Why Do You Need Cyber Brand Protection?
Becoming the victim of a ransomware attack affects more than productivity. For small businesses, a successful ransomware attack can destroy your ability to keep production up and continue servicing clients. It’s an expensive mistake for any business but even more devastating for small businesses with tight budgets.
What is Brand Protection?
Brand reputation is a component of business growth. Word-of-mouth, online reviews, and social media play a massive role in the success of your business. After a data breach, anyone affected talks about it online and locally, so it can affect consumer trust in your brand. Brand protection involves managing comments and feedback online, but good brand protection includes proactive steps to stop data breaches before they happen.
Protecting your brand is more than a single strategy. It involves actively monitoring online content, local feedback, and cybersecurity to avoid data breaches. Cybersecurity is an umbrella term requiring several layered techniques to stop attackers and protect sensitive data. Brand protection can’t prevent people from posting negative comments, but it can help you manage them and provide good customer service after and before a data breach.
A few methods businesses use to protect their brand reputation:
- Continuously monitor social media, forums, feedback sites, and comments on any other online locations.
- Scanning business network environments and identifying vulnerabilities before they are exploited.
- Engage customer feedback and make your response visible so that other potential customers see that you care about customer satisfaction.
- Monitor the web for phishing or malware sites using your brand and issue takedown notices to protect your customers.
- Install anti-phishing and anti-malware applications to stop common insider threats and protect the environment from data breaches.
- Find lookalike domains and issue takedown notices to stop phishing and brand impersonation.
Common Brand Protection Strategies and Methods
For businesses with a brand protection strategy, it can be easier to identify the best action plan. The entire process starts with scanning the internet for brand comments and then determining a course of action. Organizations can take several steps to protect their brand reputation. Here are a few common strategies have proven to help protect your brand reputation:
- Email security and anti-phishing filters: Cybersecurity software for an email system uses artificial intelligence to detect suspicious messages and attachments and block them from reaching the target victim’s inbox. Messages are quarantined for further review, so administrators can catch false positives and configure them to pass filters. Good email security filters work to have as few false positives as possible and don’t interrupt user productivity.
- Social media impersonation protection: Organizations should use applications that scan social media for impersonation or illegal use of brand intellectual property. For example, scammers use social media impersonation with known brand logos and marketing to trick users into sending money or divulging sensitive information. Credential theft can be performed using social media impersonation, but businesses can report scammers to have impersonator accounts taken down.
- Threat intelligence: Third-party threat intelligence applications scan darknet markets, onion sites, and clearnet domains for intellectual property or customer information. If organization information such as customer account names and passwords are found, it could indicate that the organization suffered from a data breach. The I.T. department should investigate any suspicious activity to determine if customer data was stolen, and any affected customers should be notified if it’s found that data disclosure is from a breach. Compliance regulations also require businesses to notify affected parties, or the organization could pay fines for violations.
- Security awareness training: The first line of defense against phishing and data breaches is giving employees the tools to identify a threat. Security email and other cybersecurity infrastructure are necessary as a failover should an employee fail to recognize a threat. Still, the most efficient way to stop a threat is to prevent it during the initial attack, usually email-based attempts. Cyber-criminals create threats meant to target specific users in the organization, and security awareness training provides the education and knowledge for employees to understand various common threats. Training should include current information on phishing and social engineering and test employees to ensure they understand concepts.
- Third-party risk management: The supply chain can also be a vulnerability for an organization. In a supply chain attack, cyber-criminals target vendors and suppliers unrelated to the target organization but offer services or products integrated into the target organization’s environment. Targeting third-party vendors bypasses even the most hardened cybersecurity, as most have direct access to infrastructure.
- Install monitoring software and intrusion detection prevention. An intrusion detection system (IDS) continually monitors the network environment for suspicious traffic or access requests. For example, constant access request failures for a specific file containing intellectual property could mean a system compromise; malware is installed on the environment or user credential theft.
- Set up alerts and notifications: With the IDS installed, administrators need alerts and notifications to know that they should investigate further into suspicious activity. The software used to send signals to administrators should prioritize them so that administrators can focus on the most critical notifications first. An IDS combined with prioritized notifications limits an attacker’s window of opportunity and limits damage after a data breach, protecting your brand from extensive and costly incident response and remediation.
- Involve security consultants or internal staff: Having security people on-site is expensive, so many small businesses hire third-party consultants to help with cybersecurity strategies. Consultants help configure monitoring software and explain alerts so that companies can determine their strategy for tackling brand damage and potential data breaches.
Technology Involved with Brand Protection
You can’t manually monitor the entire internet and darknet markets. Still, third-party software can scan all web corners to find brand mentions, impersonation, and potentially sensitive data for sale. Most organizations don’t have the internal human resources to research the web manually, and third-party tested software is much more efficient and effective. Here are a few technologies available to businesses to help them find suspicious brand activity:
- Keyword monitoring: Your brand has keywords attached to services and products, which can be added to software scanners and monitoring tools. Monitoring for keyword mentions is attached to your brand name, and it’s usually performed across common social media channels such as Twitter, Instagram, Reddit, Facebook, Tik Tok, and others. When a keyword is found, a link to the mention is sent to a staff member responsible for investigating it and replying to any negative feedback.
- OCR and image recognition: Logos and product images can be copyrighted, so monitoring tools should be configured to identify images and text. It’s much more difficult for software to recognize images contextually. Still, artificial intelligence and machine learning have made the software much more effective at identifying pictures and the objects they contain. If an image includes your logo or intellectual property, software should be able to detect it and send a staff member a link for further investigation.
- Human behavior and pattern recognition: Artificial intelligence and machine learning have come a long way in recognizing patterns of human language and writing, and these technologies can help businesses identify conversations about their brand, product, and services. With recognition software for human language patterns, an organization can find them and respond to or interact with customers without relying on keywords alone. Keyword matching still has its place in brand protection, but recognizing patterns in human language takes it a step further and helps businesses find more obscure brand mentions.
- With these technologies in place, the third-party software used to help recognize brand conversations should have specific features. Any features should help businesses prioritize messages, categorize them (e.g., negative feedback versus customer satisfaction), include links for further investigation, reporting tools to identify trends and common keywords, and insights into enforcing intellectual property takedown notices.
Book a demo with a TitanHQ security expert and learn how we can help with brand protection.
How SpamTitan Can Help with Brand Protection
Proactive cybersecurity is where SpamTitan can help your business protect from brand damage. SpamTitan anti-phishing and anti-malware defenses protect email systems from being used to target employees. In addition, the email security filters provided by SpamTitan stop threats before they access the network environment, which is far better than relying on failsafe antivirus and anti-malware software.
Basic cybersecurity infrastructure is also valuable when protecting your brand from data breaches, but the cybersecurity landscape is constantly changing. Cyber-criminals continuously find ways to bypass the latest cybersecurity strategies. You need an email security system that stops zero-day threats and uses artificial intelligence to recognize the newest phishing messages and malware. SpamTitan is the leading email security system well reviewed by our customers and favored by managed service providers responsible for handling email security for thousands of clients.
Even with its world-class service, SpamTitan is an affordable solution that fits your monthly budget. It’s reportedly easy to set up and deploy, and MSPs can implement email cybersecurity for all their clients within minutes. In addition, the SpamTitan solution is proven to lower cyber risks and protect business data.
To protect your brand, sign up for a free trial today.
Book a demo with a TitanHQ security expert and learn how we can help with brand protection.