Brand-Oriented Digital Risk Protection Services: What You Need to Know
You’ve established your business, strengthened your brand identity, and ensured that your business has a strong online presence. But brand-oriented digital risks have the potential to derail your business’ progress and threaten your relationships with your clients and investors.
What are brand-oriented digital risks?
Put simply, these are online frauds and security attacks launched by cybercriminals. They utilize different techniques and methods, but their goal is the same - to exploit your business and its customers, in order to steal their data, typically for financial gain.
In 2021, there was a major 20% spike in data breaches, which cost businesses an average of a shocking $3.86 million. Usually, a business’ CISO has protocols in place and tools at their disposal to protect internal networks and data inside the business’ firewalls, but that’s simply not enough anymore. There are external threats to a business’ cybersecurity that fall outside the company’s perimeter, and they can have a devastating effect if they’re not detected and removed quickly..
Common online threats facing brands today include:
- Malicious domains - The issue here is various forms of cybersquatting. This includes typosquatting which involves registering domains that catch commonly misspelled URLs that look similar to the real name. Another form is IDN abuse, which is the proliferation of International Domain Names for the purpose of online brand abuse.
- Social media impersonation - Online cybercriminals set up fake social media profiles in order to impersonate the brand itself or its executives. . Impersonating the brand enables them to sell counterfeit merchandise to unsuspecting consumers. By masquerading as senior executives at a business, they can gain access to privileged information or accounts.
- Whaling attacks - Far more sophisticated than a run-of-the-mill phishing attempt, these attacks aimed at high-level executives use emails that are virtually indistinguishable from legitimate communication.
- Revenue loss - Counterfeits, infringements, and other brand-oriented risks steal your revenues from potential customers. Dealing with the consequences of these issues is an additional drain on your revenue.
- Reputation loss - Counterfeits being sold at lower prices cause customers to wonder why your prices are so comparatively high. Consumers who have purchased these fake goods of fall victim to a phishing or impersonation scam often blame the genuine brand for not protecting them against online scams.
- Rogue mobile apps - Designed to mimic the legitimate version of apps offered by brands, these fake programs fool victims into downloading malware. In most cases, these apps simply pretend to sell genuine brands, while in reality they are fraudulent, intending to phish credentials.
Referring to executive impersonation and whaling attacks, Mark Guntrip, Senior Director of Cybersecurity Strategy at Menlo Security explains, “Those random and targeted emails are a simple way for attackers to potentially gain access to a treasure trove of data through an individual's device.”
When cybercriminals win: The fallout for your business
A successful attack in any of the above categories can have serious consequences for your business, both in terms of your bottom line and brand reputation. To make matters worse, the road to recovery is long and challenging. Measuring the impact of cyberattacks is far from straightforward. While the immediate financial consequences are often clear, the attack can create shockwaves that can rock your business’ foundation for years to come.
The revelation that your business has fallen victim to a cyberattack can cause your customer retention rates and the quality of your business partner relationships to plummet. Consumers have the tendency to blame the genuine brand; they don't necessarily realize that they have fallen victim to a scam and believe the brand should take responsibility. Additionally, if it’s found that your business was partially at fault, by failing to take appropriate security measures, you’ll likely face greater regulatory scrutiny and legal issues. Such developments will inevitably affect your business’ bottom line.
“The hidden costs of cyber-attacks can be astronomical,” says Kelvin Murray, senior threat researcher at Carbonite + Webroot. “With ransomware attacks, for example, we find the hidden or additional costs of the attack amount to much more than the cost of the ransom itself, which is why so many choose to pay. Hidden costs include operational costs (loss of time), brand and reputational damage, data loss costs and heavy hits in the way of insurance premiums.”
Taking defensive measures now, by investing in digital risk protection services, is significantly easier than scrambling to pick up the pieces later.
How do brand-oriented digital risk protection services help your business?
Brand-oriented digital risk protection services can help businesses safeguard themselves from online scams that occur beyond the confines of their firewall. The key to effective risk protection is that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution - it needs to be tailored to meet a business’ unique needs and vulnerabilities, and address a wide variety of techniques used by online cybercriminals.
Your risk protection strategy should include the following:
- Brand protection - Constant monitoring of website content in order to detect various scams using your business’ name, or pretending to actually be a branch of your business.
- Threat hunting and disruption - Multi-layer remediation and ongoing vigilance are critical so that you can quickly take down fraudulent sites or content.
- Social media impersonation protection - Keep a close eye on the accounts and pages of your brand and its high-level executives for hacks or imposter pages.
- Fraud campaign protection - Fake paid ads are an important part of cybercriminals’ strategy, and warrant swift action from your brand.
- Actionable threat intelligence - A map of ongoing online threats gives you the opportunity to preemptively stop attacks or launch a lightning-fast response.
Businesses need to embrace a robust, multipronged approach to combat cybercriminals and quickly respond to attacks as they’re happening in real time.
Fortunately, there are digital risk protection services which can help mitigate the dangers of online attacks, from phishing to fraud and impersonation. BrandShield leverages AI and machine learning for a powerful SaaS package that ensures best-in-class protection against brand-oriented online threats.
We provide businesses with the complete, comprehensive protection they need to safeguard their reputation and their customers. At BrandShield, we have the experience to guide you on the best ways to shield your business from online threats. To learn more about how we can safeguard your business and clients contact us now.