3 Reasons Why Digital Marketers Should Be Cyber-Vigilant

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Because companies cannot keep away from the internet, their safety is in staying vigilant. Businesses need to understand the different points of digital marketing that put them at risk. For marketers, there is a more significant need to remain cyber-vigilant. Here are the reasons why.

The rise in technology has brought changes in business operations. For both emerging and established brands, a solid online presence positively impacts growth.

And since companies are spending more time online, there are also greater risks of cyberattacks. A single click on a malicious link could result in the collapse of a brand. Passwords and customer data are also a growing target by criminals. 

Because companies cannot keep away from the internet, their safety is in staying vigilant. Businesses need to understand the different points of digital marketing that put them at risk. For marketers, there is a more significant need to remain cyber-vigilant. Here are the reasons why. 

Customer data is always under attack

Customers share lots of personal information with companies. They fill out forms, share emails, and leave their bank details online. 

Due to the value of customer information, criminals are always trying to access the data. With this data, they can extract personal information and use it to extort customers. They can also use it to demand ransom from your company.

For the customers, the idea of information getting into the wrong hands builds mistrust. As a result, they will find it challenging to engage with your business in the future. Data breaches further affect your conversions if the word spreads. It is estimated that 81% of consumers will stop engaging a company after a data breach. 

Some companies never recover from data breaches. For those that survive, they live with the aftermath of the attack.

It’s for this reason that digital marketers need to be cyber-vigilant. They must ensure that their customer management systems have the highest levels of security

For example, when customers subscribe to an email list, data encryption should mask the details. Additionally, a customer sharing their bank details should be assured it won’t land in the wrong hands.

In most cases, the use of powerful VPNs and proxy servers can protect businesses. The tools mask IP addresses to prevent tracking by criminals. It also sets limitations on sites employees can access. This way, clicks on malicious links are limited. 

Speaking of employee involvement, organizations need to be careful with who has access to customer data. It’s vital to have only a specific team with rights to sensitive information. Also, have a regular monitoring routine to mitigate cyber security threats.  

When handling sensitive customer data, there are four key areas to focus on.

  • Know your cyber assets – Understand your system, hardware, and team and how they impact your security.
  • Build customer confidence – Let customers know how you intend to use the information they share. Also, inform them of the benefits and risks of sharing the data.
  • Develop a routine – Create roles and an accountability approach for everyone handling customer data.
  • Have a response plan – Have a plan for during and after the attacks.  

As part of customer data protection, marketers handling sensitive content should have an additional security protocol. A point in mind is a reputable ICS security vendor. Vendors are essential since they provide maintenance, remote monitoring, consulting, and support. 

ICS vendors follow proper routines to ensure your system is secure. Here are critical aspects that the providers’ platform will manage.

  • Asset Management – View your asset base and understand how it changes over time. 
  • Streamline security event management through anomaly detection, monitoring, and report generation. 
  • Visualize, access, and track security patches from a single location.
  • Analyze network monitoring data.
  • Quantify risk from each asset and improve collaboration on IT-OT systems. 
  • Create, track, and manage your audit policies.
  • Automate the standard compliance reports.
  • Integrate asset data into the entire enterprise.

The best news is that the Industrial Control Systems (ICS) work across various industries. Even industries as complex as manufacturing use ICS vendors to manage operations. Therefore digital marketers in small, medium, and large organizations can use vendors for customer data protection. 

Keep in mind that applying the best ICS networks involves compliance with NIS directives. Meeting the requirement involves following the best practices for NIS directive compliance. There are four key principles that the directive focuses on:

  • Protecting your networks against cyber security threats.
  • Detecting cyber security incidents.
  • Managing cyber security risks.
  • Minimizing the impact of threats.

The purpose of these directives is to have advanced cybersecurity levels. That way, organizations, clients, and economies are protected from major attacks. Having an organized compliance and reporting body ensures ICS systems are built to suit specific environments.

Bots can impact your business performance

Bots are essential for web indexing. They assist search engines in crawling websites and ranking you on the results page. Unfortunately, not all bots work for your good.

There are bad bots used by criminals to steal information. When the crawlers gain access to your system, they can steal passwords, financial data, and other sensitive information.

Usually, bad bots impact your business in four ways.

  • Steal customer data
  • Affect website speed
  • Lead to loss of brand reputation
  • Affect website security

One way to stay vigilant of bad bots is to check for unusual behaviour. For example, a sudden spike in traffic could be a result of the bots. 

Due to massive traffic, the website speed will slow down. When this happens, there may be higher bounce rates from your website. Usually, increased bounce rates result in loss of genuine traffic. An even worse repercussion is the reputational damage.

For this reason, marketers should be observant of strange activities. Even when using tools that filter bad bots, they need a human eye to analyze the data. Supervision helps catch issues before they cause irreparable damage.

The lurking danger in using personal devices for work

Digital marketing involves working with big teams. You will have content creators, marketers, and influencers on board. 

Typically, these teams do heavy scraping and research online. Most use personal devices to surf through the internet. Though not a bad thing- the use of personal devices puts you at risk. 

With fewer security protocols, personal devices expose businesses to cyber-attacks. In addition, it is easier to lose the device. And such a device in the wrong hands could reveal sensitive financial and customer data that can ruin your business. 

The best way to protect your business is to have a business phone. And if this is not possible, invest in an encrypted phone data system. Also, consider having your team on the same system. That way, there is a unified security system and fewer opportunities for hackers to attack. 

In addition, educate your team. Train team members on the dangers of accessing admin panels through personal devices. Also, hold regular meetings to update employees on current threats. That way, you can address any suspicious activity before it gets out of hand. 

How to remain cyber-vigilant

Digital marketing opens the world to greater possibilities – but it also increases the risks of doing business. To ensure customers keep coming back to your business, secure their data. Remember to encrypt files to reduce the chances of data exposure. Additionally, check for bad bots that could affect the reputation of your brand.

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