Cybersecurity Digital marketing is arguably the most broadly used form of advertising for virtually any type of business, product, or service. It is cost-efficient, and it easily adapts to different target audience demands. Ironically, it is also its universal accessibility that makes digital marketing susceptible to constant online security threats.
Not to say that promoting one’s services is more harmful than it is advantageous. The fact is anyone can have access to the internet, and there is simply no instantaneous way to identify individuals with pure intentions from those with ulterior motives.
Cyber threats are lurking everywhere
Consider these three most striking online cybersecurity statistics of 2021:
- The drastic shift to remote work setups led to a worldwide shortage of cybersecurity experts. The scarcity of cyber safety professionals has already reached approximately 72 million. Security breaching schemes are increasingly trickier while user protection is continuously jeopardized.
- With a reduced workforce to carry out online security measures for businesses and firms, simultaneous data breaches amassed over $1.07 million worth of losses.
- Here’s a shocking truth: Data breaches are not limited to hackers and scammers. The most fearsome form of cyber threat is the one carried out within a company using the business’ very resources. In other words, the culprit is among the employees.
What are the aftermaths of cyber attacks?
Businesses are responsible for safekeeping any valuable information shared by or collected from their customers. When a business’s cybersecurity is compromised, so does the safety and privacy of its customers and staff. Financial losses are even more challenging to overcome amid a pandemic, let alone earning customer trust a second time. There may even be lawsuits filed against the company or longstanding consequences including:
What took years to build might take even longer to reestablish. That includes loss of customer trust, marred credibility, and working the business’s ranks up search engines from scratch. After all, who would want to do a repeat purchase or transaction with a business that’s involved in a data breach or attacks on customers’ privacy? The last thing people want is to have their online browsing pleasure interrupted by cybersecurity threats that are beyond their control.
It doesn’t help that everything is immortalized on the internet. Tech-savvy online communities will always find a way to resurface past mistakes of a company or brand. Reputable organizations have turned into memes overnight. Digital word-of-mouth spreads faster than wildfire.
Sanctions and Revenue Losses
Presently, there are cybersecurity regulations that underscore the importance of enforcing a solid defense against attempts to infringe security and data sharing protocols. Companies and third-party service providers must adhere to these guidelines and laws, otherwise, they could suffer from a dramatic drop in sales, partnerships, and profits.
Also, if a company is made to face sanctions and penalties for endangering people’s online safety, a considerable amount of their remaining funds will go to paying these fees.
Customers and industry partners are not the only ones to turn away following a security breach. Even future employees will hesitate to associate with an organization known for having poor cybersecurity measures. Today’s generation of fresh graduates is more meticulous with the companies they apply for. Social media and Google Reviews are helpful resources for applicants to gather information about potential employers. Once they deem an organization unreliable, shady, or tied with questionable practices involving customer data and user privacy, it is an automatic red flag for job seekers.
Prevention is better than cure
The best way to counter threats to digital security is to stay a step ahead of possible cyber attacks.
While it is not yet too late, dedicate time and effort to improve online security. Several businesses paid no mind to the incessant warnings of the crucial need to heighten security across digital marketing platforms. Never second-guess the capacity of cybercriminals to overturn the success and safety of a thriving online community. Data breaches do not choose who to victimize next. Anyone can fall prey to cyber attacks at any given time or day.
That said, here are some ways to uphold and maintain online safety in digital marketing:
Limit access and permissions to user accounts
Access to user accounts—from CRM and social media accounts to email addresses— should be limited to authorized personnel or staff with integral roles in marketing the business. Enable 2FA (2-Factor Authentication) to add another layer of security before full access to the accounts is granted. Update account passwords frequently. Do not share passwords and security questions with individuals and groups who have nothing to do with implementing branding and promotional strategies.
As much as possible, use a single IP address to prevent authorized logins from being misconstrued as possible cyber threats.
Prioritize software updates
Updating all digital platforms and software used to execute marketing plans should already be a no-brainer by now. The frequency and the sheer number of users that maximize the features of digital marketing platforms are the very things that attract cybercriminals to use these tools to invade security barriers.
Regularly updated software and platforms ensure features and functionality that keep up with the latest industry trends and security demands. Install antivirus and antimalware software with the latest patch for heightened barriers across all devices used within the company.
VPN is your friend
VPN is a suitable solution for companies that had to adapt remote-based work amid the pandemic.
A Virtual Private Network encrypts online traffic and activity to keep data and user identity safe from cyber thieves. It effectively conceals IP addresses, Wi-Fi networks, and even browser details, making it even tougher for hackers to track any trace of valuable information from their targets. Aside from hackers, VPN likewise secures user data from third-party apps and service providers vital to a company’s marketing operations.
Online safety must always be at the forefront of online marketing agencies and the companies that seek their services. Well-protected company and customer data prompt stronger brand awareness, higher conversion rates, and long-term stability for businesses.