Contingency and Continuity of Operations Plan Test Report

23 October 2019

ICANN and PTI maintain a Contingency and Continuity of Operations Plan (“CCOP”) for the IANA Naming Function. This Plan is compiled and tested in accordance with section 5.2(b) of the IANA Naming Functions Agreement effective 1 October 2016, which reads:

“[PTI] shall collaborate with ICANN to develop and implement a [CCOP] for the IANA Naming Function. [PTI] in collaboration with ICANN shall from time to time update and annually test the CCOP as necessary to maintain the security and stability of the IANA Naming Function. The CCOP shall include details on plans for continuation of the IANA Naming Function in the event of cyber or physical attacks, emergencies, or natural disasters. [PTI] shall submit the CCOP to ICANN after each update and publish on the IANA Website a report documenting the outcomes of the CCOP tests within 90 calendar days of the annual test.”

This current version of the CCOP was updated and approved by the President of PTI in July 2019.

CCOP Annual Test

The CCOP is tested annually to enable robust collaboration amongst the incident response team in a safe environment. The exercise tests awareness of activities conducted by each party in case of operational failures, and seeks to identify opportunities to refine the approach described within.

For this year’s test, two scenarios were devised to simulate different types of disasters. The first scenario described significant power outages in Southern California. The second scenario described a snow storm incapacitating the US East Coast during the week of the Key Signing Ceremony.

A tabletop exercise was performed on July 30, 2019 to test the CCOP’s ability to deal with these events. Present for the test were the PTI Continuity Team, comprised of key staff members that perform the IANA functions that would take lead in restoration efforts. Also present were representatives from ICANN’s Engineering & Information Technology, Communications, and Risk Management departments.


A report identifying strengths and opportunities for improvement was delivered to the PTI President on 20 September 2019. The following feedback and recommendations were provided:

  • The exercise was successful in demonstrating that the plan was adequate to respond to the scenarios presented
  • Invite additional ICANN departments to participate in the exercise going forward (Human Resources, Facilities, Security)
  • Invite external contracted parties such as the Root Zone Maintainer to participate in future exercises
  • Identify different categories of events and develop specific standard operating procedures for each type
  • Investigate emergency management communications services to optimize notification of staff during events
  • Monitor the evolution of the ICANN-wide Business Continuity Plan to identify opportunities for additional alignment

The recommendations in this report will be studied to identify priorities for our upcoming work program.


Name: Kim Davies Position: President, PTI Date: 14 October 2019