As the economy continues to flourish in the Middle East, the rate of cybercriminals activities is increasing. The companies in the region are growing prudent over the growing cyber threats and exploitation of the brands.
The cybercriminals are exploiting their brands to target their customers, partners or the general public. According to a report, 74% of organisations in Saudi Arabia and the UAE feel concerned about web domain, brand exploitation or site spoofing attack.
Cybercrimes have been on the rise for years as cybercriminals have grown vigorously to adopt new tactics and techniques. The cybercriminals are aware of the ease to register a lookalike domain. They launch sophisticated cyberattacks by impersonating trusted brands that are difficult to differentiate for many.
It has become more of an everyday business for cybercriminals to impersonate renowned brands and services to trick people into submitting their sensitive information and money.
DMARC – A Solution Many Ignored
According to the report, in the UAE, 50% of organisations admit to raising concerns about the spoofing attacks that impersonate their email domain, which is 40% when compared to a global average. Organisations must look beyond the perimeter to determine if their brands are being used as a tool to cause damage to the users on the internet. To begin with the preventive measures, organizations will need to adopt Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC).
Implementing DMARC generates detailed reports providing insight into the emails sent from your organization’s email domain. It helps you set a policy to prevent unwanted users from using your domain. So the next time the malicious actors try to send an email using your organization’s email domain, it is up to your organization if the email should end up in the receiver’s inbox, spam, or should be rejected. This helps to protect the receivers from falling victim to malicious emails coming from your email domain.
As per the report, 99% of organizations in the UAE are aware of DMARC, but only 34% are using it. Perhaps an indication that many organizations haven’t realized the importance of using such a solution to protect the brand reputation and the customer’s trust.
Cybersecurity Chiefs to Oversee the Raising Alarm
While brand protection is certainly a matter that the organisations should give importance to, the question arises if the security heads are taking the matter seriously or not. According to a report, Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) in the UAE are most likely to control the budget for securing the organization’s brand against spoofing attacks or other forms of exploitation.
As far as the organizations in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are concerned. 48% of organizations claimed that the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) oversees the cybersecurity budget. It is encouraging that the organizations here stopped relying on the obsolete IT infrastructure and security roles to protect the brand reputation. However, it does not matter who manages the budget as long as the organization has a budget set aside to tackle the cybersecurity issue.
According to the report, Saudi Arabia and UAE are the ones on the highest alert among the countries expecting a surge in spoofing attacks in the year ahead. 52% of organizations in Saudi Arabia and 54% in UAE are on high alert with the expected increase in web and email spoofing attacks in 2021.
Effective Solutions to Protect the Brand
Standard web, spam filters and email security strategies are no longer enough to keep away the malicious emails. Organizations will need to come up with robust cybersecurity solutions to protect their brands, customers’ trust and smoothly run business operations.
It is unavoidable that organizations adopt more complex and more sophisticated security measures to prevent malicious actors from using their domains or lookalike domains. Though companies worldwide are spending billions of dollars to prevent domain impersonation.
Here are some effective security measures every organization need to implement to secure the domain:
- Update software and systems
Keeping your organization’s software and systems up-to-date is critical. They come with the latest security update and patches to protect you from the latest threats.
- Enable HTTPS protocol
Install an SSL certificate to enable the HTTPS protocol. It is a protocol that encrypts HTTP requests and their responses, it prevents the hackers from trying to compromise the network between your computer and the server you are requesting from.
- Cybersecurity awareness training
Disregarding the size and the amount of money an organization spends on securing the systems. Organizations will need to educate the employees with tools like ThreatCop to be aware of the latest cyberattack vectors and how to avoid it.
- Email authenticity
Increase the email authenticity by monitoring DMARC, SPF and DKIM with tools like KDMARC. It gives you detailed insights into the outbound emails and provides you with information on how many emails are flowing through your email domain.