Brand Protection


What is Brand Protection

Brand protection is the process of preventing others from illegally using your brand’s intellectual property, such as your brand name, identity, trademarks, copyrights, patents, and designs. Implementing an effective brand protection strategy prevents malicious activities that harm your organization while protecting your intellectual property rights.

By using a combination of tools and strategies, brand protection detects and stops brand abuse and impersonations online. This keeps your brand, employees, customers, and online community safe from threats like fake content and trademark violations.

Why is Brand Protection Important

Cybercriminals impersonate brands to trick people into giving away personal information, money, or access to secure systems. By pretending to be a trusted brand, they can create fake websites, emails, or social media profiles that look real. This makes it easier to steal passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive data.

Impersonating brands can also spread malware or phishing links, leading to further attacks. By detecting and stopping brand impersonations, organizations can help prevent fraud and data breaches. Ultimately, brand protection prevents consumers losing trust in the brand, prevents loss of revenue and protects your reputation.

Types of Brand Protection

There are various types of brand protection strategies that organizations can implement to safeguard their brand from cybercriminals and other malicious actors. Here are some common types:

  • Cyber Threat Intelligence: Leveraging cyber threat intelligence services to gather and analyze information about potential threats, leaked credentials, and attack vectors that could impact your brand’s digital assets and online presence.

  • Domain Name Protection: This involves registering and monitoring domain names that are similar or related to your brand name to prevent cybersquatting and phishing attacks. Additionally, you can implement domain name monitoring services to track and take action against any unauthorized use of your brand’s domain names.

  • Trademark Registration and Enforcement: Registering your brand’s trademarks and actively enforcing them can help protect your brand from infringement and counterfeiting. IP theft and counterfeiting is two of the main forms of intellectual property infringement. That’s why monitoring for unauthorized use of your trademarks online and taking appropriate legal action is crucial to maintaining the integrity of your brand

  • Online Brand Monitoring: Implementing brand monitoring solutions to track and detect instances of brand abuse, such as counterfeit products, phishing websites, or unauthorized use of your brand assets across various online platforms, including social media, e-commerce sites, and forums.

  • Anti-Phishing and Anti-Fraud Measures: Deploying anti-phishing and anti-fraud technologies to detect and block phishing attempts, fraudulent websites, and other malicious activities that could harm your brand’s reputation and customers.

  • Digital Rights Management (DRM): Implementing DRM solutions to protect your digital assets, such as software, videos, or documents, from unauthorized access, copying, or distribution.

Examples of Brand Impersonation Attacks

  1. Facebook and Google Phishing Scam: A Lithuanian man, Evaldas Rimasauskas, tricked Facebook and Google into sending him over $100 million by impersonating a legitimate Taiwanese hardware company. This sophisticated phishing scam involved fake invoices and careful forgery to appear as a trusted business partner​
  2. Atlassian Data Leak: In February 2023, Atlassian experienced a data leak when hackers used stolen employee credentials to access a third-party vendor, Envoy. The attackers leaked thousands of employee records, including email addresses, phone numbers, and office floor plans. This incident highlighted the risks associated with using third-party applications and the importance of securing employee credentials​​.
  3. Fake Elon Musk Twitter Scam: Scammers created fake Twitter accounts impersonating Elon Musk to promote cryptocurrency scams. They used hacked verified accounts and newly created fake accounts to tweet about fake cryptocurrency giveaways, tricking users into sending Bitcoin to fraudulent addresses.

How to Protect Against Brand Impersonation Attacks

Organizations can protect themselves against brand impersonation attacks by implementing a combination of proactive strategies, technological solutions, and employee training. Here are some key steps:

1. Monitor Social Media and Online Presence

  • Use automated tools to continuously monitor social media platforms and the web for rogue websites, fake profiles, impersonation attempts, and unauthorized use of the brand name.
  • Regularly search for variations of your brand name and logos to identify potential threats and fraudulent activity early.

2. Secure Verification Processes

  • Ensure that all official social media accounts are verified. Verified accounts are less likely to be impersonated and easier for users to trust.
  • Encourage customers to follow only verified accounts and communicate this policy clearly on the organization’s official website and social media pages.

3 Implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

  • Use MFA for all accounts, especially those used for managing social media and online customer interactions. This adds an extra layer of security against unauthorized access.
  • Mandate the use of a password manager to generate unique passwords and autofill credentials when authenticating

4. Educate Employees and Customers

  • Conduct regular training sessions for employees to recognize phishing attempts and social engineering tactics.
  • Provide clear guidelines on how customers can verify legitimate communications from the organization.
  • Register trademarks and monitor for any infringements. Take legal action against entities that misuse the brand.
  • Develop and enforce a clear policy for dealing with brand impersonation incidents, including quick response protocols and communication strategies.

6. Security Measures

  • Use automated tools for real-time threat detection and takedown requests.
  • Regularly audit and update security practices, ensuring that all software and systems are up-to-date with the latest security patches.

7. Customer Support

  • Provide a direct and easily accessible line of communication for customers to report impersonation attempts.
  • Act promptly on customer reports and keep them informed about the actions taken.

8. Data Breach Monitoring

  • Implement data breach monitoring to detect if employee or customer data which can be used for impersonation attacks has been compromised.
  • Use services that alert you to data breaches involving your brand so you can respond quickly to mitigate risks.