Email Security Blog

CMO: Your Brand Is Under Attack – And You Can Stop It

Agari June 6, 2014 Brand Protection, DMARC
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By Alexander Garcia-Tobar

As the internet’s influence on sales, marketing, and communications continues to expand, Brand Management is undergoing a seismic shift. A company’s domain name has become an extension of their traditional brand. Imagine Amazon with a main domain other than Amazon.com, or Bestbuy not owning BestBuy.com. Recognizing this fact, prices for domains that match a company’s Brand name continue to skyrocket, and domains are closely guarded. Last year, Regions Bank, accidentally let its domain name registration expire. As a result, thousands of customers were unable to conduct online banking transactions. Companies pay brand & domain management companies such as Neustar, Mark Monitor, and CSC in part to protect and manage their domains.

Even traditional market sectors -what we typically think of as non-internet businesses- ranging from Oil & Gas (Exxon, Shell, etc) to home furnishing (Crate & Barrel, La-Z-Boy, etc) have realized the importance of their domain names as a key factor in how they communicate & transact with their consumers.

Domains are more than just website destinations though – they are also used to send email to consumers. Receiving an email from a known brand confers a sense of trust, confidence, and legitimacy – until a consumer gets phished. Criminals know that using a brands’ domain name in the “from” field makes it likely the consumer will open the email and click on the link…which of course infects or steals information from their device/computer. Agari and our ISP partners have stopped 7M+ phishing emails and attacks over a couple days for one of our global customers. The emails purported to be from a known global brand and encouraged the client to click on the included link to “track your package”. Had these emails reached their intended targets, 7M consumers would have had their hard drives encrypted and be forced to pay a ransom to the criminal in order to unlock their computers in just one attack.

Imagine the loss of reputation and trust this company would have experienced. Would any affected consumer trust any further communication from the company? Would they even trust the company and the brand anymore?

It’s understandable that previous to a solution being available, all CMOs could do about this type of brand abuse is hope for the best. Now that there is a way to stop these email-based attacks, it’s clear that deploying DMARC-based anti-phishing solutions is no longer just a security issue – it goes straight to the core of a company’s brand, and therefore has become an issue all CMOs should take a look at.

To learn how to get started, contact us.

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