Protecting Your Brand and Content Online

2015 Trends: multi-channel, streaming media and the growth of fraud

2015 saw the rise of multi-channel marketing with 63% of marketing budgets invested in online channels. Each new channel comes with risks to brand owners. We recommend brands put in place comprehensive multi-channel monitoring program to discover and act on brand infringements. This should cover both mobile and social media channels. Mobile is now the main internet gateway. M-commerce is growing rapidly and already accounts for 22% of the total e-retail channel. Social Media is likewise a fast-growing channel for brand abuse. Brands need to gain visibility into how and where brand and trademark terms are being used in mobile and social media.

Digital streaming media grew in popularity in 2015. Online video streaming piracy is growing fast. Our data shows that over the past 17 months, the number of video streaming infringements has grown faster than downloading or other types of abuse with a 449% growth in pirated TV titles and a 269% growth in movie titles. Content owners should do what it takes to keep up with a shifting digital piracy landscape and include streaming platforms as a part of their monitoring program.

Finally, fraud continues to evolve. Brands need to protect customers and prospects from phishing scams, especially spear phishing and business email compromise scams.

2016 Trends: The Deep Web/Darknet, 3D Printing, new types of mobile threats, streaming media abuse, and malware

There are a significant number of trends we see emerging in 2016. There’s growing interest in the Deep Web and Darknet and brands, especially financial institutions, need to better understand their level of risk. While enforcement is a challenge due to the anonymity of the Darknet, periodic checking of brand abuse is recommended.

3D printing is still in its infancy, but represents an emerging threat for global brands. It’s forecasted that there will be over five million 3D printers shipped in 2019. Brand owners need to address IP abuse potentially caused by 3D printing and focus on both digital and physical goods. Availability of blueprints and CAD files should be monitored across the internet as they are often the source of 3D printing copyright and IP abuse.

As in 2015, mobile continues to represent a threat to brands. We are seeing the emergence of mobile-only marketplaces, social media channels and even banking services. Malicious mobile apps are on the rise. There were less than 20,000 malicious apps in 2012 but over 390,000 in the first 3 quarters of 2014.

Streaming digital media is taking over. Spotify has over 75 million users, Netflix over 69 million subscribers. A new type of piracy is the BitTorrent-powered streaming app, Popcorn Time, allows users to watch thousands of movies instantaneously. We believe that 2016 will bring more variations of services like Popcorn Time.

Finally, malware is easier to create and more diversified than ever. Variations include spyware such as the Trojan Win32/Meredrop and Remote Access Trojans such as Back Office and AlienSpv. Brand owners should also be on their guard against ransomware which fraudsters design for direct revenue generation. They force victims to pay the ransom to grant access to their systems, or to get their data back. Typically victims are asked to pay in bitcoins. We’ve seen an increase in the number of incidents involving so-called drive-by” ransomware where users can infect their computers simply by clicking on a compromised website often lured there by a deceptive e-mail or pop-up window.

For a complete analysis of these trends please click here to see the one-hour webinar where I discuss all aspects of these threats in detail with my colleague Akino Chikada.