Web scraping for brand protection
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Iveta Vistorskyte

Dec 01, 2020 8 min read

Being proactive in terms of brand security is crucial for every company. Infringers find sophisticated ways to pose a threat by stealing proprietary data (or intellectual property) and damage the brand’s image or reputation. Various cybersecurity companies fight against trademark infringement and help businesses ensure brand protection.

Brand protection companies monitor the web by efficiently finding stolen content and taking down perpetrators immediately leaving no time for them to act. Web scraping plays a significant role as manually scanning the web would take extensive amounts of time. However, cybersecurity companies need to know what to look out for when choosing reliable web scraping tools to effectively engage in this activity.

We’ll explain in detail what brand protection is, the main challenges cybersecurity companies can face, and how to solve them by choosing reliable web scraping solutions.

What is brand protection?

Simply put, brand protection is the process of securing proprietary data and intellectual property (IP) against malicious entities, such as copyright infringers, counterfeiters, and patent, design, or trademark offenders.

Types of brand infringement
There are different types of brand infringement

Types of brand infringement

Brand protection isn’t only about securing the intellectual property of companies. It also plays an essential role in protecting a brand’s image and reputation among its customers. There are various types of trademark violations.

Counterfeiting

Counterfeiters engage in illegal activities that involve the production and distribution of goods under other brands’ names, of course, without their permission.

These products are cheap lookalikes of goods produced by famous brands. Counterfeiters usually use low-quality components as their goal is to abuse brand awareness in order to make as much money as possible. Research shows that the global economic value of counterfeiting and piracy could reach US $2.3 trillion by 2022

These fake products are sold in various marketplaces all over the world. Efficiently monitoring vast amounts of websites is paramount for a successful fight against counterfeiters.

Copyright infringement

Copyright infringement can also be called piracy. The right to reproduce, stream, or perform the protected work is usually granted only to the copyright holder. However, offenders use works protected by copyright law without permission for their own benefit. Streaming music or movies without a license or written agreement is a great example of piracy.

There’s a massive amount of rogue websites worldwide that provide illegal content for consumers. Keeping track of all of them and acting on time is the primary challenge for cybersecurity companies.

Social media impersonation

Social media fuels all online activity, and, of course, counterfeiters don’t miss a chance to provide illegal content there as well. A fake social media profile will use the brand name, logo, etc. – offenders will do everything to imitate authentic brands. Their chief goal is to sell illegal products (counterfeits), send users to phishing pages, or even distribute malware.

Monitoring social media platforms is a time-consuming and challenging process. Having reliable tools can help companies that provide brand protection services to do their work more efficiently.

Other types of brand violations

Counterfeiting, copyright infringement, and social media impersonation are the most common ways offenders earn money by taking advantage of brand awareness. However, there are more types of brand violations, including:

  1. Patent theft. It’s the act of making (or selling) patented products without the permission of the patent holder.
  2. Trademark squatting. It’s a process when a company purposely files a trademark application for another company’s registered trademark in a country where the second company doesn’t currently hold a trademark registration.
  3. Design infringement. It’s the act that involves the manufacturer using patented design features without the patent holder’s permission.
Web scraping is an irreplaceable process for brand protection
Web scraping is an irreplaceable process for brand protection

Web scraping for brand protection

Before we dig deeper into web scraping for brand security, let’s take a look at the main steps of how brand protection companies fight against offenders:

  1. Finding potential violations online. 
  2. Ensuring that these are the real threats. 
  3. Removing the infringing products (or illegal content), dealing with the fake social media accounts, etc. 
  4. Presenting the necessary information to affected brands.

Web scraping is an irreplaceable process from the very first step as finding and validating potential threats without web scraping is almost impossible. Cybersecurity companies scrape vast amounts of different publicly available data sources, such as online marketplaces, various databases, social media channels, websites, and apps to search for any previously mentioned illegal activity.

Main challenges

Web scraping unlocks an opportunity to build a stable and reliable brand protection process for cybersecurity companies. However, companies that provide brand protection services can face some challenges when scraping the web, including:

  • Scalability 
  • Restricted geo-locations
  • Flawless operation and speed

Scalability

Web scraping for brand protection means monitoring and gathering vast amounts of publicly available data from many websites daily. Trademark infringements are an issue in many various industries, such as fashion, automotive, health and pharmaceuticals, online retail, technology, media & entertainment, and many more. Therefore, monitoring the web includes checking a bunch of different types of websites.

Finding violations in terms of brand security requires checking as much data as possible because cybersecurity companies have to ensure that any infringements are removed. Fraudsters are constantly developing sophisticated techniques of scamming. For example, infringers will typically create more accounts on online third-party marketplaces in case the original account is taken down or blocked.

Web scraping solutions must be capable of dealing with a large influx of data. Otherwise, monitoring the web will be inefficient.

Restricted geo-locations

Infringers usually provide their illegal services worldwide. Accessing websites, regardless of its location, is a must. Web scraping technologies have to be responsive to specific markets. Otherwise, companies that provide brand protection services aren’t able to guarantee 100% brand security. 

As mentioned above, infringers find sophisticated ways of fighting back brand security measurements. For example, they’re blocking IP addresses and preventing cybersecurity companies from accessing their illegal content. Companies that provide brand protection services should think of solutions that can provide a large pool of IP addresses from different locations to access unlawful content efficiently.

Infringers usually provide their content worldwide
It’s essential to access websites and marketplaces regardless of their geo-locations

Flawless operation and speed

An essential task for cybersecurity companies is to act fast and effectively. Otherwise, infringers might be able to hide their illegal content, delete their fake accounts, etc. Without proof, exposing and taking down offenders is impossible. Companies that provide brand protection services also have to notify their customers about violations as fast as possible so they would have time to make decisions concerning their brand security.

Scraping large amounts of data in some cases may cause reduced speeds. This is why cybersecurity companies need to pay attention to when choosing data gathering solutions.

Web scraping solutions

We already discussed the major web scraping for brand protection challenges, and it could help choose a reliable and efficient solution. Knowing what is essential to pay attention to when considering various options will be the key to successfully build a brand protection process. Oxylabs provide different solutions to fit every cybersecurity company’s needs.

Datacenter Proxies

We provide one of the most stable Datacenter Proxies on the market with 99.9% uptime, ensuring flawless operations 24/7. Oxylabs has one of the biggest datacenter proxy pools in the market with 82 locations and 2M+ dedicated proxies worldwide.

Each of Oxylabs’ Datacenter Proxies is only assigned to one user at a time. This guarantees a quick response time and high speed.

How Oxylabs’ Datacenter Proxies work

Choosing our Datacenter Proxies strongly depends on what companies that provide brand protection services already use and need. These proxies are a perfect improvement for the web scraping process that unlocks geo-restricted content, offers exceptional performance, and allows monitoring as many marketplaces as required without getting blocked.

Larger companies usually invest in their own in-house solution that scrapes the required web targets. In this case, datacenter proxies are just a cherry on top to ensure smooth data gathering processes. Oxylabs has also to offer a data collection tool specifically built for publicly available data extraction from search engines and e-commerce websites. 

Real-Time Crawler

Oxylabs provide a customized scraper – Real-Time Crawler – specially designed for heavy-duty publicly available data retrieval operations. 

How Real-Time Crawler works
How Oxylabs’ Real-Time Crawler works

Real-Time Crawler is a perfect tool for monitoring vast amounts of websites at scale. It’s powered by Next-Gen Residential Proxies, meaning that Real-Time Crawler uses the largest 100M+ residential IP pool on the market. With Real-Time Crawler, brand protection companies can access the most popular marketplaces. This tool guarantees 100% success rates, returns structured results in JSON and is highly customizable and scalable.

Real-Time Crawler allows brand protection companies to forget dealing with proxy maintenance, IP blocks, CAPTCHAs, and website changes.

Conclusion

Web scraping for brand protection and fighting against infringers isn’t an easy task for brand protection companies. Scalability, restricted geo-locations, flawless operation, and speed are the most common issues cybersecurity companies face when monitoring vast amounts of websites and marketplaces. 

Choosing reliable solutions that can deal with these challenges facilitates daily tasks by ensuring efficient detection of stolen content. This enables companies to immediately take down infringers, leaving no time for them to fight back.

If you’re interested in more information about solutions for brand protection companies, drop us a line by clicking here.

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About Iveta Vistorskyte

Iveta Vistorskyte is a Content Manager at Oxylabs. Growing up as a writer and a challenge seeker, she decided to welcome herself to the tech-side, and instantly became interested in this field. When she is not at work, you'll probably find her just chillin' while listening to her favorite music or playing board games with friends.

All information on Oxylabs Blog is provided on an "as is" basis and for informational purposes only. We make no representation and disclaim all liability with respect to your use of any information contained on Oxylabs Blog or any third-party websites that may be linked therein. Before engaging in scraping activities of any kind you should consult your legal advisors and carefully read the particular website's terms of service or receive a scraping license.

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