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Fiscal Year 2023 Annual Report to Members


Delivering on our mission to promote a trusted internet for Canadians

A message from
CIRA’s board chair:


As we take a look back at CIRA’s 2023 fiscal year, it is clear that a new industry landscape is upon us. Many of the trends we saw during the pandemic have receded and some new realities have taken hold.

This new environment has impacted CIRA’s programs, products and operations. I am confident that the organization has the leadership, people and strategy in place to maintain its valued position in Canada’s internet ecosystem.

No where is the impact of this new environment more visible than with CIRA’s core mandate, .CA domains. Prior to the pandemic, .CA domains, and the domain name industry as whole, were experiencing slowing growth as the sector settled into its maturity phase. The pandemic kickstarted a new growth phase—thousands of businesses, services, industries and individuals that were internet laggards, rushed to get online. With the end of the pandemic formally announced by the WHO, this high-growth era has mostly subsided.

In this past fiscal year, the .CA domain saw a return to pre-pandemic norms with a growth rate of 2.7 per cent, which still outpaces the top 30 country code top-level domain (ccTLD) operators which grew by an average of 1.9 per cent. As of March 31, 2023 there were 3,362,057 .CA domains under management. The increased investments made in .CA awareness continue to pay dividends and the board is optimistic that the .CA team will continue to outperform the industry.

Several years ago, CIRA made the proactive decision to build its own next-generation registry platform to power the .CA domain into the future. With this advanced registry platform now running the .CA domain, the industry has begun to take notice.

The CIRA Registry Platform entered the market with a very specific goal, to provide a platform for like-minded, community centric registries around the world who were looking for a new technology base. To date, the CIRA Registry Platform manages more than 4.5 million domains including .IE , .SX .MLS .KIWI and .ECO. In FY23, the ccTLD for New Zealand, .NZ, was onboarded onto the platform along with .CROWN.

This strategically benefits CIRA’s core mandate, the operation of .CA, as each TLD added to our registry strengthens not only market viability but also enables us to implement best practices from international TLDs into the CIRA Registry Platform code base. CIRA is truly building a global community of TLDs and the strength of that community will only serve to protect .CA as the industry matures, consolidates and changes.

One area that has not seen a post-pandemic slowdown is cybersecurity. Indeed, the pace of cybersecurity challenges has only grown as our world becomes more reliant on the internet and threat actors see an opportunity to capitalize.

CIRA is uniquely positioned as a critical player in Canada’s security landscape. Leadership and investment in new products and services have set the stage for CIRA to be a key player in the cybersecurity defense of our country. More than 8.4 million users in schools, hospitals, universities, small businesses, government and even Canadian households, are now protected by CIRA Cybersecurity Services. CIRA DNS Firewall alone blocks more than 180 million malicious queries every month and CIRA Canadian Shield, the organization’s free service for individuals and families, blocks another 17 million queries and has more than 4 million users. When you consider that a third of all ccTLDs users are protected from DDoS attacks via CIRA Anycast DNS it is easy to see how the organization is developing a reputation as a cybersecurity leader.

Last year was also a big year for CIRA’s community initiatives, with the launch of Net Good by CIRA, the new name that encompasses all of our programs, products and activities intended to support making the internet a better place for everyone. A big part of the Net Good initiative is the annual grants program that has provided $10.45 million over the past 10 years to various projects that support a trusted internet for Canadians.

CIRA’s ability to make an impact is a direct result of its people. CIRA is recognized as a leading-edge, inclusive workplace that attracts and maintains top talent. CIRA has adopted a hybrid work environment that has struck a balance between flexibility and collaboration. CIRA has been recognized for the eighth year in a row as a top employer in the National Capital Region by Canada’s Top Employers and our Vice-President of People, Culture & Brand, Sanita Alias, was named HR leader of the year. It is this high performing team and dynamic culture that makes CIRA such a great place to work.

As Chair of the CIRA Board, I am proud of the work we have done to help guide and oversee this organization. CIRA and its board are committed to the highest standards of governance and the multi-stakeholder model that has served this organization so well for more than 20 years.

CIRA is well-positioned to navigate the dramatic changes taking place in the market. The work that the organization is doing to strengthen and protect the .CA domain through registry services and exchanging best practices with like-minded registries around the world is a testament to the forward-thinking approach of its leadership. CIRA has the leadership, people, tools, processes, products and culture to do great things in our 2024 fiscal year and beyond.

On behalf of the board, I would like to thank CIRA staff and management for their efforts and dedication.  In particular, I would like to express my confidence in, and appreciation of the leadership provided by Byron Holland, the President and CEO. I look forward to continuing to work with this incredible team to help build a trusted internet for Canadians.



Operate: delivering on our core mission

.CA Performance in FY23

As businesses adapted to a new normal, CIRA continued to leverage the accelerated interest in website building and domain names, promoting the value of .CA domains for small and medium businesses. CIRA managed to achieve a growth rate of 2.7%—while top 30 country code top-level domain (ccTLD) operators grew by 1.9%. At the close of FY23 there were 3,362,057 .CA domains under management. 

Marketing activities

In FY23, on the heels of CIRA’s three-year Make your website true north strong advertising campaign, it was time for Canadian businesses to receive wisdom from one of Canada’s iconic symbols: the Canadian Goose. CIRA’s new Choose success, choose .CA campaign was featured on CBC’s Dragon Den, broadcast TV, digital TV, YouTube and social media. 



Innovate: Creating new opportunities

Cybersecurity services

CIRA continues to develop new cybersecurity technologies and services by leveraging its DNS knowledge, technical expertise and global infrastructure.


Users protected by CIRA in FY23


CIRA DNS Firewall

CIRA DNS Firewall is a cloud-based cybersecurity solution that protects organizations from malware, ransomware, phishing and other cyber attacks.  Organizations are recognizing the extra defence it provides to their existing technologies as it continues to show rapid adoption across the country.

CIRA DNS Firewall stats


Active Firewall users—as of end of FY23


Firewall customersas of end of FY23


Botnet blocksmonthly average 


Malware blocks—monthly average


Phishing blocksmonthly average 

Users Protected by DNS Firewall:


K-12 Schoolsas of end of FY23



Healthcare institutionsas of end of FY23


Municipalitiesas of end of FY23



Universities and research networks as of end of FY23



CIRA Cybersecurity Awareness Training

CIRA Cybersecurity Awareness Training is an integrated courseware and phishing simulation platform that enables organizations to educate their staff to protect themselves from cyber risks like social engineering and ransomware.  

This service continues to be adopted across Canada as organizations recognize that the first line of defence against hackers is a cyber-savvy workforce. 


Customersas of end of FY23


Enterprise customersas of end of FY23


Employees protectedas of end of FY23



Protected by CIRA's Cybersecurity Awareness Training in FY23


Municipalities and government


K-12 Schools


Universities and research networks


Healthcare institutions

CIRA Canadian Shield

CIRA Canadian Shield is a free cybersecurity service that improves privacy by anonymizing DNS queries. It’s built by Canadians, exclusively for Canadian households, to block viruses, ransomware and other malware.

This year, CIRA added a new browser extension to simplify online safety for Canadians. The free Canadian Shield add-on allows more Canadian households to access online protection without any technical skills required 


Usersas of end of FY23


Blocks—last month



DNS and Registry services 

CIRA leverages its registry and DNS expertise to help organizations around the world manage and protect their domains. 

CIRA Anycast DNS

CIRA Anycast DNS offers world-class global authoritative DNS infrastructure to help organizations keep their websites and domains safe, resilient and high performing. A second version of this service, called CIRA TLD Anycast, is provided to registries around the world and is used by 35.12% of the world’s country-code top-level domains.  


Anycast DNS queries average per hour in FY23

Websites protected by Anycast DNS:

994,766 in FY23

70,300 in FY22

60,731 in FY21

38,107 in FY20


The CIRA Registry Platform

The CIRA Registry Platform leverages 23-year expertise managing Canada’s domain to continue its mission to support online communities around the world, from Ireland with .ie to Sint Maarten with .sx as well .kiwi, .eco and other ccTLDs and gTLDS. Each new TLD contributes to the platform’s stability and strength benefiting from CIRA’s research & development. 


Domains under management by CIRA Registry Platform


TLD Spotlight

In FY23, CIRA welcomed .nz, the ccTLD of Aotearoa New Zealand, to the CIRA Registry Platform family. The tailored infrastructure built in collaboration with InternetNZ, the organization in charge of .nz, will help operate more than 750,000 domains. 

Read the full press release

TLDs supported by CIRA



Donate: Investing in Canada’s internet

Net Good by CIRA

FY23 saw CIRA launch Net Good, a program that invests millions of dollars each year to bridge the digital divide and address some of Canada’s most pressing internet challenges. Net Good encompasses all the initiatives funded and led by CIRA that tackle the digital obstacles faced by communities across the country.  


Investedsince 2014


Projects fundedas of end of FY23

Beautiful Bridge River Valley gets high-speed thanks to a CIRA Grant 

Minto Communications Society, a non-profit ISP, received a grant to improve internet connectivity.  After investing in purchasing, constructing and installing upgraded infrastructure, all five communities of upper Bridge River Valley are now receiving high-speed internet service.

Read the full story

Internet Performance Test

With many aspects of life and work now shifted online due to our new post-pandemic reality, a lack of access to reliable high-speed internet or the knowledge of how to use the internet safely can isolate communities from participating in our digital society. CIRA continues to measure progress towards faster connectivity through our Internet Performance Test (IPT) platform. CIRA’s IPT is one of the most advanced tests of internet speed and quality available and helps rural Indigenous and remote communities across Canada measure their internet quality and advocate for better access. 


Internet Performance Tests conducted in FY23 


Lifetime Internet Performance Tests conducted  

Rural internet gap 

The median urban download speed is 3.6 times faster than in rural areas.

Internet Exchange Points 

CIRA supports Canada’s Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) by highlighting them as a key part of a healthy internet ecosystem in Canada.  CIRA peers at IXPs coast to coast and encourages all Canadian networks to peer at as many IXPs as possible to improve the resilience and independence of Canada’s internet. If you have an Autonomous System number, reach out to your local IXP to get connected. 



Organizational foundation: A CIRA built to succeed

topemp snap

For another year, CIRA has been named a top employer in the National Capital Region by Canada’s Top Employers. 


Sanita Alias, CIRA’s VP People, Culture & Brand was named
HR leader of the year by the Canadian HR Awards.

We were also named Excellence Awardees for Best HR Communication Strategy,
Best Canadian HR Team of the Year (fewer than 500) and Best Employer Branding.






spent on staff training and development

CIRA Membership




Annual member satisfaction score


of CIRA members actively participating in CIRA governance



For more information please

see our audited financials.

Read more