The issue of cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important in the field of digital marketing. By taking proper care of their networks and accounts, marketers and IT experts don’t just protect the company’s reputation, they also make customers feel more secure. There’s a lot of data about your business and your customers that can be exposed easily if you don’t take cybersecurity seriously throughout all kinds of your digital marketing efforts.
If the wrong people or wrong software gain access to your accounts, profiles or CMS, your brand can be hurt in numerous ways. So what are the most common cyberthreats arising from digital marketing that you have to pay attention to and what can be done about them?
Even in the era of social media, email marketing is still big among brands and brings extraordinary results, with an average ROI from email marketing standing at around $40 per $1 invested. However, a single security problem that could enable cybercriminals to take over your email account can severely hurt your reputation and wipe out all the effort you invested in developing and executing a successful email strategy. Most hackers will use your server to simply send spam emails, which will cause your IP address to be blocked on numerous servers and your regular emails to end up in spam folders.
Lynne Koreman from Cybervista pointed out that emails are more susceptible to cyber-risks than any other digital strategy. And given that a big majority of data breaches are due to weak passwords, this is something you should pay special attention to in the context of email marketing.
Thus the first line of defense here would be a well-planned and carefully enforced password policy. It has to be understandable to everyone who has access to important info. There are a few very simple tricks that can make your network significantly safer— just listen to Edward Snowden discuss how switching from “passwords” to “pass-phrases” can do wonders for your online safety.
One of the pillars of your digital marketing efforts should be your website. Regularly posting relevant content on your website is one of the best ways to brand your business long term. However, you’ll need a reliable content management system (CMS) that’ll make it much easier for you to handle and organize the content.
But if someone breaks into your CMS, there can be very bad consequences for your brand. Distribution of malware to your users and bad performance of your website are just some of them. A strong password policy is crucial here as well. Furthermore, anyone who has access to the CMS should avoid logging in using public Wi-Fi networks. They can be unsecure and leave the sent and received data unencrypted. Regularly updating your CMS as well as avoiding a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy can also help prevent CMS-related troubles.
Obviously, weak passwords are something that could cause a lot of problems for your social networks as well. There’s an additional aspect: Most digital agencies use the opportunity to boost their posts on social media, which means they have to provide their personal and payment info. Hence, irresponsible usage of company’s account can create serious problems.
Here, it’s vital to think twice before granting an employee any sort of access to your social media accounts. It might come as a surprise to you, but as many as 60 percent of cyberattacks are inside jobs. Whether they’re done inadvertently or on purpose, it’s very important to let only the most reliable and well-trained members of the team take admin or editor roles.
CRM and Customer Data
To collect and make use of info about your customers, their buying habits and the overall success of your digital strategy, you need a first-rate customer relationship management (CRM) software. It’s an essential tool that helps you plan and implement any future steps in this respect, and it can increase your conversions, sales and other key performance indicators. The trouble is, CRM software can be quite vulnerable and this puts all the customer and business data in danger.
A CRM-related security issue can lead to identity theft, data breaches, DDoS attacks as well as malware infections. Again, it’s more than advisable that you regularly update your CRM software and utilize all available patches. Installing SSL protocols is crucial as well. This way, you’ll get the stored data encrypted and much more difficult to access.
Other General Precautions
Apart from the already mentioned precautions you can take, such as mandatory software updates or rigid password policies, there are several other methods you should use on a regular basis to improve cybersecurity in the field of digital marketing. They include the latest antivirus software and firewalls, as well as using backups for your content and data. Employing multi-factor authentication is another handy and simple trick that can largely improve your brand’s online security. In fact, 80 percent of breaches could be prevented using the simplest forms of this strategy.
It’s important to understand that digital marketing and cybersecurity can’t be separated from each other. Using any digital channel and even doing something as simple as logging on to a Wi-Fi network can expose your company to potential online risks, putting your company, your users and your customers in serious danger. CMOs, therefore, must have at least an elementary knowledge of cybersecurity threats and best practices. Thus, the cooperation of CMOs and CISOs, as well as marketing and IT departments in general, will be crucial for preventing marketing-related cybersecurity issues in the years to come.