The use of the net, portable devices, social networking sites, search engines, and other platforms to reach consumers is known as digital marketing. In comparison to conventional marketing, some marketing experts believe digital marketing to be a whole new undertaking that necessitates a fresh approach to clients and a new understanding of how customers behave. Every marketer faces one or more threats while trying to develop a market for their brand in today’s ever-changing and ever-expanding digital world. One brand may have difficulty attracting enough traffic from social networking sites to their website, while another may have difficulty calculating the ROI of the most traffic-generating medium.
A major threat to digital marketing stems from cybersecurity threats. Cyber attacks are dangerous and are expensive as it threatens the security of the user and can steal private information like that information may include his details or his business details and by this, it can also affect the security of his business. Cybersecurity experts predict that cyberattacks cost about $6 trillion in damages. And these attacks are not done by differentiating between small businesses and big corporations. If anyone gets cyber attacked whether he/she is doing any business he/she will be known as the victim of a cyber attack.
To protect your digital marketing SEO, you must overcome the threat of cyber attacks. This article enlists multiple ways in which you can protect your digital marketing strategy from the same. Keep reading to find out.
Understanding Cybersecurity Threats
Cybersecurity has long been a topic of discussion, and with so much data at the tip of our fingers today, it appears that we’ve crossed a threshold where cyber attackers may gain an edge. Marketing is a vital topic that has the potential to either repel hackers or accidentally allow them in. Here’s why marketers are so vulnerable to cyber-attacks, and how marketing teams can help resist dangers. You may believe that cybersecurity is not something concerning and that it should be handled by the IT team. However, as a digital marketer, you are equally accountable for preserving your brand’s or company’s privacy and data.
The fact that you’re utilizing marketing strategies to reach a large audience makes you a tempting target for hackers. Reaching larger audiences can be achieved by utilizing keywords. Adopt the right keyword research tool to help you do the same. Consider posting a relatively harmless link to your social media page and then having people click on it. If, however, the link contains a virus, all people who have clicked it will be affected. And the consequences would be far more severe if the attack is carried out through a reputable web source.
Let us look at some of the major cyber-threats that have occurred since 2020 include:
Twitter was the target of one of the most daring internet attacks in history. It took over the entire internet! High-profile figures including President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Elon Musk had their Twitter accounts verified by the hackers. From the 130 accounts targeted, they had been able to change the passwords for 45 of them. They then utilized these identities to send out fake tweets promising $2000 in exchange for $1,000 sent to an unidentified Bitcoin address. A total of $121,000 in Bitcoin was lost as a result of the fraud, which spanned about 300 transactions.
A malfunction inside Microsoft Power Apps resulted in the release of a minimum of 38 million records on August 24, 2021. The data breach impacted Microsoft, American Airlines, J.B. Hunt, and the governments of Indiana, New York City, and Maryland. The identities of COVID-19 figures, social security numbers, and email accounts have been published.
In September 2020, hackers gained control over telegram messages and email data. They were looking for login codes that required two-factor authentication. The hackers allegedly intended to find cryptocurrencies, as per cybersecurity experts.
On April 6, 2021, around 500 million LinkedIn user profiles were leaked on the Dark Web. Two million LinkedIn records were sold for $2 by the cybercriminals. They wanted to make sure the data in the stolen data was accurate. They did this by importing personal details from account users from the site into a repository.
Importance Of Cybersecurity In Digital Marketing
For your firm to expand, you’ll need to have a solid digital marketing plan. However, the security of your entire marketing effort — from your website to emails to social media — must be taken into account. You and your client’s privacy may be jeopardized if you ignore this factor.
Here are some examples of common cyberattacks using digital marketing:
- A malware infection can occur as a result of files being downloaded or links being opened.
- Hijacking and redirection of browsers
- Theft of data and other confidential information
- Theft of one’s identity
- Fake news is on the rise.
- Attacks on a website caused by a distributed denial of service (DDoS)
- Virus in WordPress
Apart from these dangers, there are numerous other types of cyberattacks that almost all digital marketers are unaware of. Adopting a cybersecurity strategy can prove to be good for your business. One of the most clear advantages is having strong security against malware. It also safeguards your website as well as all of the information that your clients have entrusted to you. Cross-site scripting, SQL injection attacks, Denial-of-Service assaults, and password cracking are all protected.
With that being said, you will see that cybersecurity is just not solely the duty of your IT staff. If your company’s sensitive data has been breached or your servers have been assaulted, claiming ignorance will not address the problem. Everyone is responsible for cybersecurity.
What are the challenges to digital marketing’s cyber security?
- Social Media
The approach of social networking has changed people’s perceptions of social communication connections. The most serious concern and risk associated with social media marketing is identity theft. It can take the shape of illicit downloads or passwords that are too easy to guess. Hackers can use social media to steal personal information.
Below mentioned are some solutions to this problem:
- Implement a robust password authentication strategy for users.
- All social network actions must be tracked by the administrator.
- Make privacy settings as strict as possible.
To help businesses expand, digital marketers employ cutting-edge new technology. Consider machine learning, which improves conversion rates, or site-search analytics, which provide precise data on shopper activity. However, as online shops become more sophisticated, it’s more important than ever to stay on top of the serious security problems that come with them.
Solutions to the problem:
- SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) protocols and a two-step verification mechanism can be implemented.
- Make every attempt to provide clients with a secure payment method.
- Make certain that hackers do not obtain illegal access to a client’s bank account information.
Email is a potent, albeit old-school, digital marketing tool. Unfortunately, this increases the likelihood of phishing attacks. Junk mail and malware emails can be sent from workplace email accounts by hackers. Hosts may blacklist and block the website if it is hacked. It will have an impact on the firm’s email marketing strategy.
Solutions to this problem:
- Avoid opening emails from senders you don’t recognize.
- Verify that the ISP and servers are trustworthy and reliable.
- Use security software to assess your email marketing requirements. To reduce the risk of a phishing attempt, encrypt your emails.
- Set up outbound filters to prevent emails with hidden viruses.
- Include email security audits in network security audits.
- Content Marketing
Content management systems (CMS) make it easier to manage content marketing. Hackers, on the other hand, are acquainted with WordPress and can use it to propagate viruses.
Solutions to this problem:
- On servers, only use security patches and current operating systems and software packages.
- Content Management Systems can only be accessed via private networks.
- The password authentication policy for users is very strict.
- Admins must maintain control over the creation of new user accounts.
- Educate users on how to use the CMS’s security features. As soon as updates become available, make sure they install them.
- Only use a hosting company that prioritizes consumer security to host the organization’s website.
- Customer Relationship Management
Customer relationship management is an essential component of any company. It’s a mission-critical application that keeps track of crucial data. It keeps track of information as well as the procedures it oversees.
Solutions to this problem:
- Security software with a firewall. VPNs, for example, are used to create private networks.
- A strict password policy puts you at significant risk of being hacked.
Tips To Protect Your Digital Marketing From Cyber Attacks
- The Internet and Social Media
Currently, billions of individuals use social media, making it among the most powerful digital marketing platforms available. Users of all ages frequent platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp. However, with great power comes great risk.
Hackers prefer to attack social media accounts, not just those of celebrities, but also those of everyday people. By gaining access to their accounts, they are able to do more damage. In addition to stealing your personal information, hackers can use your login details to hijack accounts and publish objectionable content on your page. Some will ask for payment to stop the harassment, while others are frequently paid to do the dirty work by their competitors.
Because marketing teams frequently have numerous employees utilizing the same social media profile, the risk increases. You could either use a social media management tool to manage all of your social media tasks or a password manager to safeguard your authentication credentials to limit the distribution of your login credentials.
Additionally, your marketing team should be educated on the risks of unsolicited social media posts, particularly those that contain links. Hackers can use Facebook and other social media platforms to target your system, just as they can use emails to deceive you into revealing important information.
The presence of WordPress on this list may appear surprising. However, if you keep up with the latest cybersecurity headlines, you’ll know that WordPress is among the most heavily attacked CMS platforms. In order to launch an attack, hackers frequently target the platform’s weaknesses. Other fraudsters make use of weaknesses in popular WordPress plug-ins.
Aside from obsolete software, hackers can use a variety of methods to enter your site or cause it to malfunction, including:
- DDoS Assault – This type of attack fills your website with a massive volume of traffic in order to bring your server and website to a halt.
- Cross-site Scripting (XSS) occurs when a hacker injects malicious code into your website in order to steal data from your server.
- SQL assaults are attempts to get access to your website’s database by a hacker.
- Hackers can easily access your data if you use weak passwords such as your personal details, reused passwords, or simple characters.
Keeping your WordPress account up to date is the best method to keep it safe from internet dangers. When you activate automatic updates, you will receive security fixes that address known vulnerabilities on a timely basis. Check to see if the plugins and addons you’re using are still up to date.
If feasible, use strong passwords and activate two-factor authentication. You can also put a Web Application Firewall in front of your website to protect it from dangerous content. By purchasing a digital certificate, you can also encrypt your website with SSL.
Email marketing may appear outdated, yet it remains one of the best ways to promote a company. It offers one of the best returns on investment in digital marketing, and it may assist boost website traffic and conversion rates.
Unfortunately, email is also considered to be a popular route of malware propagation. Emails account for more than 90% of all attacks. Hackers frequently use emails to discover their next victim by employing phishing techniques.
They frequently send out emails that appear to be legitimate but contain malicious attachments or links to phony websites. In order to obtain information from you, hackers spoof emails from reputable entities such as banks, Amazon, Paypal, Netflix, government agencies, etc. And the type of attack that follows is determined by the data you’ve provided. Because they are the ones who frequently deal with clients, your digital marketing staff is open to these types of attacks (or hackers acting as customers).
To keep your emails safe, teach everyone on your staff how to recognize a phishing email. Using a strong password and your email service provider’s spam filter can also help keep these risks at bay.
- CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software
CRM software is an essential component of digital marketing because it is where you store the information you collect from your clients. CRM software is used to analyze the acquired data and design a marketing plan for your organization, in addition to preserving it. Consider the consequences if hackers gained access to your CRM system. They will have access to sensitive information and will utilize it for nefarious purposes. You may not only lose money as a result of this breach, but you may also lose your brand’s reputation.
Using a complex password to secure your CRM software isn’t enough. It won’t be as successful as you think, therefore you’ll need to try something else. This is because the majority of breaches are caused by the inside. Restrict access to your CRM software to only trustworthy employees to secure the data. Make sure the people who have access to the information are reliable. Before entrusting your employees with the task of managing your customers’ data, thoroughly vet them. It would be excellent if you could utilize a tracking tool to keep track of account logins. Finally, no Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) policies are permitted. Workers should only use company-issued gadgets.
The key message here is that digital marketers cannot overlook cybersecurity simply because it is not part of their job profile. It is the responsibility of everyone, from management to employees. A cyber attack not only puts your data at risk of being stolen, but it also puts all of your customers and business partners at risk.
Every marketing plan should include the development of a sound cybersecurity strategy. The topics listed above should be given additional attention because they are frequently used by attackers as entry points. You may finally market your brand without worrying about your online security by resolving these problems.