7 reasons why digital marketers should be cyber vigilantes

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Technology is getting more and more advanced. Therefore, digital marketing is becoming more and more important to business operations. Criminals are now more aware of the value of companies’ virtual assets. The threat of cyberattacks has increased.

Digital marketing teams everywhere need to be proactive when it comes to security. Below are seven reasons why digital marketers should be on the lookout for cybernetics. What are the best ways to prevent costly and time-consuming cybersecurity mistakes?

Bots can affect your marketing strategy

It is not unusual for Google bots, or your own as part of a strategy, to visit your website. This could be for purposes such as software regression testing. However, fake bots are malicious and can attack websites for various reasons. They are usually aimed at collecting data. The presence of these bots can skew analytical data and lead to decisions on shaky ground. Not good for a killer marketing strategy.

Google Analytics can do some of the work for you, as it has software capable of detecting bots. But, things are often lost, and the human eye can often detect bot hits more accurately rather than, say, a bot mobile app.

If the traffic seems impossible, it is probably impossible. Features such as a rapid succession of visits from the same IP can refer to bot interference. Exclude these hits using the filtering feature of Google Analytics.

Customer information is powerful and dangerous

It’s easy, as a marketer, to lose sight of the amount of data required for day-to-day operations. Some may consider the data superfluous, but its value to the business is very high. The data associated with the client is very valuable. For example, information stored in your order management system to track visitor movements.

As shown in the graph below, the number of data breaches has been trending upward over the years. Data is now more valuable than gold, and hackers are discovering more and more ways to obtain it.

Protecting customer data involves taking into account the amount of information that is stored. Marketing is usually a data-driven game. It may seem natural to keep as much information as possible. However, reducing the amount of data stored is actually a much safer option.

Apart from this, it is important to carry out security checks. Old software is a risk factor. Once the vulnerabilities are clarified, the software vendors create new patches to remove them. Staying up-to-date can be expensive, but marketers need to stay safe. Not many employees on the team need to access the customer database. Otherwise, there is a risk that departing customers will try to benefit from data access in the future.

Your copy could be plagiarized

Content shared online is at risk from competition and content marketers. Not ideal if you have spent time and money on prints and images. Being aware of these plagiarism attempts is crucial.

This is a particular risk when using Software as a Service (SaaS) marketing. It requires more content creation than other marketing strategies.

Customers pay an ongoing subscription fee for a software-based service. The marketing behind SaaS is likely to focus on building the trust of potential customers. It can involve a lot of informational content to attract them. Increasing the amount of public content available may seem like a good thing in this case. But it can make businesses a bigger target for content scrapers.

Sharing content with colleagues to edit and rewrite it puts your strategy at risk. Insecure communication methods, such as chat software, create opportunities for attackers.

Using an online plagiarism checker can help you discover if you have been the victim of content theft. After this, contacting the offender to remove the copy is the next step. If this is unsuccessful, contact your web host with the information.

There is a risk of damaging the brand

An attack that compromises security is likely to have significant effects on consumer perception. For example, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks use software to shut down the website. Potential customers may have doubts about the company’s competition. The number of DDoS attacks is projected to increase to 15.4 million by 2023.

Also, social media hackers are motivated by the exciting humor of destroying brands. These often vindictive pranksters can quickly deliver aggressive or obscene messages, which do not fit the company’s brand.

They may also have other reasons, such as promoting their own services or spreading fake news. This can damage the image of the company, causing potential customers to reconsider their relationship with the brand.

A recent example of this is when Facebook’s own social media account was hacked in 2020.

This example shows that anyone can be a victim of brand damage in this way. Even the 33rd largest company in the world.

Personal data is valuable

With the rise of remote work, many employees are turning to cross-border practices. These include using a personal phone for work. While not bad in and of itself, it creates an environment where there are more opportunities for hackers. They may have personal and company data in their hands.

Hackers may be attracted to the company’s offerings. Most companies, especially large ones, store data for many marketing processes, such as QA test methods. These can include credit card details and information about the company’s strategy. This makes personal devices a bigger target for data predators.

If your device is hacked through a vulnerability, not only will your company information be stolen, but your personal data will also be stolen. Addresses and phone numbers can generate unwanted spam. Card and identity details can result in fraud.

On an individual level, protecting yourself is the smartest thing you can do. Think twice before using your personal cell phone or laptop for work. Better to consider a hosted phone system or unified communications as a service (UCaaS) for your business.

Financial data is even more valuable

Financial information is desirable for online criminals. Customers who buy products and services online use their card details, names and addresses. They entrust their sensitive information to the website and the company. Disclosure of these details can be devastating. Unfortunately, breaches involving financial information must be reported to the competent authority. They are then made public.

An example of this is the case of Equifax, a credit reporting company. In 2017, hackers stole around 200,000 credit card records from them. Therefore, the infringement was reported. As confidence in the company fell, the share price plummeted.

Many companies use white hat hackers to try to break into their websites for security testing. In addition, they can also use automated software tests, which have similar effects.

Before investing, it is best to review the currently available software testing methodologies.

CMS are not as secure as you think!

Content management systems (CMS) are constantly threatened by hackers.

WordPress is the most popular CMS, with a market share of 64.9% as of June 2021. It has many SEO (search engine optimization) functionalities available. These can be used alone or as part of a strategic operation. One example is business SEO (on a side note, companies should always be careful to choose the best business SEO for their needs).

However, WordPress is also the CMS most susceptible to attack. Older versions of WordPress software are full of vulnerabilities.

Joomla and Drupal have had their fair share of security threats as well. Recently in 2018, Joomla had a SQL bug that allowed hackers to edit websites. Then a patch was provided. Drupal provided a critical patch for an XSS bug and four patches for other security flaws in 2020.

This shows that keeping software up-to-date is not a luxury. Rather, it is a financial security blanket to prevent damage to the company’s reputation.

There are ways to reduce risk

The best way to reduce cybersecurity threats is to educate staff on the potential risks. This may involve informal registration or training, such as a stand-up meeting and other remote team management techniques. The creation of protocols for the personnel is fundamental for the security of the company. The need to integrate the process is more critical than ever. This may include routine deletion of unimportant data or updating the software as soon as it is available.

This awareness over a wide range of people prevents one person from slipping. Often times, this is all it takes for a security risk to be destructive to a company’s operations.

There will always be a risk associated with digital marketing. This is due to its implicit nature of data-driven search. However, as described above, there are many efficient ways to reduce this risk and make security breaches and poor marketing decisions less likely.

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