Latest Political Cyber Fraud: Warren Endorses Sanders??!  No... It's Fake. (She Remains Neutral)

Posted by Greg Mancusi-Ungaro

Sat, Mar 05, 2016

2016 Elections Project Update:  On Monday, just before the Super Tuesday Democratic Primaries, this "NY Times" article made the rounds on social media:

It wasn't legitimate.  And it wasn't a parody.  It was a fraud, pure and simple. 

News of this fake article exploded on Monday, sending the NY Times and many other news organizations scrambling to disavow the article and have it removed from the web. Within a few hours, it was gone. But the damage may have already been done - the article was shared over 50K times, including 15K Facebook shares.  It was probably viewed by hundreds of thousands of people across all kinds of social channels.  Enough to swing an election? Possibly!   

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Topics: scam, brand abuse, Reputation Management, Social Media Monitoring, cyber threats, impersonation, CISO, threatSMART, 2016 Elections

Threat Vendors are Going Mainstream:
Extortion Is Their Business Model!

Posted by Greg Mancusi-Ungaro

Wed, May 27, 2015

I’m just back from a fantastic International Trademark Association (INTA) conference. It is exciting to spend a few days with the foremost practioners in trademark and IP world.  One of the most visible organization there was a registrar, Vox Populi Registrar, Inc., who owns the .SUCKS gTLD.   Their representatives, clad in bright blue and white, were merrily touring the floor, speaking with vendors and attendees, about how much business sense it made to a brand to purchase the .SUCKS domain.  There booth featured a continuous slide show of F500 brands,"using" the .SUCKs domain.  ibm.sucks; ford.sucks; starbucks.sucks. yourcompanyhere.sucks. Outside the conference hall, there were more blue-clad representatives, passing out .SUCKs items that were prohibited in the hall. The Vox Populi message was communicated clearly --  It only costs $2500/year to reserve this gTLD.
"Isn't that a small amount to pay to know that no one else uses it with your brand?..."

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Topics: risk management, brand abuse, online brand protection, Reputation Management, INTA, trademark, intellectual property, Risk, gTLDs, cyber threats, Chief Security Officer, online risk, unauthorized associations

Why Social Media Risk Planning is Necessary for Brand Image

Posted by Natalie Gleba

Fri, Jul 11, 2014

It is no surprise that 84% of businesses have now adopted social media to implement an online presence to communicate with customers and overall, increase their brand reach [1]. Whether a small independent business or a large B2B company, it is more evident than ever that businesses who do not build and maintain an online social media presence will get left behind, and evidently lack competitiveness. Having a social media presence offers clear advantages for marketing and sales departments, however, with this comes the disadvantage of having increased social media risks that could potentially harm the company’s brand. Therefore, it is extremely important that businesses adopt a Social Media Risk Plan to manage their reputation online and know how to mitigate potential threats.

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Topics: Brand Protection, risk management, defamatory, brand abuse, online brand protection, Reputation Management, Social Media Monitoring, employees social media, online identity, social media, Internet Threats, Risk, internet security, cyber threats

5 Reasons Why You Should Care About Internal Auditing

Posted by Natasha Vadori

Tue, May 13, 2014

One of the questions that customers ask BrandProtect most often is about social media policies and monitoring.   Luckily, there are many great examples of processes and procedures in parallel areas of business that can be applied to this issue.  At BrandProtect, we recommend an approach which is modelled around the “internal audit” procedures used at many companies to assess financial risks.  The purpose of internal audit is to ensure that the proper "controls" (procedures and policies) are in place and are effectively being followed.  They target “situations” that have a high risk score (high likelihood of happening and a high impact if they do happen).  The best Internal auditing practices look not only at abstract metrics (such as incident frequency and risk exposure)  but also at  a company’s strategic goals – different strategic goals will change a company’s willingness to take on risk.   Adding social media activity to the scope of an internal auditing practice will strengthen a company’s understanding of risk exposures that could affect its business.

Here are the main areas where social media can be greatly impacted by the internal auditing team:

1. Brand and Reputation Damage

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Topics: Brand Protection, data breach, Privacy Protect, Reputation Management, internal auditing

Employees: An Insider Threat To Your Brand’s Online Reputation

Posted by Natasha Vadori

Fri, Mar 28, 2014

Time and time again, we come across a social media crisis that could have been prevented. Although you can’t control what’s being said outside your organization, you very well can control what’s being said inside. The internal threat is all too real. Whether it’s leaking unapproved information, or a disgruntled employee complaining about their organization (see HMV crisis circa January 2013), organizations need to establish some form of social media guidance. Employees are people; and people make mistakes. It’s important to try to circumvent any possible issues that may cause customers some anguish.

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Topics: defamatory, Reputation Management, employees social media

What is the Cost to Your Organization When Your Internet Traffic is Diverted?

Posted by Rosemary Brkopac

Wed, Mar 19, 2014

Last fall, one of my new financial services clients asked if BrandProtect could provide them with information about the web presence of their Mortgage Loan Officers, also known as MLO’s.   As you can probably surmise, MLO’s are the lifeblood of many financial organizations, and the first impression prospective clients may glean about a bank/trust company etc. is how their employees are presented on the web. 

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Topics: Brand Protection, Reputation Management, MLO

Protecting Your Brand From The Dangers of Unauthorized Associations

Posted by Omri Benhaim

Tue, Mar 11, 2014

A few years ago I was in need of a licenced plumber to come and fix some piping issues I was having in my kitchen. After doing some research online I came across a company’s website that looked professional and organized with reasonable prices. Before making a decision I went to check out their reference section where I saw a referral written by one of my client’s contacts accompanied by that client’s brand logo. At first I thought this was a great opportunity to get someone's personal experience with this company. Although when I got a hold of my contact they informed me that neither they nor their organization have ever hired, worked with or been associated in any way with that company. My client, while concerned, was not sure what risks this issue presented and requested a breakdown of the dangers related to an “Unauthorized Association”.

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Topics: online brand protection, Reputation Management, unauthorized associations

Reputation Combat: The Fight to Protect Your Reputation Online

Posted by Sarah Connor

Mon, Mar 03, 2014

Oh how the tables have turned! A company’s most valuable asset – its reputation – is at the hands of anonymous internet users. Not only are companies exposed to threat from malicious online attacks by hackers and cybercriminals, the power of the internet has made word-of-mouth, once a company's trusted ally, one of the most powerful tools to be used against any brand. Consumers have the opportunity to do and say whatever they want about whoever they want online protected by anonymity. They can defame a brand, write a negative review about a product and criticize a company even if their comments aren’t true.

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Topics: Brand Protection, Reputation Management, negative reviews

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