, however, was $157 million down from $171 million in the year-ago
    quarter. The firm’s operating margin was 66.2 percent. The quarter ended with
    172.1 million .com and .net domain name registrations in the domain name base, a
    5.1 percent increase from the end of the third quarter of 2020, and a net
    increase of 1.48 million during quarter.

    In November 2021, the US Patent and Trademark Office granted a patent to
    Verisign for "Detection of aberrant domain registration and resolution
    patterns." The patent describes a system that checks for anomalies in
    domain name registrations and resolution, tracking metrics on the registration
    side such as new registrations per registrar or registrar family and new
    registrations per registrant’s country. Such metrics could be used to track malware registrations and can be applied to DNS resolution to check for
    anomalies that might indicate a DDoS attack.

    In December 2021, Verisign announced that the third quarter of 2021 closed
    with 364.6 million domain name registrations across all top-level domains. This
    was a decrease of 2.7 million domain name registrations, or 0.7 percent,
    compared to the second quarter of 2021 and a decrease of 6.1 million, or 1.6
    percent, year-over-year. The firm also said that as of September 30, 2021, the
    .com domain name base totaled 158.6 million domain name registrations and the
    .net domain name base totaled 13.5 million domain name registrations.


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