Help us develop products you need

By on 2 Nov 2018

Category: Community

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Not long ago I shared with you why and how we are now implementing a Product Management framework at APNIC and the lifecycle we are applying to both new and existing products.

In this post, I want to discuss some of the product ideas we are currently working on related to improving how network operators can access routing and network security information.

Improving dialogue to assist with routing issues

Due to a general lack of BGP data being collected in the Asia Pacific region, there is a distinct possibility that the available tools for detecting and troubleshooting network reachability issues offer an incomplete and inaccurate view of the Internet topology in the region, making it hard for network operators to properly do their job.

We wanted to understand how network operators currently deal with these issues; what their concerns and pain points are and how accurate they think the tools they currently use are. To test our hypotheses, we conducted face-to-face interviews with members of our community during APNIC 46.

To our surprise, we detected that the main difficulties for network operators when dealing with routing issues are not technical but are instead related to communication. They find it hard to either identify the right person to contact or have open dialogue with if there is no commercial obligation, making the time to solve issues much longer.

As a result of this feedback, we plan to do some more user research to better understand these communication issues and try to come up with a possible solution that we can test with our community.

We are already working on improving whois accuracy, and the implementation of the prop-125 policy proposal, which has recently reached consensus, will contribute to this. 

Fresh data key for tackling network security

Not having fresh data from honeynets can be a big challenge for network operators when it comes to assessing and mitigating cyber threats that manifest by sending malicious traffic outside of their network.

We are in the process of developing new tools to help network operators detect devices infected with malware, while also providing them with advice on how to respond to and mitigate security issues.

We tested and received positive feedback on this product with participants at APNIC 46 and plan to start working on developing a first version of a fully functional prototype.

A one-stop-shop with more than just stats

An observation from the 2016 and 2018 APNIC Survey is that there are many people in the community searching for information, data and statistics that are already publicly available but not easily accessible.

In response, we’re working on a concept to collect statistical measurements, and any other charts or raw data that may be of interest to our community, in a single place; not just stats. That’s why I refer to this concept as More Than Stats (MoTS).

We had originally hypothesized that network managers in our community were the main consumers of this data, basing their network decisions on it. However, after getting more insights on this from members of the community, we realized that the main group who has an interest in this data are Internet researchers. Therefore, we will now be focusing on trying to better understand their needs.

A key element of the MoTS idea is APNIC’s new Internet Directory, which has recently been released. We will use this as a starting point to then incorporate other elements useful to users.

Do you have any of these problems or needs? If so, how do you currently deal with them?

Help us create the right tools by providing feedback in the comment section below or registering your interest in participating in user interviews or other user research activities that we perform.

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The views expressed by the authors of this blog are their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of APNIC. Please note a Code of Conduct applies to this blog.


  1. Suetena

    As we move from a stationary access zone by desktop and workstation to a more remote and mobile access more and more use of mobile technology as a pivot for malware attacks and network servallence to Happen mobile devices and portable devices is one layer that most forget to secure let alone monitor.

    This would be a great area to build up a technology for mobilehoney pot to see what actually lurks between the apps that you use. More and more attackers are using apps a method of pivoting in to a secure network and dropping there payloads

    1. Sofia

      Hello Suetana!

      Thanks a lot for your comment.

      I have already taken a note on your idea. Definitely a very interesting area to explore.


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