The Importance of Cybersecurity in Digital Marketing

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Created September 15, 2020

The digital marketing industry is at its core online-focused and relies heavily on information systems, so the risk of cyber threats is significant. Since these attacks can inflict severe damage to a business, resulting in data breaches, financial loss, downtime, and bad publicity, securing your digital platforms should be one of the top priorities.

Security incidents like data breaches are becoming increasingly costly. The average cost of a data breach in 2020 is staggering $3.86 million, but the prices are smaller for prepared enterprises.

If you work in digital marketing, investing time, and effort to secure your digital platforms and ensure your clients are protected is vital. This industry requires additional efforts since cyber-attacks can have devastating effects.

To avoid loss of customer trust and secure their business, digital marketers have to be up-to-date with the best cybersecurity practices.

1. Make sure WordPress is up-to-date at all times

Many websites nowadays are using WordPress, one of the most prominent website hosting platforms and as with any other software, updating regularly is critical. Out-of-date themes, plug-ins, and core site components make your website vulnerable to malicious attacks.

This is the way hackers get into your system – by exploiting outdated software components. Software updates are so frequent these days because they are often created to fix patch files found to have security loopholes.

Digital marketers that manage WordPress websites must update their software as soon as possible. You can handle the updates manually, but to ensure your WordPress is up-to-date, it’s best to enable automatic updates.

And of course, using complex and robust passwords is a must. Two-factor identification is an extra layer of security for your website, email, CRM, and social media accounts. And it’s often available to add for free.

2. More website security tips

cybersecurity risks

Remember: if your website gets hacked, it can lead to financial loss, regulatory fines, and long-term damage to your reputation. To avoid these worst-case scenarios, there are more steps you can take.

Place your site behind a web application firewall (WAF). It protects your website from various malicious attacks by putting it behind a virtual shield that monitors and filters incoming traffic.

Besides blocking potential attacks, this system also scans your website for malware and downtime regularly.

3. Emails can be vulnerable to external attacks

marketing security

Emails are being increasingly used by cybercriminals to distribute malware and send fraudulent invoices. With 1 in every 131 emails containing malware, exposure to various advanced phishing attacks is not to be underestimated.

It’s not just the frequency; phishing scams are becoming more sophisticated and deceptive too. And it only takes one compromised email to harm your marketing efforts and the company’s reputation.

Since businesses are at risk of spam, malware, email spoofing, and hackers getting into their email systems, taking the right precautions is imperative. The first step is creating secure passwords and enabling 2 – factor authentication on your email accounts.

The next step is to provide training for your employees. Arm your team members with the best cybersecurity certification. This way, they will learn how to resolve common security issues, create secure passwords, recognize fraudulent emails and websites, implement security protocols, and take proper precautions to minimize online risks.

To complete your email protection, put email filters that will block spam and malware.

 

4. Protect your CRM platform

For a business of any size, registering every customer along the way is invaluable. This is where CRM systems are one of the company’s greatest asset. They allow businesses to register their leads and contacts and track all customer interactions from anyone in the company.

Of course, when you store sensitive information like confidential customer data, there is a risk of cybercriminals getting hold of them.

What can you do to protect customer information?

Strong passwords are necessary, but they alone are not sufficient. You will need to limit admin access to only a few trusted employees. Besides that, it’s best if your staff is trained in managing these platforms.

In addition to this, using tracking and monitoring software when the platform is accessed is another crucial step to improve your cybersecurity measures.

 

5. Take care of your social media accounts

wordpress cybersecurity

Your social media accounts can get hijacked too, so it’s paramount to protect them to avoid damage to your brand. You should implement the same measures we discussed in regards to securing your website and email.

Strong passwords, 2 – step authentication, and restricted access to only the necessary employees are the steps to take to prevent your accounts from being compromised.

Hackers use social media pages to manipulate their targets by pretending to be a credible brand or a person. This is a method called “social engineering.”

This way, the attackers can trick your followers into handing over delicate information like passwords or persuade them to click on a malicious link.

 

6. Secure your IT systems

Your internal IT systems are an attractive target for cybercriminals too. If they get access to your local network, servers, or PCs, they can do more than stealing valuable data – they can massively impact your business operations.

For a while, let this information sit with you: the average number of days for organizations affected with a ransomware attack to restore their networks in now up to over 16 days! On average, ransomware downtime costs enterprises more than $64,000.

Again, robust passwords are golden. Create unique passwords that contain letters, numbers, and symbols. Get security software and make sure it’s regularly patched.

Employees who will be using IT systems and other technology should complete at least basic training.

Final thoughts

Cybersecurity statistics reveal a massive increase in online attacks, with most companies having poor security practices and unprotected data. Lack of effective cybersecurity measures can have detrimental effects on your business, from severe financial loss to serious damage to your reputation.

Investing time and money into securing digital systems is especially important for digital marketers. Staying up-to-date with the latest cybersecurity trends will allow you to build trust with your customers and take your business to the next level.

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