How to Secure Your Online Brand

How to Secure Your Online Brand
Michael Marriott
Read More From Michael Marriott
March 20, 2019 | 4 Min Read

What is online brand security?

As we outlined in our Practical Guide to Reducing Digital Risk, the integrity of brand and identity is essential in protecting a business. Adversaries are routinely impersonating businesses and critical online services to target customers and significant business transactions: they’re registering domains, creating fake mobile applications, imitating documents sent in email, spinning up spoof social media profiles of key executives – all with the aim of duping people to comply with their schemes allowing them to steal, disrupt, damage or destroy.

Last year’s indictments issued by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) against an individual associated with Lazarus Group underscored just how effective well targeted phishing can be: culturally relevant, free from spelling and grammar errors, and hitting the right psychological buttons to yield a result.

These types of impersonation are not only of interest to security teams. They are also particularly acute for fraud teams, who are grappling with increasing online payment fraud risks, which are notoriously difficult to measure on a global basis. However, by detecting these impersonation attempts, organizations can better detect the targeting of customers, as well as the sale of fraudulent and counterfeit goods.

 

Top four types of brand risks

There are four main ways adversaries impersonate an organization’s online brand to target customers or employees.

  1. Domain Infringement. Adversaries register web domains similar to your actual domain names, including typosquats and domainsquats. They often use these in phishing, malware or credential harvesting threats. Over a year, the typical Digital Shadows customer will detect approximately 300 spoof domains.
  2. Spoof Company Social Media Profiles. It’s all too common to find social media accounts set up to imitate organizations, often with the view to target customers. These spoofs usually take the form of fake support profiles that seek to dupe customers into clicking on malicious links or revealing their credentials.
  3. Spoof VIP Profiles. This is a similar approach to fake social media profiles, although here the spoofs are of the employees themselves. However, the aims are different as the adversaries use these profiles to launch convincing Business Email Compromise (BEC) campaigns.
  4. Spoof, rogue or malicious mobile applications. As the usage of mobile devices continues to increase, organizations are turning to mobile applications that enable them to better interact with their customers and provide new tools for employees. Unfortunately, cybercriminals also want to communicate with your customers and create spoof mobile applications that seek to harvest their information.

 

Lowering barriers to entry for phishing

Even the least sophisticated threat actors have access to a wide variety of forums, groups, and tools where they can learn the latest phishing techniques, as well as purchase step-by-step tutorials and phishing templates to conduct their campaigns (we outlined many of these tools and techniques in our recent research, Tackling Phishing).

In serving our customers, we regularly see BEC and Whaling attacks routinely combine false domains with out of band communications on convincing looking web services. In some cases, whole call centers are set up to perpetuate the deception. Knowing the location of legitimate assets and detecting the anomalies can help manage this risk.

 

How SearchLight secures online brands

With SearchLight, organizations register their brand names, web domain names, social media handles, and official mobile applications as assets for digital monitoring. Through the SearchLight portal, we provide the most relevant and critical digital risks with complete visibility, context, recommended actions and ways to take down these phishing attempts.

 

Free tools to get started

There are many tools available to identify these impersonations,  such as DNS Twist, Xorz’s Phishing Catcher, and URLCrazy. You can read more about the risks surrounding online brand security in our Practical Guide to Reducing Digital Risk, which outlines some additional free and inexpensive tools that organizations can use to start securing their online brands.

 

To stay up to date with the latest digital risk and threat intelligence news, subscribe to our threat intelligence emails here.

Access Our Threat Intel In Test Drive

Test Drive SearchLight Free for 7 Days
Try It Now

Connect with us

Related Posts

Access Keys Exposed: More Than 40% Are For Database Stores

Access Keys Exposed: More Than 40% Are For Database Stores

September 14, 2020 | 6 Min Read

By now, we’ve all heard news about AWS...
Revisiting Typosquatting and the 2020 US Presidential Election

Revisiting Typosquatting and the 2020 US Presidential Election

September 2, 2020 | 11 Min Read

In October 2019, Digital Shadows’ Photon...
Saving the SOC from overload by operationalizing digital risk protection

Saving the SOC from overload by operationalizing digital risk protection

August 5, 2020 | 4 Min Read

As you may have seen last week, the latest...
Account takeover: Expanding on impact

Account takeover: Expanding on impact

July 27, 2020 | 7 Min Read

Digital Shadows has collected over 15 billion...
From Exposure to Takeover: Part 1. Beg, borrow, and steal your way in

From Exposure to Takeover: Part 1. Beg, borrow, and steal your way in

July 7, 2020 | 9 Min Read

Account Takeover: Why criminals can’t...
3 Phishing Trends Organizations Should Watch Out For

3 Phishing Trends Organizations Should Watch Out For

May 20, 2020 | 16 Min Read

It’s only May, and is it just me, or has this...
The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report: One CISO’s View

The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report: One CISO’s View

May 19, 2020 | 6 Min Read

Sadly, Marvel’s Black Widow release date was...
A NEW DECADE OF CYBER THREATS: LOOKING BACK AT THE TRENDING CYBER TOPICS OF Q1 2020

A NEW DECADE OF CYBER THREATS: LOOKING BACK AT THE TRENDING CYBER TOPICS OF Q1 2020

May 14, 2020 | 10 Min Read

Q1 2020 was packed full of significant...
COVID-19: Risks of Third-Party Apps

COVID-19: Risks of Third-Party Apps

April 7, 2020 | 7 Min Read

As the global community continues to pursue...
Threat Model of a Remote Worker

Threat Model of a Remote Worker

March 25, 2020 | 7 Min Read

Threat models are an often discussed but...
The Complete Guide to Online Brand Protection

The Complete Guide to Online Brand Protection

March 18, 2020 | 17 Min Read

  I’m not one for cheesy belief...
The Ecosystem of Phishing: From Minnows to Marlins

The Ecosystem of Phishing: From Minnows to Marlins

February 20, 2020 | 31 Min Read

YOU JUST WON $1,000. CLICK HERE TO CLAIM YOUR...
Third Party Risk: 4 ways to manage your security ecosystem

Third Party Risk: 4 ways to manage your security ecosystem

January 16, 2020 | 5 Min Read

  The digital economy has multiplied the...
Combatting Domain-Centric Fraud: Why Mimecast is partnering with Digital Shadows

Combatting Domain-Centric Fraud: Why Mimecast is partnering with Digital Shadows

November 7, 2019 | 3 Min Read

This is a guest blog, authored by Matthew...
Typosquatting and the 2020 U.S. Presidential election: Cyberspace as the new political battleground

Typosquatting and the 2020 U.S. Presidential election: Cyberspace as the new political battleground

October 16, 2019 | 15 Min Read

Typosquatting. It’s a phrase most of us know in...
Domain Squatting: The Phisher-man’s Friend

Domain Squatting: The Phisher-man’s Friend

October 1, 2019 | 8 Min Read

In the past we have talked about the internal...
Extortion, Sale, Reconnaissance, & Impersonation: 4 Ways Your Digital Footprint Enables Attackers

Extortion, Sale, Reconnaissance, & Impersonation: 4 Ways Your Digital Footprint Enables Attackers

July 2, 2019 | 6 Min Read

Whether it’s intellectual property, proprietary...
Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Cybercriminals tipping the scales in their favor

Facebook’s Libra Cryptocurrency: Cybercriminals tipping the scales in their favor

June 27, 2019 | 8 Min Read

The announcements of Facebook’s new...
Managing Digital Risk: 4 Steps to Take

Managing Digital Risk: 4 Steps to Take

June 18, 2019 | 9 Min Read

Organizations are finding it increasingly...
Automating 2FA phishing and post-phishing looting with Muraena and Necrobrowser

Automating 2FA phishing and post-phishing looting with Muraena and Necrobrowser

May 21, 2019 | 6 Min Read

Phishing remains one of the most pervasive...
Cyber Talent Gap: How to Do More With Less

Cyber Talent Gap: How to Do More With Less

May 14, 2019 | 5 Min Read

The challenge facing us today is twofold: not...
Enabling Soi Dog’s Digital Transformation: A Case Study

Enabling Soi Dog’s Digital Transformation: A Case Study

May 8, 2019 | 3 Min Read

At the beginning of this year I was introduced to...
Easing into the extortion game

Easing into the extortion game

April 3, 2019 | 4 Min Read

One of the main ideas which flowed through...
Dark Web Typosquatting: Scammers v. Tor

Dark Web Typosquatting: Scammers v. Tor

March 21, 2019 | 7 Min Read

Time and time again, we see how the cybercriminal...
Extortion Exposed: Sextortion, thedarkoverlord, and SamSam

Extortion Exposed: Sextortion, thedarkoverlord, and SamSam

February 21, 2019 | 3 Min Read

In our most recent research, A Tale of Epic...
Introducing Our Practical Guide to Reducing Digital Risk

Introducing Our Practical Guide to Reducing Digital Risk

February 12, 2019 | 5 Min Read

Download a copy of A Practical Guide to Reducing...
Understanding Digital Risk Protection

Understanding Digital Risk Protection

February 8, 2019 | 3 Min Read

There has been a lot of talk recently about...
You’ve got a digital strategy, but how are you managing digital risks?

You’ve got a digital strategy, but how are you managing digital risks?

February 7, 2019 | 3 Min Read

Download a free copy of Digital Risk: The...
Security Practitioner’s Guide to Email Spoofing and Risk Reduction

Security Practitioner’s Guide to Email Spoofing and Risk Reduction

January 24, 2019 | 13 Min Read

In our previous extended blog, Tackling Phishing:...
Tackling Phishing: The Most Popular Phishing Techniques and What You Can Do About It

Tackling Phishing: The Most Popular Phishing Techniques and What You Can Do About It

December 12, 2018 | 8 Min Read

Overall, the infosec community has done a...
Law Firm Uncovers Exposed Sensitive Details About Top Attorney Online

Law Firm Uncovers Exposed Sensitive Details About Top Attorney Online

November 15, 2018 | 2 Min Read

VIPs and executives who are critical to your...
Phishing Site Impersonates Financial Services Institution

Phishing Site Impersonates Financial Services Institution

October 10, 2018 | 3 Min Read

If the infamous bank robber, Willie Sutton, were...
Business Email Compromise: When You Don’t Need to Phish

Business Email Compromise: When You Don’t Need to Phish

October 4, 2018 | 4 Min Read

According to the FBI, Business Email Compromise...
Cyber Security Awareness Month: Week 1 – Credential Hygiene

Cyber Security Awareness Month: Week 1 – Credential Hygiene

October 3, 2018 | 5 Min Read

It’s the opening week of the annual National...
Sextortion – When Persistent Phishing Pays Off

Sextortion – When Persistent Phishing Pays Off

September 6, 2018 | 4 Min Read

You may have heard of a recent surge in...
Five Threats to Financial Services: Phishing Campaigns

Five Threats to Financial Services: Phishing Campaigns

August 8, 2018 | 7 Min Read

In our last blog, we highlighted how banking...
Reducing Your Attack Surface: From a Firehose to a Straw

Reducing Your Attack Surface: From a Firehose to a Straw

July 5, 2018 | 6 Min Read

What is Attack Surface Reduction? Attack Surface...
It’s Accrual World: Tax Return Fraud in 2018

It’s Accrual World: Tax Return Fraud in 2018

March 7, 2018 | 5 Min Read

With just over a month until Tax Deadline Day,...
Protecting Your Brand: Return on Investment

Protecting Your Brand: Return on Investment

February 27, 2018 | 3 Min Read

Last week I was joined by Brett Millar, Director...
Phishing for Gold: Threats to the 2018 Winter Games

Phishing for Gold: Threats to the 2018 Winter Games

February 6, 2018 | 7 Min Read

Digital Shadows has been monitoring major...
Why Marketing Leaders Must Take Action To Manage Digital Risk And Protect Their Brand

Why Marketing Leaders Must Take Action To Manage Digital Risk And Protect Their Brand

January 30, 2018 | 7 Min Read

I am one of you. I have been in the marketing...
Don’t Rely on One Star to Manage Digital Risk, The Key is Total Coverage

Don’t Rely on One Star to Manage Digital Risk, The Key is Total Coverage

January 16, 2018 | 5 Min Read

This post originally appeared on...
Groupthink

Know Where to Find Your Digital Risk

November 10, 2017 | 4 Min Read

This post originally appeared on SecurityWeek....
NIST Authentication

Authentication Nation: 5 Ways NIST is Changing How We Think About Passwords

May 9, 2017 | 4 Min Read

Passwords have taken a beating over the past...
Brand Reputation Digital Risk

The 3 Pillars of Digital Risk Management: Part 3 – The Top 5 Main Risks of Reputational Damage

April 27, 2017 | 2 Min Read

In this 3-part blog series, we discuss how each...
Cyber Threats

The 3 Pillars of Digital Risk Management: Part 1 Understanding Cyber Threats

April 13, 2017 | 3 Min Read

What is Digital Risk Management? The National...
Mobile Threats

Monitoring the Mobile Threat Landscape

April 4, 2017 | 4 Min Read

The UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)...
Mobile App Screen

5 Risks Posed By Mobile Applications That SearchLight Helps You Manage

March 14, 2017 | 2 Min Read

Organizations face a wide range of risks online,...
Social Media Oversharing

Overexposed and Under-Prepared; The Risks of Oversharing Online

November 8, 2016 | 4 Min Read

I have a confession to make. I know where you...
Email Security

Five Tips For Better Email Security

November 8, 2016 | 4 Min Read

While security is everyone’s responsibility,...
Professional Services Digital Shadows

Digital Risk Monitoring Is A Service, Not a Distinct Capability

October 11, 2016 | 2 Min Read

Digital Shadows was recently recognized as a...
Five Tips To Make Your Passwords Better

Five Tips To Make Your Passwords Better

September 26, 2016 | 4 Min Read

While security is everyone’s responsibility,...
Forrester

Digital Risk Monitoring Can Negate ‘Indicators of Exhaustion’

September 26, 2016 | 2 Min Read

When I first joined Digital Shadows in January, I...