Xavier Buck (Namespace Group) and Anouar Adlani (EBRAND): Online Identity and Cybersecurity
Namespace Group and EBRAND's missions are to ensure the protection of brands and the identity of online companies. Interview with Xavier Buck, Founder & Chairman of Namespace Group, and Anouar Adlani, CTO of EBRAND.
What techniques do hackers use?
At EBRAND, we're dedicated to safeguarding businesses' digital identities and online presence. One of the primary threats we deal with is impersonation, where cybercriminals pretend to be legitimate entities by copying websites and apps and even assuming the identities of top executives or shareholders. They use these false personas to deceive unsuspecting customers or employees into taking harmful actions. You might be familiar with phishing, a typical example where a bank client is misled into entering their login details on a fake webpage that resembles the real one. We recently came across an interesting case involving a local bank whose e-banking service was counterfeited, and the fake phishing page was promoted through search engine ads. Unfortunately, many customers rely on search engines instead of typing the URL directly to find the legitimate site. They might click on the fraudulent link, believing they've landed on the official website. When it comes to more targeted threats, the goal of a "whaling attack" is often to target bigger fish. For instance, cybercriminals might use a CEO's identity to request their secretary or CFO to make an urgent, substantial money transfer or download an important document. Sadly, falling victim to such schemes can lead to severe consequences like financial losses, ransomware attacks, data breaches, and other malicious activities harming individuals or businesses.
How can clients protect themselves?
Domain names are crucial for various online activities but can also be a breeding ground for many threats. That's why it's essential to have DNS expertise. With over 20 years of experience in the domain name management industry, our group excels at administering and securing domain names. We manage over two million domain names, ensuring our clients receive top-notch protection and support. We divide our operations into three stages: Detection, Qualification, and Remediation. During the Detection phase, we closely monitor domain names, hostnames, social media, search engine pages, and ads for any signs of impersonation or fraudulent activities. For example, if you own the 360Crossmedia trademark and someone registers a domain name like 380Crossmedia or 36OCrossmedia, we quickly notify you of the potential threat. We also monitor social networks and the dark web for signs of compromised passwords or other security breaches. In the Qualification stage, we conduct a thorough contextual analysis to verify whether the detected domain name or other threat poses a risk to our clients. This step is essential in ensuring we prioritize the most significant threats. Finally, in the Remediation phase, we promptly address the threat. This involves informing the client of the potential danger, suggesting appropriate measures for them to take, and notifying data-sharing partners like the Anti Phishing Working Group or Search Engines when necessary. Sometimes, we may also involve our legal department in sending formal notices to the relevant parties.
What other services are driving your growth?
EBRAND is built on three core pillars. The first is Corporate Domain Management, which represents our primary business and expertise. The second is Online Brand Protection, facilitated through our Argos platform, designed to detect and prevent counterfeit products on merchant websites. The third pillar is digital risk protection, powered by our X-RAY solution, which offers advanced monitoring and protection against online threats.
At the group level, we have more than 300 employees and generate a turnover of €50 million. Our comprehensive range of services covers the entire domain management value chain, from domain registration to email creation, SSL certificates, and hosting solutions. Our recent acquisition of Hosting.de has further accelerated our progress in this area.