Brand Intelligence

What is Brand Intelligence?

Brand Intelligence is a type of cyber threat intelligence that deals with the identification and detection of brand abuse across the public attack surface. Accurate and timely brand intelligence gives enterprise SecOps teams the ability to detect and disrupt fraudulent uses of their brand assets.

Brand abuse encompasses a variety of malicious activities that exploit existing brands and their assets for financial gain, including brandjacking, domain spoofing, executive impersonation, and counterfeiting. 

Brand intelligence involves monitoring the public attack surface for fraudulent accounts and unauthorized uses of brand assets, detecting and identifying incidences of brand abuse, and initiating countermeasures to dismantle the fraudulent infrastructure and safeguard your brand’s reputation in the marketplace.

Why is Brand Intelligence Important?

The vast majority of digital brand abuse is financially motivated, with cyber criminals impersonating target brands and attempting to financially defraud or steal sensitive data from their employees and customers. When they succeed, the brand’s employees or customers suffer financial losses and the reputation of the target brand is damaged.

Effective brand intelligence gives enterprises the ability to detect cyber criminals engaged in brand abuse and disrupt fraudulent infrastructure before it can be used to target the brand’s customers and employees.

Five Types of Brand Abuse to Prevent with Brand Intelligence

Brand Intelligence gives enterprises the visibility and awareness they need to counteract brand threats across the public attack surface. Consider the following types of brand abuse threats that may be detected and disrupted with brand intelligence.

Brandjacking

Brandjacking refers to any unauthorized use of a brand’s name, logo, or other digital assets. Brandjacking can allow digital threat actors to impersonate the target brand, making it easier for them to financially defraud its vendors, employees and customers, steal their sensitive data, or sell them counterfeit products and services.

Cybersquatting

Cybersquatting, also called typosquatting, is when a cyber criminal registers a domain whose name is similar to that of a well-known brand in the marketplace. 

The idea is that when the legitimate brand’s customers type its website into their browser, they will occasionally make the typographical error (“typo”) that lands them on the cyber criminal’s page. 

Here, the target will likely encounter either a malicious script or a clone of the brand’s legitimate website that will attempt to steal their credentials.

Domain Spoofing

Domain spoofing is when a digital threat actor creates a fake website or email domain and attempts to trick targets into engaging with the fraudulent asset as if it were legitimate. 

Domain spoofing attacks frequently target the finance and banking sectors. A digital threat actor might create a replica of the target institution’s Account Login page, host it on a deep web server to avoid detection by search engines, then send phishing messages to customers of the target institution in hopes of having them visit the fraudulent page and give up their credentials. 

A successful domain spoofing attack can result in significant financial losses and damage the reputation of the target brand.

Counterfeiting

Cyber criminals sometimes impersonate a target brand in hopes of selling counterfeit products or bogus service agreements to its existing customers. Counterfeiting takes place on social media, eCommerce websites, and in digital marketplaces across the surface, deep, and dark web. 

Counterfeiting deprives the brand of potential revenue and damages its reputation when customers have a negative experience or receive a low-quality product. 

Executive Impersonation Attacks

Executive impersonations are an increasingly common attack pattern for cyber criminals who attempt to defraud the vendors, employees, and customers of a targeted brand. 

A cyber criminal will conduct research to discover personal information about executives in the targeted organization and build fake email accounts or social profiles to impersonate them. Then, the criminal will send phishing messages to the target organization’s vendors, employees, or customers and attempt to steal sensitive data or authorize fraudulent transactions.

Successful executive impersonation attacks have resulted in millions of dollars in financial losses for targeted organizations.

How Does AI Enable and Support Brand Intelligence?

Obtaining complete, accurate, and timely brand intelligence requires enterprises to monitor the entire public attack surface in real time for indicators of brand abuse and impersonation attacks, including fake social profiles, fraudulent logos, and spoofed domains.

But with the vast scale of the public attack surface, which includes all of social media and the world wide web, a truly comprehensive brand monitoring program would require hundreds or even thousands of human threat intelligence analysts. That’s why the most advanced SecOps teams today depend on AI-driven software solutions to support their brand intelligence efforts.

Brand Intelligence AI continuously monitors the vast public attack space, intelligently analyzing text, images, and video content at scale to discover and alert on brand abuse and impersonation attacks. Early detection of brand abuse gives enterprises the opportunity to deploy countermeasures against cyber criminals and safeguard their brand, employees, and customers against digital threats.

Protect Your Brand’s Reputation with ZeroFox Brand Intelligence

ZeroFox provides protection, brand intelligence, and disruption to dismantle external threats to brand, people, assets, and data across the public attack surface in one comprehensive platform.

The ZeroFox Platform uses advanced AI-driven analysis to detect brand abuse and impersonation attacks on the surface web, deep and dark web, social media, mobile app stores, marketplaces, email, collaboration tools, and more.

Check out our free white paper Brand Protection for Modern Enterprises to learn more about the most common threats to brands on social media and the steps you can take to implement a successful social brand protection program.

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