To improve the corporate cyber reputation, it is helpful to enable a preventive strategy towards direct and indirect threats to limit or avoid economic damage.
Cyber reputation can influence the opinions of potential customers or the business actions of other companies towards an organization. The quality, value, and variety of search results create a positive or negative online reputation.
A good reputation, online or in person, establishes a level of trust outside of a brand. For this reason, cyber reputation aims to verify that the perception of the public on the network is not deliberately distorted by targeted attacks or threats, direct or indirect.
Often underestimated by SMEs and little understood by Corporate, it is sometimes confused with brand reputation.
Knowing the threats that can affect cyber reputation is essential compared to the more traditional IT security measures historically implemented.
Those who cannot adopt this capability on their own can resort to a managed cyber intelligence service to be promptly informed of the evolution of threats to their corporate reputation.
The importance of the Company’s Cyber Reputation
Cyber reputation is concerned with monitoring and protecting the company’s “digital footprint” in the cyber domain or cyberspace. In practice, it checks that its “virtual representation” on the network is not compromised by direct or indirect actions by third parties or by risk situations that can discredit the services, products, and image of the organization on the network.
Typically, corporate reputation results from digital content in the “surface” portion of the Web, while in the Dark Web, data resulting from data breaches are sought. Also, a company can often be the subject of discussions on social media, so it is essential to address these sources and the Deep Web.
Reputation must not be confused with brand reputation. Brand reputation is specifically about the brand, and the brand is “the way the company presents itself to the world”. The brand represents the organization and demonstrates its position in the market and how it wants the world to see it.
Reputation, on the other hand, represents the perception of others concerning the organization. What you want to express with the brand is controlled by the organization itself, but the reputation is decided by public opinion.
What threats can affect the Cyber Reputation
The threats to cyber reputation are of different types in various areas. Indeed, the most well-known direct attacks exploit search engines and social networks, where it is enough to “speak badly” of a product or service for the cyber reputation to be irreparably compromised.
Other types of threats exploit any vulnerabilities in an organization’s systems.
This is the case of malvertising attacks that modify the contents of websites and insert links that redirect visitors to malicious sites or cause unwanted pop-ups or with insidious advertisements to appear. Finding yourself browsing a site that installs an infected code becomes a practice of “defamation.”
Then there are indirect threats, but still lethal: spam or phishing attacks that use an organization’s internet domain can cause the part to be blacklisted. As a result, the organization may no longer be able to send e-mails for a few days. They would be blocked by spam/phishing security systems or could end up in the spam folder of customers and suppliers, compromising the reliability of the sender.
Indirect and direct threats are, therefore, distinct but converging in the impact on cyber reputation. They connect when the compromise of cyber reputation leads to a problem for the brand concerning the company’s core business.
In fact, in brand protection, the attacks cause a multiplier effect, since if the organization that suffers the defacement of its institutional website is a company that deals with cybersecurity, the reputational damage will certainly be greater than a company, of an industry unrelated to cybersecurity.
Often it is competing companies that lease services on the dark web to harm a commercial adversary. One of the most exciting attacks against a cyber reputation is deep fake by morphing a victim’s video and introducing distortion.
In this context, the senior cybersecurity threat intelligence architect of Cerbeyra specifies that prevention is essential because it is not always possible to conclude investigations and attribution in an attack and complex international letters the technical investigation times. The company, meanwhile, may have already lost its reputation and suffered financial damage.
Security measures for the Active Protection of Cyber Reputation
It is necessary to clarify a fundamental point to dispel any doubts: there is no single technological tool that is decisive for everything and functions as a “magic wand”. It is essential to develop an information management and monitoring strategy inside and outside your organization.
Therefore, traditional technological tools such as antivirus and firewall are needed, combined with new generation intelligent tools to counter attacks and control aspects such as reputation. For cyber reputation, it is necessary to view what the company cannot directly control.
Attacks on an organization’s reputation can occur from the Web and the Dark Web without the attacker coming into contact with the company and its ICT systems.
It is necessary to have strategies and defense plans, which foresee the human being as the center of decisions, possibly supported by Next Generation Analytics technologies that offer Cyber Intelligence service (which include analysis on information such as keywords, videos and images, video analysis) to show in real time the situation of possible attack scenarios and potential threats to which they are exposed.
Next Generation analytics are a range of analysis services and products using AI algorithms and perform advanced correlation, aiming to make a prediction, not prevention. They perform “What IF” analyzes based on the vulnerabilities identified with weighted simulations.
The Threat intelligence solutions reports provide risk evaluations with impact value and economics on potential critical scenarios. Thanks to these tools, decision-making is supported by objective data, and the choice on the defense action can be commensurate with the contextual situation.
To adopt a service of this type, it is advisable to check the costs and metrics of the service to understand any hidden fees, preferring suppliers who do not apply a purely theoretical approach.