For many years, companies used traditional marketing outlets that had a very low risk of brand misuse or misrepresentation. It’s hard to imagine, for example, how a billboard could be compromised to hurt your image, other than besides vandals using a bit of spray paint. Such an effort would be easily spotted and dealt with quickly.

In today’s connected world, the threat is very real. Your brand can be damaged in a host of ways that are widespread and very impactful. If you are not monitoring how your brand is being used, you might not notice these negative acts for quite a while. There are some simple steps that can stave off these threats.

Online Poses Main Threat

In this day and age, the biggest threats to brand assets are online. In the past decade, cybercrime has become far more common than physical crime. Cybercrime happens quickly, quietly, and is often difficult to detect until the damage has already been done. Therefore, it is important to stay alert and keep yourself one step ahead of future criminal activity. Have the people, policies, and systems in place to ensure that your company is secure. We help companies each year develop these policies and procedures so that they remain aware of the threats that are out there. Understanding what could happen is only part of the solution. Identifying your company’s brand vulnerabilities is an even bigger one.

Stay Ahead of the Game

The best way to prevent a cyber security breach is to know your weaknesses. When a cyber crime has occurred, the first step is to determine where the breach happened and immediately seal it to prevent further damage. If you determine these security faults first, your brand assets will be exponentially more secure. This is one in a number of vulnerability analysis steps that can be implemented to determine weakness and ensure future brand security.

Nevertheless, it is important to note that a security breach can occur due to the simplest of actions such as clicking on what appears to be an innocent link. This is why keeping all employees informed and involved is important. Inform them of simple actions they can take to keep the security and integrity of the company in place. For example:

  • Avoid installing unnecessary applications and extensions on a company computer.
  • Never open a web based document.
  • Do not click questionable links whether it’s in an email or on a webpage.
  • Restrict employees from having access to their personal social profiles on work computers.
  • Encrypt Data.

Always Be Monitoring

Lastly, monitor constantly. It is common for a company to have an analyst within the company who is regularly monitoring all areas of security. In fact, we highly recommend it. A dedicated security analyst will be informed on all areas of the company on a daily basis. From press mentions, to blog posts, to social media postings, to reviews aggregated on consumer driven websites, an analyst will have an in-depth understanding and awareness of the brand physically and online. With constant monitoring, security problems can be detected early and threats thwarted before any permanent damage can be done.

Overall, cyber threats are continuously evolving and are an issue that will seemingly be here forever. Staying alert, being proactive, and monitoring are the best means of defense for a company. Put the system in place now and keep your company’s brand safe for years to come.

Published March 04, 2014