Is brand protection so important? Yes. Very much!
According to a 2020 study, 70% of customers believe that brand trust is more important now than ever, and 53% make their purchase decisions based on their trust in the brand. Anything that affects the brand’s trust and credibility is damaging. So, proactive brand protection is a business imperative.
This article delves into how brand protection and cybersecurity are important to one another and ways to strengthen brand protection.
What is Brand Protection? Why is it Essential to Cybersecurity?
As the name suggests, brand protection is the method/ way of securing the brand and everything associated with it, such as sensitive data, intellectual property, logo, etc., to keep the brand value, trust, and credibility intact. It includes a set of security strategies that effectively and continuously shield the brand and associated assets from threats, such as counterfeiting, fraud, impersonation, pirating, etc.
Brand Protection and Cybersecurity
When cybercriminals impersonate a brand, plagiarize brand content, engage in counterfeiting products, or create fake websites, it reflects poorly on the brand. It causes irrevocable brand image erosion, reputational damage and financial losses, and legal costs as the trust in the brand is broken. This is why brand protection is as important as protecting any other business-critical assets and must be part of every organization’s cybersecurity strategy.
Today, the situation is particularly more complex since the attack surface is much wider with the growth of remote working. Plus, the number of digital assets used is massive. So, there are so many more vulnerabilities for attackers to exploit and more opportunities to manipulate their way into gaining access to mission-critical assets. So, effective brand protection helps organizations keep their security posture hardened by thwarting damaging cyberattacks.
Brand Threats in the Shifting Threat Landscape
Brand impersonation is one of the biggest and most complicated threats facing organizations today. In these attacks, the threat actor impersonates a trusted brand to trick unsuspecting victims into taking risky actions such as sharing sensitive information and credentials, transferring money, buying contraband products, visiting a fake website, downloading malware, and so on.
There are several attack vectors that attackers use in orchestrating brand impersonation:
- Email attacks/ Typosquatting where attackers trick victims into believing that the email is from a trusted source. Attackers rely on the fact that people don’t always closely check domain names and use spoof domain names by making unidentifiable typos in the domain name.
- Phishing websites: Attackers create fake websites that look and feel like the brand’s actual website. So, unsuspecting users share credentials, download malware, or do the attacker’s bidding.
- Social media-based impersonation: Attackers create fake social media accounts that are seemingly legitimate. They use the brand’s logo, tonality, and so on. They use these accounts to direct victims to be fake/ malicious websites or perform other risky actions.
- CEO/ Top Executive Impersonation: Attackers pretending as CEOs or other C-level executives send out a communication to low-level employees into releasing funds, sharing sensitive information, and so on.
- Product Plagiarism: Attackers rip off product content from established brands and post it on their websites. This content duplication weakens search engine rankings and reduces the traffic inflow into websites.
In H1 2020 alone, there was a 381% increase in brand impersonations! One large company surveyed in a study reported having received 300,000 brand impersonation and fraudulent emails in just one month!
Intellectual Property Infringements
The rapid advent of the internet has enabled attackers to abuse trademarks and IPs. They sell counterfeit goods through brand impersonation, use malicious SEO tactics to target brand names, leverage phishing to gain IP access, etc.
Another way attackers target brands is through website defacements, wherein they replace the brand content with their own content. Such attacks tarnish the brand image.
Other Major Threats Facing Brands
- Data Leaks
- DDoS attacks
- Insider Threats
- Phishing attacks
Ensure Robust Brand Protection
Attackers are persistent in their attempts to achieve their goals. So, there is no space to be lax about brand protection. You need to be proactive, consistent, and smart about brand protection to keep your brand and business online and protected always.
Given the importance of brand protection to cybersecurity, it cannot be the marketing, sales, and branding teams’ prerogative or the cybersecurity team’s responsibility alone. Brand protection must be a collaborative effort between all teams and stakeholders.
Brand protection should not be just a set of tools that match signatures and prevent threats. Effective brand protection solutions provide comprehensive intelligence gathering, continuous monitoring, and proactive prevention of threats – known and emerging. This is particularly important for brands exposed to high-risk external digital environments such as e-commerce companies, B2C businesses, financial services, etc.
The Way Forward
Start securing your brand and business with an intelligent, managed, and next-gen security solution like Indusface AppTrana today!