Your name is everything. It builds consumer trust, revenue, and your legacy: if you want your brand to stand for the right things, protecting it is a must.
The online world has become an invaluable place to project your brand. Customers now rely on these digital interactions. But with these rewards comes inherent cyber security risk. Threat actors are eager to steal a slice of your brand’s success, digitally targeting organizations in a relentless effort to steal intellectual property for financial gain.
Even though the brand is not directly involved, brand abuse triggers a loss of customer trust and interaction with the related organization, negatively affecting sales and the bottom line. Brand protection must become part of every organization’s cyber security strategy if you aim to secure consumer relationships, brand identity, and the overall value of your organization.
How is Brand Abuse Carried Out?
Brand abuse is on the rise and can be the first stepping stone to cyber attacks. Some of the forms it takes include:
Threat actors can impersonate your brand to gather contact details of customers to use in fraudulent activity or sell on the cyber underground. If the email comes from within your network, as a result of an account takeover (ATO) for example, it is far more likely to avoid the customer’s junk inbox and succeed.
A website impersonating your brand may be set up to sell counterfeit products, which may potentially be unsafe, or harvest an unsuspecting customer’s personal details. The URL may be only subtly different to the brand’s, this is known as domain spoofing.
A threat actor might use brand names or their products in hidden text, tags, or keywords to misdirect customers to a different website as they enter the terms into an organic search engine. The website may include harmful content or links that facilitate the downloading of malware.
What Can You Do?
This should be the first step in any brand protection strategy as, legally, there is very little that can be done against brand abuse without this step. Also registering your domain names will help with the removal of rogue websites that damage your brand.
Train employees to recognise social engineering attacks such as phishing scams so it is far harder for threat actors to steal confidential data, and undermine brand value through this attack vector.
Search social media and marketplaces to keep tabs on how your logo and other brand assets are being used. Content you find that infringes copyright law should be moderated.
How Can Intel 471 Help?
Use Intel 471’s Attack Surface Protection to regularly map your internet-facing assets and discover unknown assets such as unused, unpatched devices to reduce possible entry-points for an attacker, or rogue assets such as scam websites. We ensure full visibility of your brand’s assets and also any third party supplier you might employ, so that you can help avoid cyber attacks and maintain control of your hard earned reputation.
There is no day off from protecting your brand. We perform continuous monitoring of the cyber underground to ensure any threats to your brand are immediately alerted to. We ensure you get ahead of the attackers, and are better placed to protect your brand value.
Extend monitoring by setting up watchers within the Images, OCR, and Logos function of our TITAN platform so that you can be alerted upon the identification of the use of your logo on fake websites or goods for sale, and mobilize your incident response as necessary.
We find the needle in the haystack: By continuously collecting data from tens of millions of unique data points (including human, machine, and malware) you can search, filter, monitor, and set alerts for terms of relevance to you from compromised credentials to counterfeit goods. Intel 471 also allows you to discern between newly compromised credentials or older, repackaged releases to enable a targeted response from your organization.
A reputation takes years to build, but seconds to destroy. Augment your brand protection with our Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI). Our combination of automated collection and global network of analysts enables you to quickly identify the malicious use of your IP and stay one step ahead of attackers to prevent future brand abuse and associated reputational damage. Intel 471 can: