Almost one-quarter of brands have had their domain targeted by cybercriminals, according to the latest global research report released by MarkMonitor. 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 U.K., U.S., Germany, France and Italy to understand attitudes toward and experiences with domain management, security, and wider online brand protection.

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 acknowledgment 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.

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.

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