Cyber vigilance in digital marketing involves being watchful of potential threats or dangers which may impact your business’s normal operations. In this regard, you will need to acknowledge that digital marketing cyber threats exist and always keep a keen eye on potential cyber-attack incidents.
The primary motivation for businesses to be cyber-vigilant is the increased number of cyber threats, with cybercriminals also adopting more sophisticated mechanisms to infiltrate companies. To thrive in today’s rugged security landscape, there is a need for your organization to acquire and deploy powerful security mechanisms and tools to keep cybercriminals at bay.
Why Cyber-Vigilance is so important in Digital Marketing
To begin with, digital marketing encompasses using mobile technology and the internet in promoting services and products through different channels. But, going by this definition, you may find it confusing grasping the link between digital marketing and cybersecurity especially, if you’re a novice digital marketer—and; even wonder how significant cybersecurity is to digital marketing.
Cyber-vigilance is so important in digital marketing because digital marketing involves handling operations that touch almost every business aspect. Therefore, if you cannot spot potential threats online, there is a risk of the whole of your website collapsing financially. Here are some of the ways your digital marketing activities can cause cybersecurity issues.
Email is one of the most used communication channels in digital marketing. But, interestingly, it also ranks highly as one of the most preferred ports for cybercriminals to launch a barrage of attacks on your business.
It is estimated that 96 per cent of phishing attacks are delivered by email. Other than spear-phishing attacks, cybercriminals also leverage sophisticated attack mechanisms such as Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks.
In a typical BEC attack, a malicious actor may impersonate your company’s CEO or a director of one of the businesses you’re working with to get you to provide crucial data. These attacks are so sophisticated that they can even bypass the security measures by most anti-spam tools.
BEC attacks also stand out as some of the most expensive attacks, with the FBI estimating that cybercriminals made more than $1.8 billion just in 2020 via the email attacks. Cybercriminals may not just be motivated by financial gains in email attacks.
They may also want to steal confidential data which they can sell. For example, a recent data breach report estimates that approximately 22 per cent of phishing incidents are inclined towards data breaches.
Therefore as a conscious digital marketer, you will want to ensure that none of your crucial data leaves the organization unless you authorize the sharing with trusted parties. This is important because data breaches can significantly tarnish your brand’s image, and it may also not be easy to win back your customers’ trust once it’s lost.
To maintain a secure email communication environment, you should always use secure passwords and 2-Factor Authentication (2FA). Besides good password hygiene, it would be best if you did not open attachments from unknown senders before thoroughly scanning them. Finally, do not access your emails from public Wi-Fi as cybercriminals may also use the public Wi-Fi as baits to trap you and steal all crucial information they may need to launch attacks on your business.
● Web Content
If you’ve been in the digital marketing sphere for some time, you must have bumped into the phrase ‘content is king’ several times. True to the phrase, digital marketing agencies heavily rely on content for several campaigns.
Now, you need Content Management Systems (CMS) for your content to be easily accessed on the web or be presented well to your audience. Here’s where cybersecurity in digital marketing fits in again.
If you leave your CMS unguarded, you leave it open for threat actors to inject malware into your website and even steal confidential information, which may jeopardize your business. There are also malware infections that may leave your website blacklisted by search engine giant Google.
Injecting malware isn’t even the only technique that cybercriminals may want to use to wreak havoc in your digital marketing agency. They can also intercept communications and steal confidential information such as user login details or credit card information, especially if your customers make purchases from your site.
If you hold your clients’ interests at heart, you may not want them to be left in turmoil due to cybercriminal activities. There are several ways you can prevent your website from malware attacks or leaking confidential user or company data.
From using strong passwords to installing Web Application Firewalls (WAF), employing updates or patches, and regularly scanning your website, opportunities are endless. If you handle critical user data such as accepting major credit cards, you must also be PCI compliant.
PCI is an acronym for the Payment Card Industry. Being PCI compliant will ensure that your business is protected from frauds and cyber-attacks and ensure that your website visitors are also safe. A relatively common PCI compliance requirement is encrypting information shared on your website, and this may take the form of installing a genuine SSL certificate on your website. This ensures encryption of your in-transit data that transpires between the web browser and the client-server. A pretty solid cybersecurity measure, it eliminates the risk of MITM attacks and sniffing attempts, keeping your valued customers’ PII safe.
For digital marketing agencies that manage multiple first-level subdomains under the main domain, the wildcard SSL certificates would be an excellent option to look for, considering that they take care of unlimited first-level subdomains. With this single wildcard certificate installed on your website, you not only end up saving a lot of money but are also spared the hassle of managing separate single-domain SSL certs for each new subdomain that you add.
● Social Media
Digital marketing cyber threats also extend to social media. Even though the platforms are designed so that your digital marketing agencies can heavily benefit from connecting with prospects and expanding your reach, they can turn out to be your Achilles heel.
From weak passwords to opening links from unknown sources and spam messages, many issues may make social media a preferred platform for hackers to attack your business. To reduce your risks of becoming a data breach victim from a social media attack, you may want to limit the personnel that can access your different social media profiles.
If you’re having a team of Virtual Assistants (VAs), ensure they’re knowledgeable on social media security best practices like not opening any links or attachments from unknown sources. Finally, use 2-Factor Authentication and do not use any passwords from previous data breaches.
Data breaches evolve pretty quickly, which may make defending against them slightly frustrating. Nonetheless, there are valuable security features you can put in place to discourage hackers or at least reduce your risks of being a victim of a data breach.
(Devdiscourse’s journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse does not claim any responsibility for the same.)