A few years ago, cybersecurity was considered to be dealt with by IT professionals only. However, ever since data-driven marketing started booming, marketing professionals have started taking cybersecurity very seriously. Now, even marketing professionals are using VPNs to stay secure while carrying out their day to day tasks.
To run focused marketing campaigns, marketers collect a lot of information about their customers so that they can generate better leads. But with data running the show and marketers now relying heavily on marketing technologies, the risk to customer data is also increasing.
Because at the end of the day, no tool is completely immune to vulnerabilities. If even one resource in your company gets targeted by hackers, it can compromise the personal information of hundreds of customers. As a result, it can completely damage the reputation of your company.
Now, as a marketer, if you wish to run successful data-driven marketing campaigns, you’ll need to handle customer data with utmost care to establish brand-consumer trust.
Keeping this in mind, in this blog, I’ll help you understand some intricate details about cybersecurity that every marketer should know about.
What Do Marketers Need to Know About Cybersecurity?
If you’re a marketer, you know that you’re nothing without data. With data powering entire industries, the behavior of millions of customers gets stored in clouds or in in-house servers so that it can be accessed by anyone with proper credentials from anywhere in the world.
But with so much data being collected and processed, it leaves potential loopholes for hackers to exploit. Even though data security isn’t part of any digital marketers’ job description, it is still important for marketing departments to understand the importance of cybersecurity.
To help marketers comply with benchmark cybersecurity standards, I’ve listed down a couple of roles that a marketing executive should play to continually safeguard customer data.
1. Marketers should work side by side with IT professionals
Since marketers constantly add new marketing tools to their arsenal to manage customer data analytics, there’s always a possibility that some marketing tools might pose security threats.
To make sure marketing teams are using only trustworthy tools, they should run a vulnerability assessment test in collaboration with IT professionals and only use tools approved by the IT department.
2. Marketers should be part of the incident response team
In case a cyberattack manages to compromise customer data, it’ll be the responsibility of the marketing team to protect the brand image of the company. Marketers will have to step forward and develop a proper dialogue that’ll restore the company’s image in the eyes of its customers.
3. Marketers must comply with regional data management regulations
If you don’t know, there are strict regulations that govern how customer data is handled and processed in different parts of the world. For instance in Europe, companies that handle customer data must comply with GDPR. It is the responsibility of marketers to ensure that they’re properly handling customer data as per regional laws and regulations to avoid getting fined.
Why Marketing Departments Are Targeted By Hackers?
The reason why marketing departments are the prime targets of hackers is because of online exposure. When anything becomes too big, it’s bound to get attention. When marketers endorse anything online, there’s always a chance that hackers will try and come in contact with them.
Since a marketer’s job involves constantly collaborating with different brands and influencers, hackers use this opportunity to run phishing email campaigns.
When someone clicks on a malicious link, it’ll inject spyware onto their device. After that, it’s just a matter of time before a hacker is able to siphon sensitive data and become a headache for the company.
How Can Marketers Avoid Becoming a Victim to a Cyberattack?
Marketing professionals should be extremely cautious when carrying out their day to day activities. Here’s how marketers can avoid becoming victims of cyberattacks.
1. Never open suspicious emails. If an offer looks too good to be true, it probably might be. If you see a link asking you to click on it for more information, just don’t bother clicking on it. Because who knows what might be masked behind that one click.
2. Use security tools like VPNs to stay anonymous online. For instance, ExpressVPN offers great security features that can encrypt your network traffic and mask your original IP address. This will prevent any hacker from knowing your actual location. Also, VPNs offer Ad and malware blockers which will warn you when you click on any malicious link. You can check out the details of ExpressVPN in its full review covered by VPNRanks.
3. Install a current antivirus program on your computer. No matter how careful you’re being online, there’s always a chance that you might download some sketchy program or file on your computer. Having an updated antivirus program running on your computer will neutralize the threat before it causes any harm.
Marketing is without a doubt a very tough job. What makes it even tougher is the growing number of cyberattacks specifically targeting marketers.
In today’s world, it is super important for marketing executives to understand the importance of cybersecurity. Because without proper knowledge, marketers won’t be able to survive in the industry for too long.