The digital landscape is constantly changing, and it’s important to stay ahead of the curve. From hackers to phishing scams, many cybersecurity concerns can impact your digital marketing strategy.
Let’s dive into some of the biggest threats and how you can protect your digital marketing plan from them.
1. DDoS Attacks on Your Website
In digital marketing, web security is a top concern. Attackers are increasingly knowledgeable about how to break into sites and steal data — which harms a company’s reputation.
That’s why ensuring your IT team is equipped with the right tools is important. They can protect your website against malicious attacks — particularly DDoS (distributed denial of service).
A DDoS attack is a popular method among cybercriminals. They often occur as part of more sophisticated campaigns that target businesses for reasons such as stealing information.
For example, if an attacker wants to distract from their true objective, they can make it look like you’re receiving traffic. In reality, they’re targeting your company to steal information, using the attack as a smokescreen.
DDoS attacks come in many forms, and any site with sensitive information is vulnerable.
2. Email Marketing and Phishing
Email security is a major concern for personal and business accounts. Most attacks come from compromised personal email accounts. However, they also target business emails and use them as a foothold.
For example, phishing attacks are a common way for hackers to gain access by impersonating a bank or other financial institution. They achieve this by emailing links that lead to fake websites. False websites will redirect victims elsewhere, where attackers can exploit them.
Another method includes embedding malware in attachments that download once the recipient opens them. Or, they’ll set up fake Wi-Fi hotspots so people connect their devices directly instead of through the cell provider’s network.
The best way to prevent these attacks is by increasing your digital marketing team’s awareness through training programs.
3. Data Breaches in CRM Software
Data breaches are a serious problem for businesses. In the first half of 2021, 304.7 million ransomware attacks — a type of malware — occurred on companies.
Hackers can use malware to steal information from your CRM software, exposing your customers’ personal data.
And half of the time, data breaches occur because of human error. This typically happens when an unauthorized user enters your CRM system using an employee’s login credentials.
To prevent this from occurring, you must adhere to stricter security protocols, including:
- Downloading software from trusted partners.
- Limiting software installations to a minimum.
- And taking protective measures by logging out when not in use.
4. Social Media Marketing and Fraud
Cyberattacks may also occur in social media, particularly in fraud cases. This attack is a cause for concern in digital marketing since social media is a major marketing endeavor.
Social media-based attacks involve impersonation to deceive recipients and deploy ransomware. Businesses should regard social media in the same way as email. Users must avoid countless downloads and confirm information requests with managers.
Business owners should also bolster their incident response plans and implement cybersecurity training programs.
5. Password Attacks
Password attacks occur when hackers gain access to user accounts. Passwords are common in accessing all sorts of online services, including email, social media and content management systems.
The problem is that many people use easy-to-remember passwords, making them easier for hackers to guess. Once they have access, cybercriminals can steal sensitive information — rendering your company with nothing.
Practicing good password hygiene is crucial. This involves choosing long phrases instead of short ones, using numbers and symbols — and never sharing information with anyone unless they know them.
Another way to protect yourself is by not using the same password across multiple accounts. Two-factor authentication is also a great way to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your accounts. And lastly, consider updating passwords regularly.
6. E-Commerce System Vulnerabilities
Vulnerabilities in e-commerce platforms make it difficult for digital marketers to convert leads. Weak links can occur due to security flaws and identity theft.
When consumers see an ounce of weakness in your system’s security, they’ll feel their data is unsafe. Therefore, even if your digital marketing efforts are amazing, they may be reluctant to take action.
The first step to boost customer confidence is using an SSL (secure socket layer). SSLs are a standard security technology that establishes an encrypted link between your client and the server. These features can provide robust security for your e-commerce website and dissuade attackers from hacking into your site.
7. Cybersecurity Training and Education
Cybersecurity risks and threats exist in every aspect of digital marketing — from marketing campaigns to parcel data across various platforms.
There could be loopholes in your security systems, but the main vulnerabilities lie within your marketing and the customers. As a digital marketer, you’re responsible for the safety and security of your organization’s data. This means you need to be able to identify cybersecurity threats, understand their impact and develop strategies to mitigate those risks.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to educate yourself about cybersecurity. That way, you prepare yourself to take action in an attack.
If you want your team and yourself to have a firm grasp on this topic, it’s important to receive proper training from experts in this field. There are various places online that offer free courses on cybersecurity and protocols.
They typically cover topics such as network security practices and malware analysis techniques. These courses provide valuable information about how hackers operate. That way, individuals can better protect themselves from becoming victims.
Protect Your Digital Marketing Efforts
Threats aren’t anything new, but they’re constantly evolving. Hackers can attack your company by exploiting vulnerabilities and gaining access to your site. Moreover, they’re likely to target websites with large audiences. However, you can still be vulnerable to hackers, even if you work at a small company.
Cybercriminals will attack anyone who seems like easy prey. So, no matter the size of your company, it’s important to take constant cybersecurity measures. It would help if you also stay current on the latest developments in this field.
Whether you’re just getting started with digital marketing or have much experience, keep in mind the various ways you can help mitigate security risks.
Eleanor Hecks is the editor-in-chief of Designerly Magazine. She’s also a web design consultant with a focus on customer experience and user interface. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dogs, Bear and Lucy. Connect with her about marketing, design and/or tea on LinkedIn.