By Cassandra Balentine
Brand integrity is essential to reputation. Any type of security breach is detrimental to the success of a business. To combat Web site infringement, BrandShield offers a monitoring and protection solution.
The company began as a division of Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) registrar from Israel, with backing from the country’s chief scientists. The technology, which was been in development for nearly two years, was spun off to the separate company in 2013. With an R&D center based in Israel, it is committed to a continuous development of a solution that meets the needs of companies of all sizes—from small companies to large enterprises.
BrandShield is suitable for direct use by organizations as well as by legal advisors and branding advisors. The patent pending technology combines monitoring capabilities and sophisticated algorithms and is fully compatible with the coming expansion of new generic top-level domains.
Today, BrandShield has 17 employees with offices in Israel and New York, NY.
Online Brand Monitoring
The BrandShield online brand monitoring and protection solution helps fight online brand abuse from brand parasites that steal traffic, scam users, sell counterfeit goods, register domain names in violation of trademarks, or otherwise impersonate or infringe brands online.
The company’s patented technology uses advanced analytics and heuristic techniques to identify brand infringement across the Web and automatically prioritize the worst offenders for enforcement action. The Software as a Service solution collects statistical data combined with sophisticated keyword and semantic analysis to spot infringing behavior not visible to the naked eye. “BrandShield reduces the information down to simple prioritized lists that explain the largest risks and how to quickly act on and enforce compliance through cease-and-desist letters, infringement reporting, and registration,” explains Yoav Keren, CEO, BrandShield.
The technology is also designed to incorporate machine learning; its algorithms integrate user feedback to alter prioritization and scoring to best meet brand protection needs. The system learns from this and adjusts its scoring accordingly. “Ultimately, the system learns what you care about most as opposed to what the system thinks is important,” says Keren.
The company works with the brand protection and legal teams as well as branding professionals at organizations to improve the way they manage and protect digital brands.
The company started sales just a couple months ago and already reports dozens of clients. BrandShield’s customers include 888.com, Carlson—owner of popular hotels including Radisson, Park Plaza, and Park-Inn; eToro; New Balance; SodaStream; and Swisscom. The company also serves customers that consist of law firms and consultants who use the system on behalf of their clients to monitor their brands.
Compared to Competition
Unfortunately, Web site infringement is a common reality. Keran points out that any given company can have thousands—or even tens of thousands—of them. “Some are easy to spot, while others may be much more difficult to identify, like sites that redirect legitimate user traffic to their own revenue-sites, sites that sell counterfeits, etc. The status quo for many companies is to react to brand parasites in an ad hoc manner. The trouble with this is you are not capturing everything, and there is no way to prioritize which are the most important to pursue first.”
A set of services are on the market to help. However, Keren says these services capture and present a broader set of brand parasites. They lack the depth of analysis required to provide meaningful prioritization of the risk. With this service-based approach, individuals view potential brand attacking sites and use first impression glances to determine whether a site is infringing. This approach is expensive because it requires a great deal of manpower and resources, and it only solves the clear and blatantly infringing sites.
BrandShield is shifting brand protection from mainly service-based to a software-based hosted solution that has the breadth to find all brand parasites and the advanced algorithms to automatically determine which ones are more relevant. This means that organizations can focus and spend enforcement resources to act on the ones that actually matter—the ones that could do the most damage.
BrandShield’s engineering team is developing additional models that will monitor brand infringement in PPC ads, applications, social networks and ecommerce platforms. SW
Mar2014, Software Magazine