Apr 2, 2020 - by Staff Writer

Domain Name Strategies to Get Your Brand Through COVID-19

Understanding, rationalizing and optimizing your domain name portfolio will help you to meet current challenges, and those that lie ahead. Working in partnership with our clients, Brandsight has compiled the following strategic considerations to mitigate risk and leave your brands poised to thrive during and after these uncertain times.

Should I consider defensive registrations to protect my brand?

You should consider registering “at risk” domains associated with your organization’s response to COVID-19 and your flagship brand(s). While these registrations cannot protect against fraudulent activity, they can provide a first line of defense. It also signals to fraudsters that your brands are being closely managed, and to select another target. Monitoring others in your industry for their defensive strategies can also help to inform your own approach. Of course, every company’s approach is different, and your domain registrar should be able to provide you with guidance based upon your risk profile.

Do I need to increase or modify domain monitoring efforts?

We are seeing an increase in domain name infringements being used to perpetrate fraud and counterfeit linked to COVID-19. We recommend that you consider increasing domain monitoring efforts, even for domains that do not contain COVID-19 terms. Also work with your brand protection provider to specifically identify domains with COVID-19 terms within the page content. As always, be prepared to respond quickly, especially taking into consideration most teams are now working remotely.

How do I secure my existing portfolio against external threats?

Leverage technology to audit your domain name portfolio and address any security vulnerabilities in real-time. Understand what countermeasures you have in place (Registry Lock / DMARC / SPF / DNSSEC) for each individual domain and make sure they adhere to your security policies. Note: DMARC is not just a tool for domains actively being used to send e-mail - consider also adding DMARC reject records to your defensive domains to prevent domain spoofing.

What advice can I give my colleagues who are now working remotely?

Educate or remind your workforce (and customers) about the risks associated with fraud, counterfeit and especially phishing scams, and about how to recognize an attack. Give clear guidance on which domain names are used by your company for communication and commerce. Put in place a feedback loop so that they can report fraudulent domains.

My organization is already looking to cut costs – what can I do as a domain name manager?

Corporate domain name portfolios are often bloated and contain legacy registrations that no longer add value. With technology, you can gain visibility into your domain portfolio to help you easily and proactively identify domains that can be left to lapse. By allowing highly restricted and high-cost domains to lapse, you may be able to cut costs, while incurring minimal risk.

How can I show the true value of the domains that I manage?

Domain name portfolios are typically considered a cost-center. However, by leveraging your registrar’s standard web forwarding solution in conjunction with UTM codes, web analytics solutions can provide detailed insights into exactly the pages being viewed, the length of sessions, order flow and other trends which can be used to clearly identify the value of defensive registrations.

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