Hello, and welcome back to the Managed Services Blog! These days, hearing about any company becoming a victim of brand abuse and its various forms, people treat it seriously, but hardly anyone does anything to protect their own online brand; they’ll wait for something bad to happen, and only then they will get the incentive to increase their efforts to combat brand abuse. What’s needed is continuous monitoring of online brand abuse threats that are constantly being shown on a centralized dashboard that shows everything that’s happening, and can encourage immediate action. Managed’s BrandHawk service and its variants constantly monitor for brand abuse, and display the results on a real-time dashboard, but what are the ways that such a dashboard can be used successfully? This week’s entry will explain how.
Before we get on with today’s topic, a quick introduction/refresher is needed on brand abuse. Simply put, Brand Abuse is the umbrella term for any action that abuses a company’s name, brand, online & social presence, and so on. Phishing, social engineering – which is the process of using fake profiles of company personnel to implement phishing – all of these fall under brand abuse. In order to be proactive on guarding their online brand, smart companies today need to be 100% aware of what is going on in their network traffic and what is being disclosed online in social media, hacker forums and underground sites – simultaneously. This way, the moment they discover a possible data breach or stolen information, they can take immediate action and reduce the damage and future risks. This is where a brand abuse monitoring dashboard comes in.
What should an effective brand abuse dashboard include? At the very minimum, dashboards should have sections that detail the amount of fake social media profiles, emails, and domains that have been discovered over a period of time. This information, along with monitored PII, online branding, and social media posts, is the critical core of brand abuse monitoring. Without at least the above-mentioned data, it’s very difficult to effectively combat brand abuse. Another critical component of a brand abuse dashboard is the right people who can analyze the incoming data, make sense of it, and implement changes that will mitigate further abuse of the online brand.
So who are these ‘right people?’ There are the analysts, who look at the data, and determine what the weaknesses in their company’s brands abuse protection polices and safeguards are, and there are the system admins, who take that information from the analysts, and implement them. Little things like removing personal information from social profiles, being careful of clicking on suspicious links, they all go a long way to reduce brand abuse.
And now, it’s time to learn what the best uses for a brand abuse dashboard are. The ideal use for a dashboard is in the NOC/SOC and/or marketing department environment. The dashboard is displayed on a large screen, and everyone has a clear image of what’s going on at the moment. SOCs, or Security Operation Centers, especially would benefit from such a dashboard, as they deal with things like fraud, Darkweb, and so forth. They are able to see trends in social media, monitor where their company emails are showing up, and track fake accounts on social media and their takedowns. Network Operations Centers, or NOCs, would benefit from brand abuse dashboards because they would be the ones who would take down, for example, fake profiles, domains, and emails.
And so, that wraps up another edition of the Managed Blog. We hope that you check back soon for another post. See you then, and stay Cyber Safe.