howtoWith the rise of technology, ransomware and other cyberattacks accelerate their proceedings. In fact, not only the frequency, but also the sophistication of attacks of online criminals are steadily increasing - with sometimes devasting effects. Just think about the extortionist Trojan ‘WannaCry’ launched last year, which taught us above all one thing: no company can feel safe nowadays.

Two common ways online fraudsters use to frustrate their victims are phishing scams and infiltrating malware. In the case of a phishing attack, scammers lure the addressees with often well-camouflaged emails, causing them to unknowingly reveal their personal data. Malware injects, as its name implies, malicious software into the computer. Once this has happened, the Trojans hijack confidential information or - as in the case of the WannaCry attack - encrypt or block the data on the infected machines and release them only for a ransom. In both cases the damage can be huge.

That’s why businesses and marketers must become aware of the growing threat and act to protect themselves, their brands and their customers. After all, the consequences of such attacks range from significant financial losses, damage to the carefully built reputation of the brand, to the loss of one's own job.

MarkMonitor provided some useful tips how to prepare for cyberattacks:

1. Better safe than sorry

Online scammers often try to misuse the digital identity of your company or brands. Preclude them from doing that to you, by installing an early warning system that notifies you about foreign domain registrations that are similar to your brand domains. So, you can react in time and prevent the brand pirates from using your good name for selling counterfeit products or phishing attacks.

2. Use the right tools

Strengthen your online brand protection with IT security tools. Apart from anti-virus programs and firewalls, there are also dedicated solution providers who use special software to detect weaknesses in your system landscape and thus considerably reduce the contact surface for cyber criminals. Such solutions constantly scan your entire IT infrastructure for vulnerabilities to prevent malware and phishing attacks.

3. Build up a protective shield

Share your phishing alerts with Internet providers, browsers, email providers, and security professionals. In the best case, increase your protection level with the help of an anti-fraud provider that is specialized in the prevention, detection and processing of fraudulent activity and can help with an anti-fraud solution to catch the threats already at the Internet gateway.

4. Check all channels

Most phishing attacks find their way to the computers of their victims by email. But malicious software can also be spread via other digital channels. Brand manufacturers should therefore pay attention to all channels of their online presence and approach the topic of cyberattacks with vision. This means, the App Store, the Deep Web and Darknet as well as the topic ‘domain management’ must be monitored as well.

5. Share with your team

Many companies have already implemented a comprehensive brand protection strategy, which can significantly reduce the risks of a cyberattack. However, as soon as a strategy has been set up, those responsible must share it with all employees and ensure through training that all users know what to do in the event of an attack.

As cases of ransomware or phishing attacks clearly show, brand protection on the Internet requires to proactively protect against fraud and banish the sources of danger in the network. Online trademark protection companies could therefore be a good solution as well, since they support brand owners with specially developed anti-fraud solutions.

By Daniela La Marca