3 Ways Brands Can Protect Their Most Valuable Assets

The following article was written by Richard Morely, Corporate Consultant at Safenames.

As the internet has continued to evolve, it has become deeply embedded in every aspect of our lives. However, for every benefit the web provides, it can also open us up to several threats; mainly when there are individuals or organisations actively looking to exploit our vulnerabilities. It isn’t just individuals that can find themselves at risk online. Official government stats have revealed that over half of UK businesses suffered a cyber-attack within the past year; ranging from phishing, viruses and malware attacks. Also, some organisations claimed to experience an attempted cyber-attack at least once a week.

Cybercriminals are profiting from popular brands by taking and using their assets to their advantage. Criminals can use a brand’s assets to create a phishing website that looks identical to the legitimate website and trick customers into sharing their data. For example, Apple is the top brand used in phishing attacks, with 10% of all attempts, globally. However, by using the correct services dedicated to protecting brands and identities, these violations can be addressed. This can help companies to protect themselves from serious harm to their bottom lines and more importantly their reputation. By safeguarding a brand’s most valuable assets, organisations can also save money and resources to deal with the growing problem of cybersquatting.

Unfortunately, a brand can never fully protect itself, but from the perspective of domain infringement, businesses can take measures to protect themselves and their customers better. For example, by blocking every single gTLD and variant, including all homoglyphs or confusable characters. While it’s impossible to think of every possible situation that cybercriminals could take advantage of consumer trust, organisations should focus on taking steps to limit potential damage, as long as it remains on the positive side of the cost-benefit equation.

Domain Blocking

It’s now more important than ever for a brand to be more proactive in their attempts to protect their businesses. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated and are attempting to violate many more popular brands. To avoid this, companies should introduce domain blocking as an essential strategy. Any businesses with any sort of brand reputation name or trademark that needs to be maintained should be protected by using domain blocking. This is vital for any company’s online strategies. The more well-known the brand name, the more valuable it is. 

Protecting a brand not only guards the name against threats, but it can also be a part of the marketing plan. Businesses that are in control of their reputation also give off a sense of professionalism, which will then increase customer trust and loyalty. If organisations have all the correct solutions in place, for example, an attentive domain blocking strategy including all relevant, as well as non-relevant gTLDs, recognition tools and control over homoglyph, it will be in a much stronger place in maintaining its reputation. It’s also a good idea to monitor  for lookalikes and other possible variations of the spellings of the brand name.

If businesses take care and implement domain blocking strategies before any problems occur, this will save any potential losses such as stolen identity and customers. This will also save money, both in the cost of obtaining these TLDs and any time that could be lost in trying to fix problems. Using pioneering technology, companies can acquire intricate strategies to quickly block domains before they are in the hands of a cybercriminal. By securing the brand’s name, they are cutting off the supply chain of cybercriminals.

Domain Retrieval

If cybersquatters do take a brand’s domain, the next step is to try and get it back. An approach to this is domain retrieval. During domain retrieval, an assessment is conducted to seek the problem and provide thorough research on the infringing domains. This includes the current and past registrants, as well as an overview of the existing content on the site. From this, domain professionals can provide recommendations on the most effective methods to fix the problem.

In most cases, these professionals will contact the current registrant or registrar and also reach out to the pay-per-click software with the details of areas of concern. As a result, all successfully recovered domains will be transferred from the dispute resolution actions and placed back to the brand. As the web develops and cybercriminals transform, businesses must make sure that they are using the right tools to protect their brand and their assets. By using domain blocking strategies, companies can guard their reputation from cybercriminals and keep their loyal customers safe.

Auto Domain Renewal

Cybercriminals are continuing to profit from well-established brands that have worked tirelessly to build a credible reputation. Sometimes they get there before businesses realise. However, to avoid this businesses should look at services such as auto domain renewal. This protects brands from violations that can cause serious harm to a company’s bottom line and not to mention its reputation by renewing the ownership of the domain name before it runs out. These solutions can save organisations money and valuable resources instead of using them to deal with the growing problem of cybersquatting. It’s about time we stopped others from benefiting from web traffic generated by respected domains.

Cybercriminals are continuing to evolve their methods and find new ways to exploit brands online. As a result, it can be challenging to stay ahead or at least keep up with potential threats until after a crime has been committed. Nonetheless, by focusing on defence, brands can anticipate many ways that these cybercriminals might try to take advantage and bend the cost-benefit for the criminals into negative territory. In other words, companies can attempt to make it challenging for them so it is not worth their time to try most attacks. By using these three main strategies, businesses can be confident that both its domain name and its most valuable assets are protected.

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