PR: Top tips for protecting your brand against cyber attacks

MarkMonitor, the global leader in enterprise brand protection is advising businesses to act now in order to protect themselves against cyber attacks. These attacks come in all different shapes and sizes, and as we have seen from recent global attacks, no brand can truly consider themselves safe.

What’s more, with both the rate and sophistication of cyberattacks continually increasing, brands are facing the additional risk of significant financial and reputational loss at the hands of online criminals.

Chrissie Jamieson, Senior Director Marketing Communications, MarkMonitor said: "Two of the most common cyber threats to harm brands take the form of phishing scams, which are cleverly-disguised emails designed to fool readers into unknowingly submitting personal information, and malware attacks, which plant malicious tools or software on computers that can access confidential information or block user access altogether. Although both attacks vary in their tactics, they can have equally damaging consequences."

While it can’t be denied that the cyber threat is a growing business problem, there are simple steps that all businesses can take to protect themselves against the damage that is commonly caused through these kinds of attacks.

  • Try to prevent attacks in advance — set up an early warning system alerting you of new domain registrations that are confusingly similar or misleadingly read like your brand name and may target your brand to host malicious content — before they can impact your customers. By doing this, you’re far more likely to prevent cyber criminals from using your brand name as part of a phishing attack.

  • Detect fraudulent activity using the right intelligence — proactively monitor and analyse key intelligence sources to detect phishing and malware activity across email and other digital channels. Often, brands will work closely with trusted IT security professionals to identify and take relevant action with maximum effectiveness.

  • Mitigate and shut down phishing sites — share your phishing alerts with ISPs, browsers, email providers and security vendors, and partner with an anti-fraud vendor to block malicious sites at the Internet gateway and have them shut down quickly.

  • Monitor across multiple digital channels — although phishing scams primarily take place through email communications, malware can often be hiding across multiple platforms. It is therefore imperative that all brands cast a watchful eye over all these different channels instead of focusing on a select few to ensure truly effective mitigation.

Most businesses put these tips into practice through a ‘brand protection strategy’, which helps to mitigate the risks associated with cyber attacks of all kinds. Once the strategy is in place, it should be communicated across all areas of the business — and not just limited to the confines of the IT department. This ensures that every employee is acutely aware of the different risks the business faces and the steps that should be taken in the event of an attack to ensure protection.

The cyber attack landscape might be complex, but ultimately, the steps that brands should follow are still straightforward. Identify the areas of vulnerability, determine the potential consequences of a given attack, and then take the steps to mitigate the risk accordingly.

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