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Brands targeted

Some brands have had their domain targeted by cyber criminals; and a majority, 62pc of brands report that cybercrime impacted their business in the last year. This is according to a study released by MarkMonitor, a US-based brand protection consultancy.

Almost half of the sample believes brand infringement has increased over the last year, while near half, 46pc said that cyber threats influenced the development of their domain strategies. The report also highlighted that responsibility for domain management and security is siloed, with IT security or IT, or legal or marketing, being responsible for domain management.

Chrissie Jamieson, VP of marketing, MarkMonitor said: “Domains form the core of organisation and brand identity, and it’s never been more important to protect them. But there’s more to keeping a brand safe online than just looking after domains. It’s about having a wider, holistic brand protection strategy in place that addresses domains, fraud and other forms of infringement, and involves a number of departments within the business. The landscape has become increasingly complex as cyber threats evolve.”

The first most-cited challenges in managing domains is security – 56pc; though cost – 40pc and keeping track of domains – 34pc, also feature. Not all domains are even active — 56pc of respondents own up to 100 domains, yet just 18pc say more than three-quarters of these are active. While 43pc said they were a vital part of brand building and maintaining customer trust — many organisations aren’t being proactive in managing and securing them. About one in four, 26pc of brands rely solely on renewal notices, 21pc relying on just one person to manage the process, while 25pc have a plan that involves cross-department collaboration.

Jamieson added: “Political and legislative issues have also had an impact on domain management and security, all of which need to be considered as part of the organisation’s online brand protection programme so that they can effectively mitigate risk, and leverage the benefits of the Internet, while securing critical assets.”

The research also suggested 39pc of brands have registered a generic top-level domain (gTLD) and about a third, 32pc of those experienced brand impersonation and abuse against it. Some, 39pc of brands say Brexit has impacted their domain strategy, while General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) also played a role. Nearly half of respondents (46pc) said GDPR affected their domain strategy, with 18pc saying they found it more difficult to enforce against infringements as a result.

About the research

Commissioned by MarkMonitor and conducted by survey company Vitreous World, some 700 marketing, legal and IT decision makers from five countries were surveyed; the UK, US, France, Germany and Italy, online in April.


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