The rapid growth of online activity has undoubtedly promoted digital marketing strategies to reach out to a plethora of customers.
Typically, a successful digital marketing campaign demands a lot of effort, planning, and time to produce results. Everything starts with market research; however, a comprehensive strategy includes content marketing, email marketing campaigns, building customer relationships, social media, and more.
Any online marketing strategy must include cybersecurity measures. Failure to implement digital security measures could damage the company’s name and customer trust.
As a digital marketer, you might think that digital security is the responsibility of the company’s IT team. Still, the truth is that it’s your responsibility to protect the privacy and data of that company or brand.
For instance, given the fact that it’s your responsibility to ensure that you reach out to an array of people via marketing techniques, it means that you’re at the top of the target list for hackers. If you send out a link for your customers to click, and it happens that a hacker installs malware in such a link, you can imagine the number of people infected.
But why is cybersecurity so significant in digital marketing?
Significance of Digital Security in Digital Marketing
One thing is for sure; cyber-attacks can be costly. To say the least, experts project that cyber-attacks can cost up to $6 trillion in damages in 2021. Unfortunately, the attacks are not directed only to big corporations but small businesses as well. Therefore, it means that no one is immune to a cyber-attack.
Moreover, over the past, it has been noted that when a small business has been hit, the chances of such a business getting up and running again are minimal. In fact, most of them have never recovered.
Therefore, it’s apparent that the dangers of cybercrime are well written on the wall for everyone to see – and the bad news – is they’re showing no signs of stopping soon.
A good digital marketing plan is undeniably a no-brainer for the growth of any business. Several cyber-attacks revolve around digital marketing, and they include;
- Identity theft
- DDoS attacks on sites
- Malware infection
- Browser redirection and hijacking
- Stealing data and other personal information
- WordPress malware
Those are but a few of the many forms of attacks that you’ll have to be aware of as a digital marketer.
So, what can you benefit from having a robust digital security strategy?
First, all the brand data will be shielded against malware; besides, it protects the website as well as the other forms of customer data. Also, it does offer protection against things like cross-site scripting, Denial-of-service attacks, SQL injection attacks, and password cracking.
Apparently, cybersecurity responsibility is collective among an organization, and the digital marketing section has a big role to play. Fortunately, protecting an organization against a cyber-attack is not a mammoth thing to do. In fact, it’s an easier task than you could imagine!
So, what should a digital marketer do to prevent a company from cyber-attacks?
Ways to Protect Digital Marking against Cybercrimes
There’s no denying that digital marketing deals with an array of data, both that of the company and the customers. Therefore, they have to be extra careful when implementing marketing campaigns.
Here are some areas that require maximum safeguards:
Most businesses use a CMS (Content Management System) like WordPress to facilitate their content marketing. That way, it allows for easy upload, edits, and featuring of new content such as blog posts.
Unfortunately, with WordPress being the most popular CMS, hackers now know how it functions. If they successfully hack the site, they can easily distribute malware to users – which can massively damage its reputation.
Therefore, it’s imperative to integrate security features when using WordPress. Ensure that you install security plug-ins and update them regularly to offend off much vulnerability.
Moreover, strong passwords should be used when logging into WordPress. Also, you should change the default login URL that ends with /wp-admin. In addition, you should ensure that you avoid as much as possible not accessing the CMS from a public Wi-Fi network (they’re usually unsecured).
Email marketing is arguably one of the most prominent methods of growing a business. Unfortunately, it’s also the hackers’ favorite to get into a company. Emails are the easiest malware delivery method, with over 90% of attacks coming from emails.
Hackers send emails looking authentic (usually they imitate the legitimate company) and contain links to malicious websites or simply have malicious attachments themselves. Once you click on such emails, they gather information from you, and depending on the information; they can do anything with it.
Therefore, to protect emails, digital marketing teams should train members on ways to spot any phishing email. Furthermore, using strong passwords as well as making use of the spam filter are easy ways to keep threats out.
Another treasure trove for hackers is social media. Most individuals are using social media, and hence it’s one of the most effective means of digital marketing. For instance, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are widely used amongst all age groups.
Unfortunately, with great opportunity, great danger never lacks behind.
Hackers enjoy getting their targets over social media, and taking over accounts lets them cause more havoc.
For digital marketers, there are several customers accessing one social media account, and that makes it even more vulnerable. Therefore, you need to use social media management tools to help control the login details or simply use a password manager.
Moreover, you need to educate the entire marketing team about the risks of suspicious messages on social media, especially those containing links.
A company that forms strong relationships with its customers helps to build trust. That can only be achieved by ensuring that the data from customers is stored securely. To help you achieve such, CRM software should be a no-brainer for any digital marketing strategy.
Apart from just storing customer data, CRM also helps to analyze that data that can be used to draft the marketing strategy for the company.
If a hacker accesses company CRM software, the consequences could be unexplainable. All customer and company sensitive data could be at their disposal and what they can do with it is anybody’s guess.
Therefore, you should ensure that the brand’s CRM software is protected with a strong password and also limit its access to a few people that can be trustworthy. Furthermore, the company has strong policies, such as the “don’t allow any Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD)” policy.
Cybersecurity can’t be taken lightly by anyone as nobody is immune to hackers. Digital marketers are more at risk, and for them, just cybersecurity tools alone are not enough for protecting digital marketing data and operations. Failure to apply digital safety could only mean one thing – damage to the company.
Hackers are excellent at exploiting human error as well as the popular digital platforms. Therefore, to stay safe, a clear cybersecurity policy should be implemented, use a VPN, use strong passwords, and educate employees on cyber-attack threats.
Thuranira is a privacy expert who is always excited about security empowerment through technology.