Make Cybersecurity a Top Priority in Digital Marketing

5 Ways To Make Cybersecurity a Top Priority in Digital Marketing

Cyberattacks are on the rise, and if your sensitive company data is not as secure as possible, you could be unknowingly putting your entire company at risk. Cybercriminals continue to find ways to gain access to systems that may be secure, but are not quite secure enough. If you are worried that your cybersecurity strategy for your digital marketing company or department is not robust enough, here are five simple things that you can try.

Keep Software Updated

No one enjoys running updates on software. They often involve extended periods where you cannot access your computer, and if you run auto updates, they always seem to occur at the most inconvenient times. However, these updates do not just exist to make your life harder. In fact, many contain security patches and important features that may mean nothing to you, but could be the difference between a hacker gaining access to your system or being unable to get in. In 2019, the majority of breaches were the result of unapplied security patches — this is totally avoidable and means that people didn’t take the time to run simple updates. If you are not one to read the technical fine print when an update becomes available (and many of us are not), you are likely not getting a full picture of exactly what the update entails and how it will benefit you and your software. Keep your software updated to avoid unnecessary security risks. Besides, you are paying for your software anyway, so why not run the latest and greatest release that they have to offer?

Educate Your Team

Everyone knows the basics of how to keep their data secure, but are you all doing all that you can to ensure that a breach does not happen as a result of a careless mistake? One simple mishap, such as an employee accidentally opening a phishing email using a company computer or clicking on a link full of malware could be enough to bring a company down completely. Therefore, it is imperative that you educate your team on the dangers of carelessness with their corporate computers and also set some type of guidelines or office-wide cybersecurity strategy that everyone must understand and adhere to. You can make it simple by requiring that everyone change their passwords frequently — and make them secure. Now is not the time to use a pet’s name or a birthday. Also, if any employees have access to company credit cards, be sure that they are using a secured credit card so that there is no chance of an issue when purchases are being made for the company.

Regularly Change Passwords

Changing passwords can be a pain, but if you and your team are using the same passwords for numerous accounts and are not changing them at least occasionally, you could be putting your entire company at unnecessary risk. Think about it — if someone cracks your “usual” password (the password you use everywhere), they now have access to a scary amount of company data. However, if you make the effort and encourage your team to change passwords regularly (even if the new ones are hard to remember), it will be much harder for someone to hack your system. A strong password will use all of the specifications (letters, numbers, and special characters) and should also use more than eight characters. A random password is much harder to guess, even with the best password-guessing software available. If you or your team have trouble remembering strong passwords, you can easily invest in software that will remember your passwords for you while also keeping them stored securely. 

Develop a Plan for Portable Devices

In the current technological landscape, more and more people are working remotely, which also means that companies are equipping employees with portable devices that can be used from home. However, these devices should still be used for company business only, even if they are being used from the comfort of a home office. Home and remote WiFi networks are likely not as secure as the network at your office, and your employees may not be aware that their simple social media visits or web searches on their company device could be very risky. Develop a plan regarding the use of company devices and ensure that every employee understands and intends on complying with it. Employees may not understand how malware that infects their company device could also infect the entire company network. Encourage employees to use their devices for work-related tasks only, and to use their personal devices for surfing the web during their downtime and when they need a break. 

Use the Cloud

Storing some (or all) of your company data in the cloud is not only a great way to ensure that it stays safe and backed up, but it is also a way to provide simple employee access to all important files. If your data is on-prem and also backed up in the cloud, even if your hardware malfunctions or gets hacked, your files will still be safe and accessible. Further, storing essential files in the cloud provides a quick and easy way for even the least technical employees in your department to access whatever they need. Most importantly, a good cloud provider will be able to store data, maintain software patches, and keep everything secure so you do not have to worry about it. If you are not quite ready to commit to a completely cloud-based environment, start with a hybrid solution and store only some of your data in the cloud. If it works for you, you can always migrate more data at a comfortable pace. 

Technology is constantly evolving, but this also unfortunately means that hackers and those who want to gain access to secure data are honing their techniques as well. If you feel like your digital marketing department (or really any department in your company) could use a cybersecurity overhaul, use these simple tips and your business will be ready to combat anything that comes your way.