What is Brand Exposure?
Bad actors can damage an organization’s reputation and credibility in many ways. For example, they can spread false information, post negative reviews, or create fake websites or social media accounts. They can also sell counterfeit products on digital marketplaces and in application stores. Their goal is to confuse and deceive customers and ultimately, impact a brand’s revenue and customer trust. To negatively impact a brand, threat actors have plenty tactical means, including:
- Email breaches: Email inboxes are a treasure trove for cybercriminals; and unauthorized access to sensitive information stored in emails has the potential to wreak havoc, not only potentially compromising privacy but also exposing individuals and enterprises to identity theft, phishing scams, and other malicious activities.
- Cloud storage: An attacker can easily gain access to public-cloud storage and cause irreparable damage or steal valuable data if the storage company has not prioritized security and, for example, lacks proper data governance or robust credentials.
- Typo-squatted domains: Typo squatted domains, also known as URL hijacking, are deceptive websites created with slight misspellings of popular domain names to trick unsuspecting users into clicking on them. Hackers often use them for phishing attacks and malware distribution.
- Code repositories: Since code repositories are accessible to multiple users, they present an easy route for threat actors to gain unauthorized access to intellectual property. For example, if developers inadvertently upload proprietary or sensitive code, it can be exposed to the public domain, which can then potentially cause copyright infringement or competitive advantage issues.
- Expired or soon-to-expire domains: When a domain expires, it becomes available for anyone to register, including cybercriminals. Attackers can take advantage of an expiring domain to gain access to confidential data or use it for malicious purposes. For example, they can create fake websites that mimic legitimate ones to trick unsuspecting users into sharing personal information or downloading malware. That’s why it’s crucial for domain owners to renew their domains on time or take necessary precautions to prevent their expired domains from falling into the wrong hands.
- Subdomain takeovers: Attackers look to take control of inactive or misconfigured website subdomains, which they can use to steal sensitive data, launch phishing attacks, or redirect users to malicious websites.
To protect their brands from these types of attacks, businesses must stay vigilant and implement robust cybersecurity measures that regularly monitor their online presence. At Netenrich, our Resolution Intelligence Cloud platform has a feature called Attack Surface Exposure (ASE) that continuously monitors the attack surface to detect and fix hidden risks, including advanced persistent threats (APTs), misconfigurations, and more.