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10 Cybersecurity Tips Marketing Professionals Cannot Ignore

Whether it's sending an email, posting on social media, sharing a document or updating a website, each of these means of communication provides potential scope for hackers or malware distributors to disrupt or distort your marketing message, disable your IT systems, or even push your business into financial ruin.

The specific types of cyber-attacks used to achieve these nightmare scenarios are many and varied but they include data breaches, malware, and denial of service (DDoS). For example, think about how your business would cope in the following scenarios:
     Ransomware infects your IT system and brings it to a standstill
     Hackers steal your customers' personal data, including their bank account details, by injecting your website with malicious code
     Hackers attempt to bring down your website by bombarding it with irrelevant traffic
     Attackers send commands to online forums on your website in the hope that the site is poorly configured enough to allow access to its databases
     Your clients receive an email purporting to be from you and asking them to disclose sensitive financial information

So, how can you ensure your business does not become a victim as a consequence of your digital marketing activities?

1. For day-to-day privacy, consider using a virtual private network, or VPN. A VPN is particularly useful in situations where you need to access the internet on a public network. VPNs encrypt your information, making it indecipherable to observers, and also route it via the VPN server, which disguises both its origin and its destination.

There are plenty of VPN providers to choose from but the best incorporate desktop applications for MAC OS, Windows and Linux, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android devices. Of course, remember that you'll almost certainly require senior management sign-off before conducting any business activities on a VPN.

Note that a VPN is a reassuring back-up that can give you the confidence to work wherever and whenever you need to do so. However, it is not a substitute for implementing other security precautions.

2. The rise of technological options and solutions for marketing professionals is prompting many organisations to reallocate increasing amounts of their IT budget to the marketing team. This means that, as a digital marketing professional, you may have greater responsibility for IT security than you realise.

3. Ensure your business has a digital crisis management team. Ideally including representatives from IT, marketing, legal and senior management, the team's role is to keep digital security at the top of the business agenda and to ensure its proactive management.

4. Conduct a stocktake of digital assets across the business. In particular, note:
     how many domain names the business owns and which are currently active
     how many social media names the business uses and who has access to them; and
     which online apps anyone in the business uses, and their source.
Above all, remember that it's difficult to protect what you don't know you have.

5. In conjunction with your IT organisation, your ultimate aim is to ensure the seamless connection of all your digital assets. This means that data, assets and metrics all transfer between the various technologies used in the business. However, bear in mind that, for many organisations, this will amount to a long-term project that needs significant investment and senior management buy-in.

6. Protect business-critical assets, such as domain names, emails and social media accounts with robust security measures. As a minimum, this should include two-factor authentication.

7. Find out about your company's anti-phishing strategy and make sure you communicate it to clients. For example, it may be prudent to inform clients that no-one from the business will ever ask them for personal information, including banking details, via email. If the business currently does not have an anti-phishing strategy, talk to your IT department or bring the matter to the attention of the digital crisis management team.

8. Install a digital certificate on your website to encrypt its traffic. Often known as SSL or HTTPS, this also has the commercial advantage of boosting your rankings in search engines.

9. When drawing up or amending your content marketing strategy do not attempt to separate it from your cybersecurity precautions, as each should always inform the other.

10. Ensure you think globally when it comes to international marketing as cross-border data sharing carries particular risks. In particular, make sure you are familiar with the legal regimes that govern the collection, use and transfer of personal data. Breaching these rules risks catastrophic financial penalties as well as threatening the company's reputation. 

Jessica Sharp 

Marketing Manager @ VPNpro.com
We are the team of cybersecurity experts that believe everyone has the right to online privacy.
Our Twitter page - https://twitter.com/vpnpro

10 Cybersecurity Tips Marketing Professionals Cannot Ignore Reviewed by Mili Ponce on Thursday, March 14, 2019 Rating: 5

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