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Managing Digital Risk: When DR doesn’t mean Debit – and why it can’t be ignored

‘DR’ is now delivering the quizzical eyebrow-raise previously reserved for IP, when confusion with Internet Protocol and Intellectual Property had to be explained.

For some it’s a Debit, Data Room, Disaster Recovery, Domain Rating or the age-old medical profession, to us, it’s Digital Risk.

That is, the risks to which your business is exposed online.

‘Cyber’ must now incorporate a myriad of facets. It’s no longer the wall of protection, designed to prevent penetration from outsiders and phishing attacks – keeping the business safe.

It must consider how the business can, and must, grow in the face of considerable online adversity.

First stop – the free cyber check from the @NCSC https://checkcybersecurity.service.ncsc.gov.uk/

Secondly, consider your products – particularly if you have physical product and a supply chain.

The main question is … do you KNOW, really know, your supply and distribution partners?

When it comes to managing digital risk, knowledge and proaction are key. Ask yourself the following: where are your products made, how they are made, by who and how do they get to you? How complex is your distribution chain – for example, if you are rerouted via Singapore by surprise, who is selling what and where? Are your distribution agreements exclusive, non-exclusive or sole – and what do you do about grey market product? Do you really care if someone is selling goods which look exactly like yours but are not?

This is where online brand protection comes in.

Brand Protection & Digital Risk

Online brand protection manages your digital risk by identifying fake websites, products, sellers, and links which are diverting unsuspecting customers into spending money elsewhere – when they should be spending it with you.

Earlier this year the OECD/EUIPO (2023) published, Risks of Illicit Trade in Counterfeits to Small and Medium-Sized Firms, Illicit Trade, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/fa6d5089-en to which SnapDragon was delighted to contribute. Too frequently, even large SMEs don’t consider the impact of fakes on digital risk until considerable damage is done.

Fake websites, looking just exactly like your own, can deceive at a huge cost. With one small slip of a domain name extension, or hyphen, or even fake invoices, fraudsters employ a myriad of tricks which customers – and brands – then pay. Often showcasing imaginary products, with lovely, imaginary prices, infringers entice consumers with the sole intention of capturing card details which are then used at such speed, illicitly, that even the most observant of bank fraud departments are failing to notice.

And that’s not all – even when something does arrive. Sadly, fake products, which are received by customers hoping for a good deal, cause equal mayhem thanks to non-existent standards: electricals go on fire; beauty products maim; faulty components put lives at risk. Whether victim to defrauding, lost sales or reputational damage, your risk register suddenly looks bigger than ever.

An impactful and excellent online brand protection and digital risk strategy will prioritise your revenues – starting by protecting your most valuable product and territories. Your chosen partner should ask about, and understand, your supply and distribution chain, the marketplaces where your profit margin is at its best, your exclusive, non-exclusive and sole distribution agreements transcending territories, your customer profiles and much, much more.

Understanding all of this, we can help reclaim the income streams you are losing to fraudsters – who, with their parallel distribution chains – are funding illicit activities such as people trafficking, drugs and prostitution. There are also proven links between counterfeit products and terrorism. No responsible business wants to be associated with either.

If you manufacture product or have a brand you’re proud of, whether a service, or organisation, and DR isn’t on your Risk Register. It would be a good moment to add it. Protecting your business from digital risk is one thing. But helping you to grow your business is exactly why we’re here.

To learn more about how we can help protect your brand against digital threats, contact us now.


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