Protecting intellectual property – what could brand hacking cost you?

A brand is the largest non-physical asset of any business, a fact evidently understood by The International Olympic Committee (IOC). Strict guidelines and heavy policing have notably been used to protect all aspects of its valuable brand, and the sponsors who have paid to use it. Whatever your opinion of their approach, protecting intellectual property (IP) is good business sense, but it’s not simply about unlicensed use.

Brand hacking – less obvious, but just as damaging

Securing sensitive business data is imperative, but ‘brand hacking’ (where a brand’s information is hacked, then used falsely) is a growing concern. It’s potentially expensive and damaging to reputation. Similar to personal identities theft, enterprising criminals can use your brand to impersonate your business – for whatever purpose they wish.
Unlike ransomware hackers won’t always draw attention to brand hacking and without a visible network that’s regularly monitored you might never know your business has been targeted.

The results of brand hacking

As the voice of your brand business’ social media channels are an obvious target. However, the breadth of scams is only limited by the imagination of hackers.
Recent scams have targeted solicitors firms. Patient hackers intercepted e-mail communication between solicitor’s Beverly Morris and Co and a client. As well as deleting genuine communication, hackers, posing as the firm, instructed funds from the client to be sent to a different account. The client was on holiday and her guard was down (this too could be identified from monitored e-mail communications.) Clever timing (falsified e-mails were sent at close of business on Friday) played a part in an elaborate hoax. In this case the client lost £130, 000 and her bank was unable to track the lost sum.

How to protect your brand

Full visibility of your network is vital to spot brand hacking. Rebasoft offers real time monitoring and the ability to spot and close potentially costly security gaps. Not only can you see which devices are using your network, but the applications that they are using in real time.
We’ve seen the IOC’s fierce protection of how its brand is used, it’s important for every business to understand the value of protecting their brand.

Graham Stevenson, Marketing Manager, NVT Group
gstevenson@nvt.co.uk