You didn’t build your brand overnight, so don’t let it deteriorate that quickly. Brand impersonation has become far too common since the start of the pandemic when most brands relocated their efforts into the digital space. So, what is brand impersonation?

Brand impersonation is a cyberattack that impersonates a trusted brand or entity to trick victims into responding and providing personal or otherwise sensitive information. Brand impersonation most often occurs through email spoofing or phishing attacks. Other forms of brand impersonation, or brand spoofing, could be the creation of a spoofed website domain that imitates your brand’s website, right down to the logo, branding colours, and layout of the site.

Domain spoofing is a very common form of phishing attack that occurs when an attacker appears to use a company’s legitimate domain to impersonate them or one of their employees and gain the trust of their clients or customers. This can be done by setting up a website with slightly altered characters or hardly noticeable spelling errors in the web address. Upon visiting a spoofed website, users will often be asked to input account, financial, or other personal details, trusting that those details are going to the correct place.  

Email spoofing is when an attacker forges an email header so that the message seems to be coming from a legitimate source. This is done in the hopes that the recipient of the email will open and possibly respond to the message. For instance, a customer could receive an email from [email protected] as opposed to [email protected]. Therefore, it is essential to double check the domain of the sender when checking emails.

In Mimecast’s State of Email Security Report for 2021, 47% of participants reported that they had experienced a rise in malicious email spoofing, while 38% of participants saw an increase in brand impersonation via counterfeit websites.

It goes without saying that falling victim to brand impersonation can have a largely negative impact on your brand’s reputation. Customers may blame your brand for not preventing the fraud, while other customers who may have heard of the debacle online could become wary of any future emails or correspondence with your brand.

To protect your brand against impersonation, it is advised that you use social monitoring tools to constantly monitor the web for conversations surrounding your brand and mentions of your brand. Mimecast offers brand impersonation protection for businesses that will help to actively hunt and take down impersonated websites. They also help to ensure that all emails sent to your customers and employees are 100% authentic.