Despite the prevalence of innovative web-based solutions, deploying domain research and monitoring tools isn’t a top priority for most small businesses and bootstrapped organizations. It’s not surprising, though, as some lack the resources to establish dedicated IT teams in the first place. As a consequence, organizations may be missing out on several significant benefits, such as accurate threat and brand intelligence.
Fortunately, bad situations are preventable with the right domain research and monitoring solutions in place. Let us explain how, taking a closer look at the Domain Research Suite and its specific applications. The suite allows brand managers and security analysts to keep an eye on their digital assets, as well as those used by threat actors and competitors.
Why Use Domain Research and Monitoring Solutions
Below are some examples of how users can benefit from domain research and monitoring solutions.
Online merchants, payment processors, and financial institutions can protect themselves against fraudulent transactions using domain research and monitoring solutions.
WHOIS Search, for example, allows its users to retrieve the details of both their own domains and IP addresses or those of third parties. Checking one’s own online properties can be useful to find traces of hijacking or potential vulnerabilities. Paying attention to third parties’ domains and IPs and whether these present notable discrepancies, on the other hand, may help detect fraud. Meanwhile, WHOIS History Search can be useful to pull up a domain’s current and previous ownership records.
Both tools reveal the creation and expiration dates, registrant, location, and name servers connected to a domain of interest. Users can check these records and recent changes made to them to deduce whether there might be links to criminal activities.
2. Marketing and Brand Management
Marketing analysts and brand managers can rely on domain research and monitoring tools to obtain consumer intelligence, do market research, enable brand protection, and prevent cyber risks. Brand Monitor, Domain Monitor, and Reverse WHOIS Search are most applicable for these purposes.
- Brand Monitor allows brand protection officers to track keywords related to their domains, brands, or products. They can also add their domains to the application to receive alerts whenever new domains resembling theirs are registered or dropped. Brand Monitor also has a “typo” feature that enables users to add misspelled variations of their keywords and domain names for monitoring.
- Domain Monitor helps users audit changes made to a particular domain. With it, users can track suspicious domains, when they were last updated, and the specific records that were modified.
- Reverse WHOIS Search allows brands to retrieve their competitors’ domains. With a company name, phone number, or email address as a search term, users can obtain a list of domains that their competitors own to gain insights on what they’re up to.
3. Domain Investing and Transfers
Domainers are always on the lookout for profitable investments. To that end, they can use some of the Domain Research Suite’s components to discreetly look for trendy domains, monitor the competition, and avoid front-running risks. Reverse WHOIS Search is a handy tool for taking note of the domains that competitors own.
Domainers can also use WHOIS Search and WHOIS History Search to look into the ownership details of high-value domains and consequently find out when these are available for resale. Brand Monitor is also great for domain research, especially for domainers fishing for new ideas. They can also run domains of interest in Domain Availability Check to see if they’re available.
Domainers can closely watch their competitors’ activities with Registrant Monitor and Domain Monitor. Also, Registrant Monitor is a straightforward tool that reveals the domains a company or individual has registered or released back into circulation. Domain Monitor also allows domain investors to zero in on particular domains.
4. Cybersecurity and Law Enforcement
All tools on the Domain Research Suite can be used to build cases, uncover cybercriminals’ “hiding places,” and perform threat analysis on networks and entities. Threat hunters, cyber investigators, and law enforcers are probably no stranger to solutions that come with the suite. Many have probably used these tools at some point to build attacker profiles, reverse-engineer attacks, and map adversaries’ infrastructure.
For instance, professionals can conduct WHOIS and reverse WHOIS lookups to acquire a list of domains associated with cybercriminal networks. Meanwhile, Registrant Monitor and Domain Monitor prove useful in following the moves of known cybersquatters and fraudsters.
Adding domain research and monitoring tools to one’s software arsenal is a worthwhile investment. While these tools cannot replace advanced security appliances or marketing software, they can substantially simplify processes. Domain Research Suite is a comprehensive collection of applications that can effectively streamline business-critical processes.
About the Author
Jonathan Zhang is the founder and CEO of Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP)—a data, tool, and API provider that specializes in automated threat detection, security analysis, and threat intelligence solutions for Fortune 1000 and cybersecurity companies. TIP is part of the WhoisXML API family, a trusted intelligence vendor by over 50,000 clients.