Cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities! Your digital marketing campaigns nightmares

Reducing Cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities
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How expensive can cyberattacks get?

Cyberattacks can be dangerous and expensive, especially for e-marketers. Based on online marketing help, cybersecurity risks are predicted to cause more than $6 trillion in damage. And these risks and vulnerabilities don’t distinguish between big corporations and small businesses. Everyone is a victim of cyberattacks.

Most small businesses exposed to cyberattacks cannot get back on their feet afterwards. The worst thing is that it will increase in the future! Most employers or managers make one of the biggest mistakes in digital food marketing; thinking that cybersecurity is not their responsibility and obligate duties to the IT team. However, e-marketers have an important role to play when protecting the data and privacy of the company or brand.

Dont be a hacker´s traget

The more you try to reach a wide audience using marketing accelerators or techniques, the more you become a target for hackers. Digital marketing campaigns sometimes involve sending harmless links to wide social media platforms and convincing people to click on them.

All the users will be affected if they click a link hosting malware. If that cyber attack was done using a reliable and trusted online source, the damage would be more devastating.

The best thing you can do is find ways to reduce cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities in your brand or company when running your digital marketing campaign. Continue reading below to know and understand different ways of getting online marketing help to reduce cybersecurity risks.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing entails using technologies to market services and products via social media, the internet, mobile phones, or other digital media. Also, it is a term that shelters different marketing strategies like Search engine optimisation (SEO), email marketing, and Social media marketing.

Unlike traditional marketing (Billboards and Prints), digital marketing is majorly data-driven. Therefore, you might find many digital marketing agencies and platforms offering campaign report access for comprehensive data analysis.

The combined force of technology and the internet enable e-marketers to collect and analyse user engagement or customer behaviours to facilitate adverts and more personalised content. Unfortunately, with great benefits and responsibility comes the great danger of cybersecurity risks.

What are the benefits of digital marketing

Unlike traditional marketing, you can gain more benefits to boost your marketing campaign.

Optimisation efficiency

The introduction of media buying platforms allows digital marketers to buy ad space on different mobile apps and across several websites and review live reports quickly. Because of that, marketers can review ad campaign performance on the site and create tweaks on the fly, like improving audience engagement by optimising ad creatives.

It is measurable and trackable

Technology has made it easy for organisations and marketing companies to measure marketing campaign efficacy through digital analytics like Google Data Studio, Adobe Analytics, and Google Analytics.

Any data you need, you will have it at your fingertips thanks to digital analytics deployment. Every person interacting with your business will have an individual set of data.

Through the help of digital analytics, you can segment each data and understand how each contributes to conversion rates. Conversion rate is any activity users take in your business, like making online purchases or submitting inquiry forms.

It offers a targeted and broad reach

Your reach of audiences is limited by budget considering billions of people on social media platforms. Some social media spaces allow you to specifically target your ads to a certain audience based on behavioural patterns, interests, or demographics.

What is cybersecurity risk management?

Cybersecurity is protecting your networks and computer systems from attacks. This practice involves several methods to reduce any cyberattacks and protect your business from unauthorised exploitation.

Risk management is one of the most important components of your company’s cybersecurity. If your network, devices, and systems are vulnerable, the operations and services of your company and customers may be at risk.

Cybersecurity risk management involves:

  • Risk Analysis:
    A cybersecurity risk analysis always prioritizes potential threats and is one of the steps in the overall risk management and cybersecurity risk assessment process. A cybersecurity risk assessment reviews all risks related to the security of your organization’s information systems, devices and data.
  • Risk strategy:
    The main objective of the cybersecurity risk strategy is to consciously accept, avoid, mitigate, and transfer risks. After identifying potential cybersecurity risks to the organization and prioritizing and planning defensive actions to avert those risks. The cybersecurity risk strategy is the roadmap for applying all necessary steps to protect, prevent, mitigate, and Risk Transfer.
  • Risk training:
    Your organisation needs skilled cybersecurity professionals who have a comprehensive understanding of today’s cyber risks and always have the opportunity to expand their cyber risk management knowledge and skills.
  • Risk transfer:
    Risk transfer, also known as risk sharing, is tackled when organizations want to transfer liability and responsibility for risks to other organizations and have the resources to do so. Risk transfer means that the entire responsibility for risks is transferred from one organization to another, which is often done by taking out insurance.

Benefits of cybersecurity for e-marketers

Trusting a digital marketing strategy agency or developing a perfect strategy for your business is vital for growth. However, you should also consider the well-being of your marketing campaign, from emails and social media to the website. Ignoring this element can be catastrophic to your company and customers’ privacy.

Creating a cybersecurity strategy will be advantageous to your brand or company. One of the best things a company will gain from a good strategy is having a great defence against malware.

Also, it can protect all your customers’ data they entrusted you with and your website.

A good digital marketing strategy or a reliable marketing strategy agency can offer protection against things like:

  • Denial-of-service attacks
  • Cross-site scripting
  • Password cracking
  • SQL injection attacks

By now, you know that cybersecurity is not only a departmental responsibility (IT department). If your business experience a breach in sensitive information or attack on your servers, claiming ignorance cannot help resolve things. Cybersecurity is the responsibility of the whole organisation.

Luckily, protecting your business from cyberattacks or reducing cybersecurity risks is not impossible. Let’s see some of the cybersecurity issues in digital marketing and how to protect your business.

What are forms of cyberattacks in digital marketing?

  • Browser redirection and hijacking
  • Malware infection from links clicked or files downloaded
  • WordPress malware
  • Identity theft
  • Fake news Proliferation
  • DDoS attacks on a webpage

Areas that need special attention during your digital marketing campaign

Digital marketing deals with your company’s data and your customer information. Therefore, e-marketers need to be very careful when implementing marketing campaigns to promote products. Below are some important common areas in business that need extra attention when it comes to cybersecurity risks.

  1. WordPress

It is not common to see WordPress in this list. However, you need to know that it is one of the most targeted CMS platforms. Hackers will always look for a small vulnerability in different platforms and initiate an attack. Some cybercriminals will exploit vulnerabilities of plug-ins readily used with WordPress.

Outdated software is another area that cybercriminals can exploit to disrupt or infiltrate your site. Other ways include:

  • Cross-site Scripting. It involves a hacker inserting a malicious code into the website to hijack data entering your servers
  • DDoS Attack. It works by flooding your website with a great traffic amount to break the site and server.
  • Password Attack. Hackers can easily access your company or customers’ data if weak passwords are used.
  • SQL Attacks. Happens when a cybercriminal tries to penetrate your database.

The only and best way to protect your WordPress account from cybersecurity risks and threats is to always update it. Ensure to enable automatic updates to get security patches when it is necessary to update vulnerabilities. Regularly check the extensions and plug-ins to ensure they are also updated.

Another way of protecting your WordPress account is to enable Two-factor authentication and use strong passwords. Installation of a web app firewall to protect your website and block malicious content is also a marketing advanced solution to fight and reduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities. Get a digital certificate to encrypt your webpage!

  1. Email

Email marketing is one of the most effective ways of promoting your company or brand though it might seem old school. This form of digital marketing has the highest ROIs and can increase conversion rate and website traffic.

Unfortunately, most cybercriminals know that email is suitable for delivering malware. According to research, more than 90% of cybersecurity crimes come from emails. Hackers will use phishing tactics to get their next target through emails.

Most institutions that we interact with almost daily, like government organisations or agencies, banks, Netflix, Amazon, and PayPal, bid to get some information from us through email. The type of cyberattack will depend on the information given out.

Your digital marketing campaign is at risk of cybercrime since you interact with customers often or hackers disguised as clients. The best way of protecting your email is to train your members and staff to detect phishing emails. Taking advantage of the spam filter in your email service provider and setting a strong password will help reduce this cybersecurity vulnerability.

  1. CRM software

CRM software plays an important role in digital marketing campaigns since it is involved in data storage, collected from your clients. Also, it is used in data analysis to come up with digital marketing strategies to promote products. What will happen if cybercriminals or hackers get into your CRM software?

Your customer’s data will be at risk of being used for criminal activities if your CRM software is attacked. Two things are bound to happen from these cyber breaches: Losing money and losing your company or brand’s reputation.

Most e-marketers think that a strong password is the only thing they can do to reduce this cybersecurity vulnerability during their digital marketing campaign. This won’t protect your CRM software since most attacks come from the inside.

The best approach to protect data in the CRM software is to limit people accessing it, down to trusted employees. Assess and affirm that those accessing your CRM software are trustworthy. Check background information of your employees before delegating duties in managing your customers’ information.

You can install a tracking tool in your CRM software to know who is doing what in your account. Forbid BYOD (Bring your own device) policy. Your employee should only be allowed to use devices provided by the company to prevent data breaches and black marketing to some extent.

  1. Social media

Social media is one of the most effective avenues for digital marketing as it hosts billions of users. Social media platforms like Instagram, WhatsApp, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook is full of users from different age bracket. Unfortunately, there is always a great danger with great opportunity.

You will hear of social media accounts being hacked almost every day, not only for famous people but for normal users too. This form of cybercrime allows hackers to do damage once they hijack an account.

  • Posting offensive material using your profile
  • Stealing your personal info
  • Stealing your login details to attack other accounts
  • Demand payment to stop the harassment

Your competitor pays some attackers to do dirty deeds on your account. The risk is even more severe with e-marketers or company teams since more than one person accesses social media accounts.

To reduce hacking risks, you can limit login detail spread by employing a social media management tool and password manager to handle all your tasks online and protect your credentials authentication simultaneously. Seeking help from a reliable digital marketing strategy agency is another viable solution.

Additionally, you can educate your online marketing help or team on the dangers associated with unsolicited messages, especially those with links. Cybercriminals will use your social media account to manipulate you into sharing confidential info, just like in emails.

Simple ways for protecting your digital marketing campaign from cyberattacks

Most organisations in recent years have been shifting their budget, and the marketing department is among the hardest hit sector by the shift. According to the CMO spend survey, the marketing budget has reduced from 11% to 6.4%.

The shift resulted in fewer resources and lean marketing teams during critical and volatile times when marketing strategy agencies face immense pressure to deliver strong ROI. Ensuring your company follows proper diligence and applies the human touch to technology might seem inefficient use of capital and time.

However, this investment is worth it compared to the cost associated with cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities during digital marketing. As departments in different companies continue to collect large amounts of data, the IT department is not solely responsible for cyberattacks.

Accounting for every digital marketing information and data in your company is not easy, but e-marketers can take advantage of marketing strategies to help avoid cyberattacks and data breaches.

Doing your due diligence to get a trusted partner

It is important to do your homework on the partner to work with. When onboarding a certain vendor, ensure you know their procedures and cybersecurity policies protecting themselves. Understanding the working principle of their systems, how they store their data, their network controls, and who has access, are important steps in your digital marketing campaign.

Always discuss any cybersecurity concerns and changes with your digital marketing agency to get the protection you need. Remember, anyone who can access your social media accounts, emails, and website is vulnerable. Therefore, it is logical to know your vendor’s network and how they operate to protect your data.

Compliance is not only for public companies

Data is the currency in marketing, digital food marketing, hill marketing, no bull marketing, force marketing, or even black marketing. It is vital to be transparent with your customers about how you collect and store data and use digital marketing data.

This is possible by developing a public-facing program that trains your customers on different data regulations, laws, requirements, and the company’s privacy positioning.

Complying with all the set standards will:

  • Reduce cybersecurity risks and vulnerabilities
  • Reduce hefty fine risks
  • Establish equity and brand trust with customers

Additionally, ensure public-facing and internal materials are aligned and accessible at any time.

Implementing security measures by partnering with IT

Now is not the time to snooze reminders for password changes, security updates, or software upgrades. Cyber threats are real and present, adding to phishing emails in this remote and digital world.

Digital marketers should not waste time out there, yet they can engage the IT department and find an effective way to protect their company from cybercrimes. The least you can do is activate two-factor authentication across your network, from social media platforms to emails.

This will force your team to have a scheduled review time, monthly patch application, or updating systems regularly. For example, if you use old policies for the in-person workforce, it is time to make changes.

What are marketing efforts examples?

Marketing efforts examples are company resources dedicated to promoting products and services. A company can use its digital marketing activities to create interest and demand in items and gain a wider audience and great visibility.

Type of marketing efforts examples

There is more than one way of implementing digital marketing plans. Some popular and successful digital marketing efforts include:

  • Radio and Television ads
  • Social media
  • Online and Google ads

Social media is an inexpensive and immediate way to connect with customers considering the popularity of sites like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, WhatsApp, and Twitter. For example, you are selling home accessories.

By targeting people buying luxury accessories, you can build a group of target buyers that will be your ideal audience. Once you are connected to these consumers, you can encourage them to buy your products and educate them in the process.

Therefore, you can use different channels to reach out to your social media followers, like running Television and google ads, emailing customers on your mailing list, and creating a partnership with dealers to give out your items as add-ons. All these ways are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Therefore, ensure you have a system to deal with cyber criminals and protect your brand.

What are the impacts of cybercrime on your business?

Cybercrime can have severe damage to the growth of your business. It can affect your business’ standing, bottom line, and customer trust. Effects of cybersecurity risks and breaches can be categorised into reputational, legal, and financial.

Reputational damage

Building trust with your customers is not something easy: it is an essential element is any relationship. Cybersecurity attacks can erode your customers’ trust and damage your business’ reputation. Because of that, you could:

  • Loss sales
  • Loss customers
  • Reduce profit

The effect of a damaged reputation can reach your supplier, investors, partners, and third parties in your business.

Financial effects

Cybersecurity attacks and vulnerabilities can result in financial loss from:

  • Theft of money
  •  Loss of contract or business
  • Financial information theft like bank details
  • Corporate information theft
  • Disruption to doing business online

When dealing with the breach, your organisation will spend some cash repairing devices, upgrading systems, and updating networks. Based on a UK government survey, about 39% of UK companies face cybersecurity risks.

The legal impact of Cyberattacks

It is required by privacy laws and data protection to secure all personal information on your customers and staff. If any personal data is breached without the deployment of necessary security measures, you will be held accountable, and you may face regulatory sanctions and fines.

In a Nutshell

The main point here is that cybersecurity cannot be ignored, especially by digital marketers. Everyone is responsible, from the management to employees, even when you have the help of a digital marketing agency.

Cyberattacks put all your personal and financial data at risk and all your customers at risk. The best thing to do is come up with a solid cybersecurity strategy to address these risks and vulnerabilities in every marketing strategy.