Digital marketing has emerged as one of the fastest-growing industries in recent years. This claim is supported by many notable reports like the Expert Market Research survey that outlines that the global digital marketing industry will clock a CAGR of over 17.6 percent between 2021 and 2026.
On the flip side, with the rise of a digitalized era, the menace of cybersecurity problems is also magnifying. A recognized Cybercrime magazine has predicted a commensurate rise of over 15 percent in the cost of cybercrime worldwide. At this pace, global cybercrime costs will reach a landmark figure of $10.5 trillion by 2025.
It is high time folks in the digital marketing field realize that their biggest concern is materializing in the form of cybercrimes. The burning question is whether your digital marketing operations have the required defenses to meet the cybersecurity guidelines. Mere installation of anti-virus software applications or password protection for your devices is insufficient.
The digital marketing sphere encompasses various interconnected categories such as social media marketing, mobile marketing, email marketing, content marketing, SEO, affiliate marketing, and Pay Per Click. Thus, digital marketers often access many sensitive client details, from financial information for running ads to credentials of social media accounts of various brands. Any leeway in the data security posture in such instances can wreak tremendous havoc on both the marketing company and its respective clients.
Let us dig deeper into understanding why digital marketing entities need to prioritize cybersecurity and how they can do so.
What are the most compelling reasons to prioritize cybersecurity in digital marketing?
Here are some of the most pressing issues that highlight the relevance of prioritizing cybersecurity as a digital marketing professional.
Access to a massive amount of sensitive personal information
There is no denying the fact that digital marketing personnel deals with some of the most strategically sensitive information of a business. Any tampering or damage to such data can cause both monetary and reputational losses to your clientele. Hence, it is crucial to have in effect all critical measures for sustaining your organization's cybersecurity defenses.
Retaining client trust
You can smoothly continue your digital marketing services as long as you hold the trustworthiness of your clients. Amidst the soaring troubles revolving around cybersecurity, everyone wants to partner with companies that abide by necessary data protection measures. Therefore, you must keep your cybersecurity up to standard to avoid hampering your customer's loyalty.
Maintaining your reputation in the market.
It takes years of struggle for a business to carve out a distinct reputation. Your digital marketing organization's overall market perception can go for a toss with the incidence of any critical security breach or attack. You need to stand up to the market's expectations by strengthening your cybersecurity as per evolving threats and sustaining your reputation.
Given the immense growth potential of digital marketing, it is becoming increasingly competitive by the day. There’s no room for mistakes or security issues when running a campaign. Otherwise, your competition can outshine you causing your business to suffer.
Managing the evolving risks of cyber threats and fraud
The survival of the fittest also remains relevant in the cybersecurity realm. Adversaries of the cyber domain are evolving and deploying even more sophisticated attacks. Thus, if you do not give the required impetus to upgrade your cybersecurity posture, you shall lag and fall prey to a host of advanced cybercrime. You need to emphasize the necessity of maintenance when it comes to the cybersecurity infrastructure to tackle the transforming cyber risks.
Ensuring compliance with regulatory frameworks
Many new laws and requirements have come into the picture with the compounding influence of the internet and digital technologies. Depending on the territories you operate in, there can be various cybersecurity measures that you have to implement to stay compliant with different regulations. A lot of cyber laws also penalize the defaulting entities with hefty fines. Hence, giving due importance to global cybersecurity requirements is a crucial factor.
What are the prominent cybersecurity threats in the digital marketing domain?
Several cyber threats are trying to penetrate the digital marketing domain. The most relevant of these threats are:
Unsecure content management systems
Digital marketing professionals always aim to use content that ranks well. A wide array of tools can ensure that their customer's website content outperforms and stays ahead of the ordinary. Digital marketers primarily utilize content management systems (CMS) to create and manage content on a website. The chances of viruses and bugs entering your devices multiply if you use unreliable CMS systems or try to get illicit versions of such software.
A recent study states that over 90 percent of cyber attacks infiltrate an organization's system through email. Since email marketing continues to be a widely used service, there is a high possibility of a data breach via email. Spam emails and ransomware downloaded through unsecured emails are pretty common. Thus, it is crucial for digital marketing professionals to stay alert about the dangers of email exploits on their functioning.
A bot represents an autonomous program on the internet that interacts with users and systems. Many hackers might utilize bots to carry out unlawful activities, such as seeking vulnerable information and using it against you. Digital marketing professionals also employ bots for their client websites. However, they must be careful in programming such bots as they can become a source of cyber threats.
Malware is an intrusive application that intends to harm a given computer system or network. There are different variants of malware, such as spyware and ransomware. Each of these types of malware is capable of causing unwanted disruption of your marketing functions and misuse of your critical data.
Social media attacks
Social media has also become an attractive target for attackers. Cybercriminals can acquire personal details and post offensive content through hacked social media handles tarnishing your brand image and reputation.
Ecommerce sites and apps can also lead to considerable risks to the critical information of a business. Customers input sensitive information, such as card details, on eCommerce sites that adversaries can leverage to siphon money. Hence, digital marketing professionals should follow security measures such as implementing SSL protocols and secure payment methods for eCommerce websites.
What are the cybersecurity best practices that digital marketing professionals must know?
The best ways to lower the possibility of cybersecurity attacks in your digital marketing operations include the following:
Count on VPN
VPN, aka the virtual private network, refers to a protected network connection while using a public network. It helps to mask your online identity or IP address and encrypts your internet data routing it through secure networks in other countries. This tool can assist digital marketers in shielding themselves from the perils of the cyber world, as it disguises one’s location and identity, disabling online attackers from targeting devices. These days, marketers have plenty of options and can choose a VPN suited for any computer, budget, or purpose.
Appropriate privacy settings for social media accounts
Digital marketing companies deal with tons of social media applications like Instagram, Twitter, FaceBook, and LinkedIn. It is integral to keep an eye on the privacy settings of each of the accounts you handle on these platforms. Many threat actors are looking for weak points in the social media handles of various individuals and brands. You must wisely choose the settings regarding who can view the content you post on social media and also use a strict password policy for the accounts.
Use two-factor authentication (2FA)
Once leaked data falls into the wrong hands, is quite simple for many advanced hackers to retrieve your user ID and password to access your sensitive files or accounts. This situation calls for two-factor authentication. 2FA or dual factor authentication represents a process of adding additional layers of protection apart from entering user credentials to access an account or file. Digital marketers can use this technique with technologies like a fingerprint scan or retina scan to increase the level of security.
Rely only on secure and reliable software systems
Digital marketers employ diverse applications and tools to serve their myriad needs. Be it for SEO, website audit, keyword tracking, backlink checking, or website development; you must entrust only the verified and recognized providers. Uncertified and unreliable software versions can be malware and damage your key information.
Avoid working on unknown devices.
Many digital marketing professionals work remotely on multiple devices. At times, you might try to operate on a personal device or one lent by your colleague, which can lead to losing your information or the compromise of your accounts. Hence, you must make sure to work only on recognized and trusted devices for your critical tasks.
Update and back up your system regularly.
System and software updates are necessary to combat the emerging risks of hacking and phishing. You must not ignore regular system upgrades and data backups as they provide you with vulnerability patches, protecting your device from exploits.
How to build a resilient cybersecurity strategy as a digital marketer?
If you aim to develop a solid cybersecurity strategy for your digital marketing operations, you can use the below-mentioned tips:
Educate your team
Your team must realize the gravity of adhering to security measures in the current times. As a digital marketer, you must train your workforce to follow the necessary data protection practices in day-to-day tasks. A combined effort is of utmost priority while tackling cybersecurity issues.
Comprehend your target customer
While framing your cybersecurity strategy, you must apprehend the demands and concerns of your target audience. You must analyze the defense methods and approaches that will work best for your clientele.
It is essential to build a sense of trust and transparency within all the wings of your business enterprise and with all your customers. This helps to lower the chances of any suspicious activities (whether intentional or accidental) by any person in your team and quickly detect any security anomalies.
Do not assimilate more information than you actually need
The more data you possess, the more lucrative your entity becomes for threat actors. It is part and parcel of the digital marketing field to collect different forms of data. However, you should still avoid accumulating information that is not relevant to your usage. The more significant the amount of data you collect, the higher the efforts and investment needed to store and secure it.
You cannot reach the top heights of the digital marketing field without upholding your cybersecurity posture. It is imperative to match pace with the evolving trends of cybersecurity. There are many factors to consider while designing and implementing cybersecurity measures for your organization. Proper guidance and continued efforts in the right direction are principal to creating a robust cybersecurity strategy.
Now that the cybersecurity tips and tricks are covered, it is also important to continuously be on the lookout for new tools and solutions that would aid your digital marketing endeavors. So, don’t hesitate to consult our team to learn about all the ways you can ace your digital marketing game!