Threat Brief: Fake News -- A Threat to You and Your Family

Posted by Greg Mancusi-Ungaro

Mon, Jan 02, 2017


One of the biggest cyber stories of 2016 was Fake News. There is no doubt that it impacted the 2016 presidential and congressional elections. But did you know that fake news directly threatens business, and worse, you and your family?

This month's BrandProtect Executive Threat Brief takes a long look at fake news -- how it is created, how it is distributed, the threats it can contain, how it impacts you, and how you can improve your defensive posture against it.

Most important, the January Brief provides you and your family with clear guidance on how to better assess the trustworthiness of an online news item. If you can spot the fake, you can eliminate the risk. Read the brief, so that you can have more confidence in your online actions. 

BrandProtect Executive Threat Briefs are designed to minimize your exposures by educating you and your team about simple steps you can take to protect your personal information online. Remember, the easiest threat to stop is the one that you are not exposed to. 

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Topics: Phishing, cybercrime, social media, cyber threats, mobile malware, Spear Phishing, Social Engineering, ThreatBrief

December Threat Brief: Avoid a Bleak Midwinter! Stay Safe Through the End of 2016 (and in 2017!)

Posted by Greg Mancusi-Ungaro

Thu, Dec 01, 2016


There is no doubt that 2016 has been an epic cyber year. Fraudsters have become more sophisticated, and exploits have become more numerous, and more brazen.
But it isn't over yet.

Stay on track through the new year!
Don't slip off the road.

The December Executive Threat Brief provides you with ten actionable cyber tips that will help keep you and your family safe from on-line dangers in the remaining weeks of the year.

Put them into practice now, and keep them going in 2017. 

The December Threat Brief covers a lot of ground, but each of the tips is easy to implement. It's likely that you are already taking some of these precautions. But possibly not all of them. Take action to stay safe. 

BrandProtect Executive Threat Briefs are designed to minimize your exposures by educating you and your team about simple steps you can take to protect your personal information online. Remember, the easiest threat to stop is the one that you are not exposed to. 

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Topics: Phishing, cybercrime, social media, cyber threats, mobile malware, Spear Phishing, Social Engineering, ThreatBrief

191 Million Voter Records Have Been Exposed. What Does it Mean To You?

Posted by Greg Mancusi-Ungaro

Fri, Jan 08, 2016


Over the past weeks there has been a lot of reporting, including these great pieces by Steve Ragan at and Mathew J. Schwartz at about a December 20, 2015 discovery that a database containing 191 Million voter records had been exposed online. As part of the BrandProtect 2016 Elections Project, we dug into the situation, and what it means to you.

Because of the nature of the exposure – effectively a database containing the records was left unlocked and unprotected – there is no way to know who might has downloaded the information.

Make no mistake, this is a big number. And it is an important number.  Consider this: the US Census Bureau estimated that there were approximately142 Million registered voters in 2014. This means that the recent exposure of 191 million voting records is not just a large data breach.  It’s a national issue -- effectively every registered voter in America has had their PII exposed... Wow...

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Topics: Identity Theft, data breach, Social Media Monitoring, cybercrime, social media, online risk, PII, Spear Phishing, Voting Records, 2016 Elections

Credit Unions Need to Start Managing Their Social Media Risk

Posted by Natalie Gleba

Fri, Aug 01, 2014


On December 11, 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (“FFIEC”) released the article, Social Media: Consumer Compliance Risk Management Guidelines, to educate financial institutions about the risks involved in using social media. There are no additional obligations, however, this Guidance strongly suggests that financial institutions, effective immediately, become educated on the potential compliance, reputation and operational risks as it relates to social media use, and implement these guidelines into their risk management strategy. Credit Unions, like Banks, can benefit from these risk assessment strategies and need to be aware of the reputational damage that can occur via social media as a result of neglecting risk management. Here are the summarized risks that Credit Unions should be aware of and integrate into their risk assessment process:

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Topics: Brand Protection, risk management, Social Media Monitoring, Phishing, social media, cyber threats, online risk

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

How To Handle A Social Media Reputation Crisis The Right Way

Posted by Karim Dharamshi

Thu, Dec 19, 2013

Some of you may have already experienced this, for the others it’s only a matter of time.

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Topics: Reputation Management, social media, Risk

Social Media Surveillance - We’re Watching You!

Posted by Natasha Vadori

Fri, Oct 04, 2013

Welcome to the year 2013, where nothing you do online is a secret. One of the main reasons for this lack of security comes down to the fact that people have become casual about their own privacy. They leave their profiles (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) public so that they can “meet” new people and make new “friends”.

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Topics: risk management, Social Media Monitoring, social media, twitter

Changing Tides of Social Media Compliance

Posted by Matthew Brienza

Sun, Sep 29, 2013

What started as a fad viciously grew into a worldwide source for communications. Today the tides of social media continue their fast changing and unpredictable course. The difference between now and then is the far superior widespread use of social communication. Insurance companies, banks, telephone companies, you name it they use it and most companies use social media in the majority of their internal departments. It’s used to send communications externally as well as internally. It’s used to recruit new employees, to send marketing campaigns, to research consumer habits. Social media is an extremely valuable and cost efficient asset for companies to communicate with a massive consumer base. Marketing, Human Resources, Customer Service, Legal, all of these departments are reaping the benefits of social media but do they understand the risks involved?

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Topics: risk management, online brand protection, Social Media Monitoring, social media, Internet Threats

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