Don’t Get Blindsided by Brand Fraud, Stop Digital Risk

February 09, 2017
Celeste Kinswood

As an enterprise brand, you have more touchpoints to engage with your customers than ever before. From mobile apps and social media to web and email, you can readily share your latest news and start valuable conversations with customers. While this trend creates great customer experiences and helps drive revenue, it also exposes your organization to greater digital risk across these communication channels.

Brand fraud is a rapidly growing form of digital risk. Cyber criminals imitate your brand name to bait your customers with scams, phishing, and offers for counterfeit products and services. Fraudsters execute their attacks by tapping into how you engage with your customers — they target consumers across using fake social media accounts, phishing emails, fraudulent mobile apps, and more.

Unfortunately, your customers trust your brand and may assume these fraudulent communications are really coming from your company. They click on the link and fall for the scam or offer up their credentials and credit card details. This kind of brand fraud is very successful. Consumers open 30 percent of phishing messages and 12 percent go on to click the malicious attachment or link, allowing the attack to succeed.[1]

Digital brand fraud has become a pervasive problem. Phishing attacks are one of the most common reasons to imitate a brand. We saw a 150 percent increase in social media phishing from 2015 to 2016.[2] Moreover, the Anti Phishing Working group reported a 250 percent surge in all forms of phishing in the first quarter of 2016. [3]

Fraudsters often implement attacks across multiple channels. Fake customer support accounts on social media direct consumers to bogus login pages hosted on fraudulent web domains. Because all of these vectors are external to your organization, it is difficult to track brand fraud attacks.

Brand fraud may be costing your organization more than you realize. Brand trust is paramount for companies: 81 percent said they’d be concerned or extremely concerned if customers received a malicious email appearing to come from their brand.[4] That alarm is justified. Brand fraud significantly compromises your brand reputation and customer retention. Seventy-three percent of customers would reconsider using a company if it failed to keep their data safe.[5]

For most enterprises, the problem with managing this risk stems from lack of visibility. Most organizations have little to no visibility into phishing attacks spoofing their brand. [6] Don’t get blindsided. As you start your 2017 planning, it’s imperative to implement a digital brand protection strategy — one that includes technology that helps you find brand fraud targeting your customers. Look for solutions that cover all your external risk channels. Hackers are coordinating their attacks across multiple vectors, so your security needs to cover email, mobile, social and web channels. With the right tools and increased visibility, you can protect your customers and your brand.

For more information, please join us for a digital risk webinar on Thursday, March 9 with Forrester Research. We’ll discuss brand fraud risks and you’ll learn how to protect your customers and your brand: https://go.proofpoint.com/forrester-webinar

[1] Verizon 2016 Data Breach Investigation Report
[2] Q2 2016 Proofpoint Social Media Brand Fraud Report
[3] Anti Phishing Working Group Phishing Activity Trends Report
[4] Ken Magill (The Magill Report). “Phishing Threatens Your Brand More than You Think: Return Path.” October 2012.
[5] The Deloitte Consumer Review: Consumer data under a ttack: The growing threat of cyber crime
[6] Proofpoint 2016 Study. “Phishing: The Cost of Doing Nothing for Marketers.”