February 10, 2022by Cybersixgill

Brand Monitoring: Protect Your Hard-Earned Reputation from Impersonation

Building a successful and reputable brand is no easy feat, but keeping your hard work safe from cybercriminal copycats, hijackers, fraudsters and thieves can be. With automated brand monitoring within the deep and dark web, Cybersixgill provides a solution to help your team stay ahead of the bad guys and protect your brand from cyber threats.

Building a brand is a multidimensional process. Once you come up with a product or service, you need to create an original description that differentiates you from your competitors. This might involve the use of innovative logos, packaging, advertising and promotional content designed to familiarize the public with your specific company and offerings. This is a long and expensive endeavor. Accordingly, once you have invested the time and resources to establish your brand and its reputation, your hard work must then be appropriately maintained and protected from copycats, hijackers and thieves. We explore the issue of brand monitoring more fully in the Cybersixgill report that discusses the top 5 cybersecurity risks, written by Brad LaPorte, a former Gartner Senior Director Analyst and Cybersecurity Industry Expert.

How might your brand be attacked? First, through brand impersonation: commandeering of the company email domain, creation of phishing websites, use of similar looking social media platforms, website defacement or ad hijacking. By impersonating established brands with a strong reputation among consumers, threat actors capitalize on the fruits of your hard work, exploiting customer trust of your brand with social engineering techniques designed to dupe their targets into falling victim to cyberattack.

Second, the strong reputation of your brand may also be compromised by risks emanating from within - namely insider threats or inadequate data security protocols. Customers entrust established brands to protect any personal or private information they have on file. If this trust is abused by those within the organization, it will be difficult for the brand’s reputation to recover. Leaks coming from within are usually more difficult to stop - clearly, it’s impossible to read the mind of an unhappy employee to determine if they are planning to sell sensitive customer records for a payday via the dark web. Frankly, customers don’t discriminate if their data was leaked by a malicious employee, through a third-party exposure or as a result of failed vulnerability patching. Nobody likes to hear that a company they trusted with their information allowed data to slip out to the dark web.,

Finally, the most expensive way to ruin your brand’s reputation is by way of a ransomware attack. Who ever heard of the Colonial Pipeline Company before May 2021? Since the ransomware attack last spring, the Colonial Pipeline brand became synonymous with the words breach, ransomware, cyberattack and DarkSide - the hacker group who extorted $4.4 million in ransom from the incident. Any previous branding collateral that was created showing Colonial Pipeline to be a major provider and industry leader in the energy field has been entirely wiped from public recollection.

How Threat Intelligence Can Keep Your Brand Safe

Protection of your brand begins with active, automated monitoring of your distinctive identifiers - including domain name and logo - across the deep and dark web. The only way to pick up on cybercriminal attempts to exploit your brand for their personal gain is through automated and continuous scanning of the underground forums and marketplaces, where threat actors share their tips, tricks and tools for successful brand appropriation, advertising your reputation for the right price. Have your customers’ personal details been shared on shady forums? It is better to get ahead of the potential damage and warn those customers through advanced knowledge than have them find out about the breach in the media. Is there a phishing campaign using your brand as bait to dupe unwitting customers? If you identify it early, you can block compromised assets and move to takedown spoof domains before this brand abuse can materialize into a live attack. When it comes to potential ransomware attacks, protect your brand by monitoring deep and dark web discourse (in any language) concerning your company while keeping your security team cognizant and vigilant regarding the latest risk and attack methods in order to enhance detection and prevention of attempted attacks.

Cybersixgill can provide comprehensive visibility into potential threats to your brand through automated delivery of information about domains, URLs, and IP addresses. The company’s Darkfeed solution continuously harnesses an extensive collection of deep and dark web sources, providing unique and advanced warnings about new cyberthreats. It also incorporates OCR image to text capture to see if your logo is being misused.

With many organizations challenged by the never-ending barrage of threats, which seem to be continuously advancing in terms of volume and sophistication, you need to evolve accordingly, with an automated solution that provides powerful threat intelligence. It is the least you can do for your brand and company reputation.

Get the full eBook to learn about The Top 5 Risks and how to prevent and protect with threat intelligence.

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