The well established banking institution, Barclays recently revealed that it is turning it’s back on the dot com. TLD and instead will be transferring it’s online presence to .barclays and .barclaycard. The move is motivated by an effort to prevent ‘phishers’ scamming it’s online customers. Over the coming weeks, the Barclays group will cease to use the .com and .co.uk TLD’s. Chief Information Security Officer, Troels Oerting, stated that the reasoning behind this change ‘ultimately serves to increase trust and confidence in Barclays’ online entities’ and to provide a ‘more secure service’ for it’s customers.
The term Phishing has pervaded newspaper headlines over the past week as a recent report released by the APWG ( Anti-Phishing Working Group) revealed that fraudulent phishing activity reached an unprecedented high in 2014, with a large majority originating from China. The report showed that domain names are more and more being used as a mechanism to ‘phish’ for web users private data and confidential financial information. Popular TLD’s are often the target of phishing attacks as naturally top TLD’s attract the greatest number of web users.
The APWG report also highlighted that phishing attacks have been steadily on the increase across a variety of different industries. Further findings in the report were quite shocking. Phishing attacks increased from 8hours 42 mins in 2014 up to 10 hours and 6 mins, So what explains this exponential rise in this fraudulent activity? Many speculate that ICANN’s new gTLD program may explain the huge rise in phishing attacks globally.
With the steady release of new domain extensions from .club to .finance over the past few months, domain names can be purchased at relatively affordable prices. It comes highly recommended that brands who wish to protect their digital assets, reputation and customers should invest in trademark monitoring of all associated company domain names. Such monitoring could save companies enormous revenue loss from opportunistic scammers.
Financial institutions are increasingly apprehensive for the potentiality of online scammers to use their digital assets like domain names to attract and deceive unsuspecting web users.
The Barclay’s group is clearly demonstrating their awareness of the essential need for protecting their digital assets if they are to protect their customers.
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