23% of Global Domains Targeted by Cyber-Attacks, Says MarkMonitor

Brands Taking Siloed Approach to Domain Security and Management

Almost one-quarter of brands have had their domain targeted by cyber criminals. This is according to the latest global research report released by MarkMonitor, a world leader in enterprize brand protection. The report also highlighted that 62% of brands reported that cybercrime impacted their business in the last year.

Almost half of the sample believes brand infringement has increased over the last year, while 46% 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 the following departments being responsible for domain management:

  •  IT / IT security – 46%
  • Legal team – 16%
  • Marketing – 13%

Only 13% of brands noted a combined approach – the industry best practice in mitigating risk.

Research surveyed 700 marketing, IT and legal decision makers from across the US, UK, Germany, France and Italy to understand attitudes toward and experiences with domain management, security, and wider online brand protection.

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“Domains form the core of organization and brand identity, and it’s never been more important to protect them,” says Chrissie Jamieson, VP of marketing, MarkMonitor. “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 most-cited challenges in managing domains include:

  • Security – 56%
  • Cost – 40%
  • Keeping track of domains – 34%

These issues are intensified by the fact not all domains are even active — 56% of respondents own up to 100 domains, yet just 18% say more than three-quarters of these are active.

In addition, despite the wide acknowledgement of the importance of domains — 43% said they were a vital part of brand building and maintaining customer trust — many organizations aren’t being proactive in managing and securing them. This is especially true around the renewal process, with 26% of brands relying solely on renewal notices, 21% relying on just one person to manage the process, while 25% have a plan that involves cross-department collaboration.

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“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 organization’s online brand protection programme so that they can effectively mitigate risk, and leverage the benefits of the Internet, while securing critical assets,” says Jamieson.

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

Research was commissioned by MarkMonitor and conducted by independent survey company Vitreous World. A sample of 700 marketing, legal and IT decision makers from five countries were surveyed, including the UK, US, France, Germany and Italy. Interviews were conducted online in April 2019.

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