Building a cyber protection plan for people who work in digital marketing

Marketing teams and people who work in marketing often work with private information, like customer contact information and transactions. Chief Marketing Officers and Marketing Directors are responsible for the data they (and their teams) handle. They are in charge of how it is used, kept, and shared with the different people who need to know about it.

Marketing today is closely tied to IT and, in some ways, can be seen as a form of data science. GDPR and marketing go hand in hand, so it’s important for e-marketers to know how data is used by marketing tools. The shift from outdoor to online marketing, the rollout of omni-channel marketing mixes, and strong data profiling with CRMs and BI tools are all recent changes in marketing.

Cybersecurity is, of course, a key part of the success of marketing plans and campaigns. In this blog post, we’ll talk about brand theft, third-party security flaws, and weak data security.

Brand Stealing

Most of the time, the most important thing a business has is its brand. It says what the organization is, what it does, and what its core principles are. It’s placed on the market in a way that shows what it stands for. Malicious people use brand names, emails, domains, and other assets and elements without permission to drive traffic to their websites, run scammy online businesses, or do social engineering attacks like hacking.

Copyright violations can happen in these cases, and recently there has been a sharp rise in fake social media accounts where hackers pose as brands they have nothing to do with. Marketers need to keep an eye on what’s going on in the virtual world and report any wrongdoing. At the same time, they need to manage their clients’ contact channels to make sure they don’t become victims of such bad behavior. Sometimes, data leaks happen, which means that data is stolen. First, marketing teams need to know how to react, and then they need to know how to talk to the public and other groups.

When bad PR hurts a company’s image, online reputation management (ORM) experts might be needed. Spoofing is another way that hacker groups often steal or copy brands for their own gain. Together with the organization’s CISO, risks should be found, dealt with, monitored, and controlled. The organization’s overall security plan needs to cover all of its digital assets and online activities. Regular pen tests should be done to find any holes or weak spots in software, systems, the cloud, or hardware.

Penetration tests help find holes, which protects against (and stops) threats. Best practices like using MFA and making open source websites more secure should be the norm.

Vulnerabilities in Other People

Party agreements are something that affects marketing teams all over the world. Marketers use open source websites built on WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, as well as social media schedulers, data aggregators, and CRM tools as part of their toolkits. When working with third-party tools or parts, you have to use a “zero-trust” model. All of the marketing tools that marketing teams use must be kept safe. There should be a way to talk to cyber security experts on a regular basis about defense mechanisms that would keep assets like WordPress websites safe.

For good computer hygiene, data shouldn’t be kept in its raw form, and best practices for encryption should be used. All resources should be held fully accountable, and the idea that cyber security is the job of the IT staff should be thrown out for good. Marketers should know that if their data is stolen, they could face large fines and lawsuits. Companies are required by law to report a data breach. Cyber awareness training is a way to teach marketers about the risks that are out there and how to avoid being hacked by hackers who are very smart.

Weaknesses in Data Security

The EU has strict rules about how to store and use data. When doing online marketing and online business, marketers must follow (relatively) new rules about how to store cookies and handle Personally Identifiable Information (PII), which can be used to prove a person’s identity. This has a direct effect on digital marketing and online ads, like when remarketing is used. When looking for holes in data protection, it’s always a good idea to look closely at both insider and outsider threats.

Data repositories should be kept separate from computers that the public can access, and you should have the right tools and knowledge to protect against ransomware and phishing attacks. Any organization’s biggest weakness is its own workers, who can do bad things or not know enough to keep data safe. IT and cyber security experts need to be seamlessly merged into digital marketing so that hackers can’t find any holes to exploit.

For a marketing team or department to be cyber-resilient, all of its members need to get regular cyber-awareness training and work closely with the CISO and cyber security experts. Vulnerability management should be in place so that all weaknesses on all digital platforms (mobile apps, social media channels, CRM, Mass Email platforms, and websites) can be seen, monitored, and fixed. End-point protection should be in place to protect all of the devices that the marketing team and outside consultants use. Permissions should be carefully controlled.

Everyone in marketing, from the CMO to the interns, should know how important it is to keep track of data. Don’t let your salespeople be the most dangerous thing to you.