Advertising agencies are becoming the focus of hackers. For example WPP was targeted by a cyber attack last year, which cost this multinational ad agency about 17 million euros. Agencies of all sizes, even boutique ones, are under attack. The reason why agencies are so attractive to cybercriminals is mainly due to the amount and type of confidential data they handle on behalf of their clients. Therefore, if the appropriate cybersecurity measures are not applied, it can result in damage to your customers and their brands.
As you know, an online marketing campaign requires very specific planning, both to carry out market research and to develop an advertising strategy. It generally includes content to be developed in tools such as social networks, email and other marketing actions to attract potential customers.
In many cases, advertising agencies compete with each other to get an important brand account. During this process, confidential proposals are exchanged which, if they fall into the hands of the competition, can mean the loss of the client, with the consequent economic impact. That is why it is important to ensure the protection of this type of files.
It is also important to secure the creative pieces, before they are approved and go out to the public. It is regrettable that this type of sensitive information reaches the hands of hackers or unfair competitors, and that the losses have a negative impact on the income and the reputation of the agency.
Some risks that may occur are:
During the market investigation it will be necessary to share sensitive information with customers, this information will determine the effectiveness of the campaign. If these data are not sent with the right tools, they could easily be vulnerable to falling into the wrong hands, including competition.
Creative content and its tools: Content marketing is fundamental in a campaign. To do this, the agencies use content management tools such as WordPress, which allow them to create content periodically (in blogs, for example) and keep information about the company updated.
Because of its ease of use anyone with a basic knowledge can manage a WordPress account, and if not properly protected, a hacker could access the site and use it to their liking, even distributing malware to users.
Email is also widely used by agencies for targeted email marketing campaigns to contacts and customers. If a cybercriminal manages to access one of these accounts, he could not only have access to the contacts of the company, but could also send fraudulent or virus-infected emails, which would result in the company’s website or emails being blocked by the clients’ servers, and poses legal, reputational and financial risks.
Social networks are also an easy and vulnerable way to attack, and in addition you should be especially careful with the information that is published in this way, because of the ease and speed of dissemination that they have, they could also be channels of distribution of false information.
To avoid reaching any of the situations mentioned above, some basic cybersecurity measures to protect the information of a marketing campaign could be:
Cybersecurity measures to apply to online marketing:
– The fundamental thing is to use a strong and unique password that is difficult to guess, for each of the services mentioned above. It’simportant to set a different password for each tool, including each social network.
– It is also important to periodically perform all updates to each service.
– You should avoid connecting to public Wi-Fis if you are going to use this type of tools, since the data that is being sent at the time of publication does not have the needed level of encryption protection.
– In the case of email marketing, you can use software that offers monitoring.
– Ensure that personnel who have access to these tools are aware of the threats that exist and the security measures that must be applied.
– When you need to share sensitive files that compromise the research or business proposals that you do, use applications that allow you to encrypt the information from the moment you send it until it reaches the recipient. With HushApp you can send documents easily and safely, even if your recipient does not use the application.
Cybersecurity is an issue that should concern all business sectors, it is important that all company personnel are aware of the dangers of a cyber attack. In the case of the marketing sector, where the activity is mostly online, the dangers are much more likely, taking the measures and using the right tools, you can successfully reach your ideal customers.