What is Domain Monitoring?
Digital threat actors are increasingly targeting public and private sector organizations, along with their executives, employees, vendor partners, and customers, with domain-based cyberattacks.
A successful domain-based cyberattack can enable cybercriminals to gain control of the victim’s device, exfiltrate sensitive data, commit digital fraud, or steal financial resources.
Domain monitoring is a cybersecurity capability that enables organizations to detect and identify domain-based cyberattacks, including malicious, spoofed, and impersonating domains, throughout the entire public attack surface.
Domain Monitoring Helps Identify Domain-Based Cyberattacks
Domain-based cyber attacks involve websites created by cybercriminals to exploit their victims by impersonating a trusted organization, its brands, or its executives. Domain-based cyberattacks can vary significantly in terms of their payload, attack vectors, and the deceptive techniques used to fool their victims.
Some cybercriminals attempt to steal secure data or access credentials using domain-based attacks, while others impersonate financial institutions in an attempt to defraud their victims. Malicious domains that attempt to install malware onto the victim’s device are also considered domain-based attacks.
Once a fraudulent domain has been created, cybercriminals will distribute a link to the domain through a targeted phishing or spear phishing campaign. Phishing messages may be designed to target employees, vendors, or customers of a specific organization, selected individuals, or members of the public. Links to the fraudulent domain may be circulated via email, social media, SMS text messaging, online forums, or through business collaboration platforms.
Common deceptive techniques used in domain-based cyberattacks include:
- Copycatting – Cybercriminals may attempt to replicate or mirror a trusted website.
- Domain Spoofing – Cybercriminals may attempt to register a domain name which resembles that of a trusted brand or organization.
- Fake URL – Cybercriminals may implement a fake URL that makes it appear to victims as if they are interacting with the brand’s genuine website instead of a fake.
- Homoglyph Attack – A variation on domain spoofing, cybercriminals may attempt to register a look-alike domain by including characters from outside the latin alphabet that resemble the corresponding characters in the target domain’s URL. Homoglyph attacks can fool anti-abuse algorithms and be very tricky for human users to spot.
- Typosquatting – Cybercriminals may attempt to register a malicious domain using a common misspelling of the target organization’s domain. If a customer of the target organization misspells the domain, they will end up on the fraudulent domain where they may be victimized by cybercriminals.
Domain monitoring technology helps enterprise cybersecurity teams detect domain-based cyberattacks across the public attack surface. Once these attacks have been identified, cybersecurity teams can remediate them to prevent digital threat actors from targeting their employees and customers with impersonation and malicious domain attacks.
How Does Domain Monitoring Work?
Domain Monitoring technology works by monitoring top-level domain (TLD) and country code top-level domain (ccTLD) registries for newly registered domains and domain ownership status changes that could pose a risk or indicate a domain-based cyberattack.
Links to malicious, fraudulent, or spoofed domains may also be identified by monitoring the public attack surface, including email and business collaboration platforms, online forums, social media, mobile app stores, blogs and news outlets, online marketplaces, and the deep and dark web.
When a potential attack is identified by domain monitoring software, an alert is generated that may be reviewed by human threat intelligence experts to assess the risk and determine next-steps for preventing the attack and removing fraudulent brand assets.
Why is Domain Monitoring Important For Your Brand?
Avoid Costly Brand and Security Incidents
When domain-based attacks target your employees, they may attempt to steal access credentials for your organization’s secure network or financial accounts. When they target your customers, they may attempt to take control of devices or commit fraud.
Domain monitoring prevents cybercriminals from targeting your customers and employees with scams that could jeopardize your organization’s security posture and damage your reputation.
Safeguard Customer Engagement
Domain monitoring secures the customer experience, blocking phishing and malware attacks to ensure that customers always find your authentic domain – not a fake website made by a scammer.
Save Time and Money
Domain monitoring technology saves you time and money by leveraging automation to continuously monitor domain registries and the public attack surface with minimal need for manual intervention.
How Does ZeroFOX Help with Domain Monitoring?
ZeroFOX provides the domain monitoring capabilities that organizations need to detect and identify domain-based cyberattacks across the public attack surface. With comprehensive global coverage of the surface, deep, and dark web, the ZeroFOX platform leverages advanced AI-analysis to automate the detection of domain-based threats to your organization, brands, employees, and customers.
Check out our Domain Monitoring Tools Demo Webinar to learn more about domain monitoring technology and how ZeroFOX can protect your organization against impersonation, typosquatting, homoglyph, domain-spoofing, and other domain-based attacks.