How to Use Third-Party Marketing Tools on Your Website without Compromising Security

Third-Party Marketing Tools

Your website is vital to your organization’s success. It’s the face of your company and the place where your current and future customers learn about what you do or make a purchase decision. If you’re an eCommerce company, your website is your single most important asset. Customers go there to research, test, buy, or return your product. In other words, you won’t be competitive unless the online customer journey is seamless.

Marketing Technology and Vulnerabilities

Naturally, your marketing team will want to make some enhancements to your most valuable asset. Modern websites make use of a wide variety of third-party tools for tracking, analytics, and other marketing objectives. According to the 2019 State of the Web report from Tala, the average website in the Alexa 1000 is reliant on 31 third parties. Twenty percent of Alexa 1000 websites integrate 50 or more third parties. Websites are dynamic, so the exact mix of integrations tends to change. The marketing team may be pushing out campaigns every few weeks or even every few days, and that can require new content and new integrations.

While these integrations serve important purposes, they can potentially make you susceptible to vulnerabilities such as malicious JavaScript that executes in the customer’s browser. Very few websites are leveraging security solutions capable of preventing client-side attacks.

Beyond Marketing Technology

Many integrations are used to further marketing goals, but there are also other categories of third-party services you’re likely to find on a successful eCommerce website. These might include tools for sales, lead generation, email campaigns, analyzing user behavior, or displaying ads. Content from other domains including images, stylesheets, fonts, media, or iFrames may also be brought in.

Each integration with third-party services provides an additional opportunity for a client-side attack. To secure your website—the lifeblood of your business—you need visibility into and control over each third-party element.

How to Protect Your Website

Imagine that all of the third-party enhancements added to your website are like guests that you’ve invited to a party at your home. Your houseguests are good friends whose presence is appreciated. Some of them may even bring their friends along. The more the merrier!

But you have a lot of valuable possessions in your home that you can’t afford to lose. So how do you throw a party while protecting your assets?

First, you have an RSVP list. If you’re not on the list, you can’t come in. Second, you come up with some restrictions. You might let your guests in the living room, but you’re going to keep the bedroom door locked.

This is the same way you protect your website from your third-party “guests” using a Content Security Policy (CSP). A CSP can prevent browsers from executing JavaScript from sources that have not been explicitly whitelisted. It can also limit the service’s actions—for example, a marketing tool might be allowed to collect geographic information from visitors but restricted from capturing their usernames and passwords.

According to the State of the Web report, 27 percent of Alexa 1000 site owners deploy CSP. However, only two percent deploy a CSP capable of safeguarding against client-side attacks. In other words, 94 percent of websites that have initiated CSP implementations have policies in place that offer little to no protection.

How Tala Can Help

Tala protects your website from vulnerabilities caused by marketing tools and other integrations by leveraging technology native to most browsers. Unlike the more prevalent web security solutions, which are unable to detect compromised JavaScript libraries or determine malicious client-side activity, Tala provides comprehensive security. It requires no changes to the application code and has almost no impact on website performance. Tala’s product is powered by an AI-assisted analytics engine that evaluates over fifty unique indicators to automate the generation, implementation, and updating of security. Tala also provides customers with streamlined alert analytics and incident management.

Successful eCommerce is built on the trust of your customers and a positive user experience. Tala ensures that you can use third-party marketing tools to develop an effective and dynamic website without compromising security.

Are You Vulnerable to Marketing Security Risks?

To secure your website, you first need visibility into its issues. Get started by requesting a customized website risk analysis to discover the client-side vulnerabilities present on your website and web applications. We’ll scan public-facing connections and integrations with no impact on website performance.


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*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Tala Blog authored by Aanand Krishnan, CEO and Founder of Tala Security. Read the original post at: