How to prevent digital brand theft from destroying your business

14 Dec / 2022


As high-profile data breaches become commonplace, the Australian Cyber Security Centre encourages CEOs and other business leaders to take a proactive approach to cybersecurity. We’ve watched it happen; retaliation is not enough. Businesses need to prepare for the inevitable.

The cost of cybercrime increased 14% in 2022, with large organisations paying an average of over $62,000 per incident. For a chance at preventing expensive fallouts like the ones seen at Optus and Medibank, businesses need to account for all their data, all the time.

Stolen data bought and sold on the dark web causes catastrophic damage to businesses of any size, with consequences ranging from layoffs to permanent closure. The first step to managing a cyberattack is identifying a breach and monitoring for stolen data on the dark web.

For that, you need deep and dark web scanning.

What is deep web scanning?

Deep web scanning uses AI to find leaked data on the clear, deep, and dark web. While web pages indexed on Google are easy to find without specialised technology, they make up just 10% of material available online. This – the clear web – is monitored meticulously.

Hidden beyond the easy-to-access clear web is the deep web, and within that lies the dark web. This is the subset of the internet responsible for destroying businesses. This is where stolen assets are traded anonymously for cryptocurrency.

Australian assets being bought and sold in criminal online marketplaces include copycat websites and apps, fake VIP social media accounts, and sensitive customer data. Malicious actors leverage these to commit crimes like extortion, fraud, and corporate espionage.

Why do businesses need to scan the dark web?

Dark web scanning is critical for businesses that want to avoid cyberattacks, rather than apologise for them. You cannot get leaked data back once it appears on the dark web; this is about damage control and risk mitigation.

Proactively scanning the dark web for leaked data allows you to tighten or introduce cybersecurity wherever it’s needed. A dark web scan finds your data before it’s sold and learns what the buyer intends to do with it, positioning you for efficient defence.

The implications of ignoring the insights that can protect your business’ data are drastic. Financial loss, a tarnished reputation and the breakdown of customer trust can be impossible to recover from. The knock-on effect of cybercrime is exponential.

There are 3 key reasons businesses need to scan the dark web:

1. Prevent a cyberattack: Whether you’re looking for it or not, your data could be being traded on the dark web. To successfully prevent an attack, you must know what data has been stolen and who is trying to get a hold of it.

2. Protect employees and customers: Brand impersonation can have devastating implications for employees and customers too. By gathering this intelligence before it is weaponised, you can empower them to take additional security steps in time.

3. Maintain a positive brand perception: Once your brand identity has been compromised, it can be very difficult to regain consumer trust. Being prepared and acting quickly proves your commitment to client and customer security.

How to scan the deep and dark web

To monitor this information yourself, you would need access to the dark web and a team of dedicated moderators. Besides being vastly imprecise and time-consuming, sifting through web pages on the dark web puts you at risk of stumbling upon some deeply disturbing material.

Sophisticated AI-based managed services such as Cythera’s BrandProtect identifies leaked data and leaves you with insights and a plan of action. By monitoring illicit forums and marketplaces, BrandProtect gathers context from conversations and interactions between hackers and cybercriminals.

As well as confirming exactly what information has been stolen, BrandProtect detects the buying criminals’ intentions. This knowledge can then be used to guide security strategy, ensuring you are prepared for the attack that will inevitably follow.

BrandProtect: proactive threat intelligence

The catastrophic fallout that follows a data breach can be mitigated with the right intelligence. Discovering which assets are being traded on the dark web is essential for protecting the areas of the business they relate to.

BrandProtect uncovers threat intelligence that would otherwise be inaccessible to your business. The AI is complemented by Cythera’s human-led cybersecurity service and displays contextualised, actionable insights on an easy-to-use interface.

With the intelligence to accurately predict future cyberattacks, BrandProtect supports you through remediation and beyond. Prevention is greater than cure so proactively monitoring your brand identity and risk can be vital in preventing the early stages of an attack. 

The earlier you identify your leaked data, the better your defence. Find out more about BrandProtect to protect yourself against brand identity theft before cybercriminals get a chance to impact your business.

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