What Is Brand Impersonation?
Brand impersonation is exactly what it sounds like. The term refers to an individual or group pretending to be your brand (or affiliated with it in some way) to obtain sensitive information from current or potential customers or employees. Not only can such an attack cost customers time and money, but it can also cost the brand its reputation and bottom line.
Brands take a lot of time and effort to build. Not only does a brand accurately represent your company and its products and services, but it also serves as a pillar of trust for your customers. Unfortunately, scammers sometimes exploit the hard work of business owners and use their brands for illicit activity.
As a business owner, you’ll be glad to know there are steps you can take to keep impersonation attacks at bay with proactive prevention. With awareness, training, and advanced technology, it’s possible to protect your brand and ensure its longevity.
How Do Brand Impersonation Attacks Work?
Most impersonation scammers use mass spam emails to trick people into giving up their personal information. Attackers are meticulous with their methods, often taking the following steps to craft their con:
- Researching a brand to determine its level of access to confidential information.
- Crafting a believable approach using a familiar avenue of contact.
- Leveraging well-designed brand templates and similar URLs or email addresses.
Although scammers may often seem to be throwing caution to the wind, they operate in very sophisticated ways.
Types of Impersonation Attacks
Companies must be aware of how fraudsters carry out their attacks so they can understand what to do to thwart them. In general, scammers use two types of brand impersonation attacks:
Also referred to as service impersonation attacks, phishing involves impersonating a typically large or famous brand in order to steal sensitive information from its current or potential customers and employees.
A phishing email may ask you to reset a password, verify an account, or log in to a fake (albeit believable) account so scammers can obtain accurate login information and take over your account. This type of impersonation sometimes occurs with business executives, as well, where scammers may use hijacked accounts to access trade secrets or authorize transactions.
Brand hijacking, also known as spoofing, occurs when a scammer impersonates a business’s email address, URL, or social media handle. It’s a form of social engineering that psychologically manipulates a victim into engaging with a bad actor to give them access to personal information.
Brand Impersonation Protection
Intelligent protection is the key to keeping your brand and customers safe, and any company looking to protect its brand from impersonation will need more the right tools in their tech stack.
According to an IBM survey, human error causes over 90% of security breaches. As such, ensure your staff is aware of common scams and well-trained to spot impersonation and phishing attempts.
Staff training on its own won’t get the job done. You should also use intelligent cybersecurity software to block phishing attempts and alert employees and customers to any known scams.
Advanced artificial intelligence tools can scan the internet for fake websites, domain typos, and even logo infringements in milliseconds. They can also automate and accelerate the takedown process and continuously monitor emerging impersonation attempts.
In the end, using a multi-faceted protection strategy will help ensure your business can thrive despite existing technological dangers.
To see how Bolster’s automated digital risk and threat detection technology monitors and protects against brand impersonation attacks, request a free demo today.