By Veronika Duzhan, keepsolid Inc

Any business’ success is built upon the hard work of every department. However, in the age of cyber threats, simple security mistakes of one staff member can undermine a good share of its company’s achievements. That is why cybersecurity shouldn’t be dismissed as simply “CIO’s problems”.

For the sake of this article, let’s take marketing managers as an example. Often, they are primarily associated with bearing huge responsibility for the brand identity of their company and for the creation of a marketing strategy,  promotions,  commercials, etc.  But if your user data leaks (including due to a marketer’s misstep), what good will it do for your brand’s reputation? This would mean you can forget about consumers’ loyalty and will have to start building it from scratch.

Our team has long been studying the security of business processes. And, considering our vast experience in cybersecurity (we even developed our own corporate security solution – Business VPN by keepsolid), we have some insights to share with you. In this peace, we’d like to tell you about some of the most common cybersecurity mistakes that marketing managers tend to make.

Mistake №1.  Neglect of security in the workplace

It is no secret that marketing specialists keep lots of information about consumers. When they carry out market research and create consumer profiles, they collect a vast amount of data. All of this info is handled in electronic form, obviously. Also, the nature of the marketer position implies regular collaboration with company partners, outside agencies, etc.

Marketers can mistakenly think their clients’ data is completely safe. That’s why they don’t worry about strong passwords or shutting down their computers before leaving the room. Sometimes, their non-compliance with basic security responsibilities can even result in them sending confidential information to the wrong people. By mistake,  of course, but it is a poor excuse.

This negligence is a sure way to data leakage. Cybercriminals can easily crack weak passwords. Anybody can use a computer that wasn’t turned off. And the wrong people you’ve sent the confidential data to can be the right ones to use it for personal purposes.

Solution: Make sure that your marketing department understands its responsibilities in terms of online security. A strict company privacy policy is a must. Also, don’t forget to secure your office network.

Mistake №2.  Unsecured teleworking 

The job of a marketer often implies business trips and, as a result, a share of remote work – conventions, partner meetings, etc. Unfortunately (yet predictably), those who don’t take precautionary measures in the office are pretty unlikely to take them outside of it as well.

According to Cisco, the first component of this problem is using personal computers for work purposes. By this, we mean the confidential file transferring and business communications on personal devices. So, if a cybercriminal hacks a  marketer’s personal device, all the information about their research will leak, too.

The other part of this case is remote workers using unsecured wifi connections.  It could be anywhere – in the coffee shop, airport, etc. Unfortunately, if your marketers use such connections, cybercriminals can eavesdrop them with a Man-in-the-Middle attack (MITM), or implant spyware, or do other nasty things. When your marketing manager works in a public place, they can easily face such risks.

Solution: A clear remote work policy has to be in place in your company. You should implement these rules and explain marketers all the risks. Also, you should understand the importance of using advanced security tools for your business.  For example,  a virtual private network server becomes essential for remote work, as it ciphers all of your marketers’ data and can be used anywhere in the world.  As a bonus,  your marketing department will be able to take a look at your geo-targeted tools and ads from the viewpoint of your customers.

Mistake №3. Giving away corporate information like IP address during competitor analysis

One of the main market research elements is marketing effectiveness. And as you probably know, it includes competitor analysis. Alas, the latter can end badly for your company if performed sloppily.

Nowadays, your IP address can be easily tracked. That’s why a marketing manager visiting a competitor’s website for too long can be noticed and deemed suspicious. As a result, if the competitor investigates this IP address and ties it to your company, you

Might get banned, at best. In the worst case scenario, competitors can even initiate a campaign against you. That doesn’t sound very appealing, especially if you’re a startup and they are a multi-billion corporation.

Solution: Your marketers should be cautious and mindful. They have to ask themselves: doesn’t their persistent presence on the website look suspicious? Your marketing specialist should always remember that they could be watched. They shouldn’t use intrusive or trackable tools. If the competitor analysis needs a lot of time, they should make pauses in their research. Also, a VPN’s ability to hide a user’s online activity will come in handy for your marketers in this case. This way, even if your competitors tracks and blocks VPN server’s IP, you can always simply turn to a different server.

Conclusion 

Being a marketing manager, you bear a huge responsibility for the future of your company. Effective marketing strategy is one of the keys to business success.  But without basic security responsibilities, all that hard work can be easily compromised. So always remember and avoid the 3 marketer mistakes:

  • Neglect of security in the workplace
  • Unsecured teleworking
  • Giving away corporate information like IP address during competitor analysis

Your marketing specialists should understand the importance of taking precautionary measures and make it an integral part of their work. After all, prevention is always better than cure.

About the Author

Veronika Duzhan, keepsolid Inc. Veronika is a content writer at keepsolid inc. She is an expert on cybersecurity and business productivity. She can be reached online at https://www.linkedin.com/in/veronika-duzhan-223869158/, and at our company website https://www.keepsolid.com