Today, business owners around the world understand that digital security is of the utmost importance, but it’s no longer just enough to play defense by way of putting up walls to keep hackers out of a particular network.
Given the proliferation of malicious acts like spoofing and typosquatting, businesses must be far more proactive about protecting their brands online through automated domain monitoring, which checks for typosquatting domains and has them removed from the internet so they no longer pose a threat to you or your customers.
There are many ways to perform automated domain monitoring, and the following sections will help you understand your options, as well as why automation is best, and how automated domain monitoring can help you fully secure your brand.
Why is Domain Monitoring Important?
Domain monitoring is important because typosquat domains are available in abundance, easy for anyone to register, and extremely effective at pulling off phishing and ransomware schemes. Many visitors to these websites are unaware that they are fraudulent at all, which puts the business being typosquatted at risk of reputational damage and a loss of customer trust.
It takes time to build a valuable brand that resonates and connects with its customers, and bad actors are aware of that, which is why they use typosquatting to impersonate and exploit your existing reputation. Automated domain monitoring can help ensure they don’t have such an opportunity.
Depending on how you use your company website, typosquatting can pose an internal risk to your business as well. Your employees falling victim to these attacks can result in stolen credentials and data breaches that carry significant fines and penalties. In these circumstances, domain monitoring would serve to help you avoid a potentially costly situation.
What threats does automated domain monitoring protect you from?
Domain monitoring helps protect your business from various threats. Here are six types of threats that domain monitoring can help mitigate:
- Phishing Attacks: Domain monitoring detects and alerts you to unauthorized websites that may mimic your brand or domain, reducing the risk of users falling for phishing scams.
- Brand Impersonation: Domain monitoring helps identify unauthorized domains that may be using your brand name or trademark, preventing potential reputation damage and customer deception.
- Counterfeit Sales: By tracking domains related to your products or services, domain monitoring can help identify and shut down websites selling counterfeit goods, protecting your brand and customers.
- Malware Distribution: Domain monitoring alerts you to suspicious websites attempting to distribute malware, enabling you to take action before any harm occurs to your business or customers.
- Trademark Infringement: By monitoring for similar domain names, domain monitoring helps identify potential trademark infringements, allowing you to take legal action if necessary to protect your brand.
- Data Breaches: Domain monitoring can detect instances where your organization’s sensitive data might be exposed or leaked through unauthorized domain registrations, preventing potential data breaches and the associated consequences.
Remember, domain monitoring is just one component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. It is important to combine it with other security measures to provide comprehensive protection to your business.
Manual vs. Automated Domain Monitoring
Manual domain monitoring often involves guessing the possible variations of your brand name and typing them into a search bar to see if they are active, though some use scanning tools to accomplish the same goal.
In any case, when suspicious websites are located, a business owner or IT team still has to perform a WHOIS lookup to see who owns the domain, review the domain’s references, look up its certificates, check for brand abuse, and send out takedown requests.
While the manual route is often free or available at a very low cost, your business still pays in the form of lost time and productivity. Even a short domain can have tens of thousands of typosquatting variants, which can take your team days or even weeks to comb through, which is neither continuous nor proactive and often results in an alarming amount of human error.
In addition, because the manual takedown process often takes much longer, a lot of damage to your brand can be done in the process.
Automated domain monitoring, on the other hand, involves the use of a cloud-based platform to automatically detect typosquat and lookalike domains. It then initiates an automated takedown process without further intervention.
The drawback is that these platforms are rarely free, but they are often far more accurate thanks to machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI). What’s more, they provide continuous and proactive monitoring and promote efficiency across all departments of your business.
The Benefits of Automated Domain Monitoring
Automated domain monitoring software platforms offer critical features like rapid detection of typosquatting domains as well as phishing, tech support, bitcoin, recruitment, survey, and other scam attempts. They also provide zero-touch automated takedowns.
The benefits you stand to gain by having these features working for you include the following:
- Protected brand reputation
- The maintained trust of your customers
- Limited risk of exposing sensitive data
- Eliminated attack surfaces
- Security software working around the clock even when you are not
- Improved efficiency and productivity across the board
- Easy dashboards for IT teams to see all information in one place
These features, combined with the power of AI-driven threat detection, allow you to rest easy, knowing that your results will be accurate and continue to get better over time.
How Bolster uses automation to take domain monitoring to the next level
With Bolster’s robust platform, AI-driven threat detection helps to automatically find lookalike and fake domain sites. Bolster also applies that same AI technology to automatically generate thousands of typosquatting variations in order to create a defensive domain acquisition strategy. A smart recommender tool uses your unique budget to show you which domain variations are most critical for your team to purchase.
With continuous monitoring of typosquatting domains, Bolster uses natural language processing, optical character recognition, and image comparison to read site intent, find hidden text, and provide advanced logo detection.
Bolster’s dashboard also offers security and IT teams a full report complete with geographic locations where threats originate and actual images of various domain scans so you can see how your brand is being targeted.
Finally, Bolster conducts automatic takedowns without any effort from your team. They occur 24/7, including nights, weekends, and holidays, so your team can focus on other work.
A Fully Automated Strategy for Serious Brand Protection
Automated domain monitoring is vital for those who want to achieve full protection for their brand, their customers, and their business. Not only does it save time, but it also increases accuracy and ensures quick takedown so bad actors don’t have time to do damage to your assets.
Continuous monitoring allows your team to stay on top of emerging threats without having to use more resources to do it. Paired with an AI-supported domain acquisition, what you have is balanced purchase and protection that is unmatched among cybersecurity software solutions.
Contact Bolster today to learn how taking a proactive, automated approach to domain monitoring can help you optimize your brand protection strategy so you can keep moving toward your business goals.