Ensuring data is adequately protected in the marketing industry has become increasingly more challenging, simply due to the amount of malicious actors and cyber threats that are out there.
In the marketing industry, you’re often dealing with first party data (capturing those important leads for your clients, or even delving into a businesses CRM to help them improve their operations). In the UK, marketing agencies will need to register with the ICO to make sure that they take their data collection and processing seriously. But with that, comes the challenge of making sure the data is protected.
There is a wide range of vulnerabilities that need to be recognised, along with sensitive data and digital assets that must be secured. Taking steps to ensure all marketing campaign data is fully protected is vital for any digital marketing or advertising agency.
In this article, we’ll take a look at the different types of data marketing agencies will be processing - and need to protect - as well as how they can make sure they have all of the right security in place.
The Importance of Data Security in Marketing
All businesses need to take steps to mitigate the risk of cyber threats. The marketing industry in particular needs to be aware of these cyber-related risks and adopt strategies to defend against them, for a number of reasons.
Client Business Details
Marketing firms will typically have access to a lot of sensitive information relating to the client’s business and their customers. Competitors and hackers can use this information to their advantage and create significant issues due to the risk of data breaches.
For example, through a marketing campaign, your firm could have access to a range of important business details on your client, such as
- Login details and access to the front end and control panels of their sites
- Sales data and details on profits and earnings
- Confidential campaign strategies
- Information about any company your client does business with eg B2B customers
- Personal data on employees and end customers
Using marketing tools such as Google Analytics means that marketing firms will hold a large volume of sensitive personal data on their clients’ customers. All the standard data that Google Analytics pulls from the traffic would be categorised as such—customer’s age, gender, interests, and locations would all be personal data that is governed under GDPR regulations (General Data Protection Regulation).
Having any of this data compromised by a competitor or malicious cybercriminal could have serious ramifications for the marketing firm that is responsible for the safekeeping of this information.
Digital Strategies and Intellectual Property
Marketing firms will also have access to a range of highly valuable digital assets and intellectual property such as logos, branding, design work and content.
You don’t want to do all the hard work creating the designs or content for some unscrupulous competitor or cybercriminal to take the whole lot and sell them off as their own work. Content-based scams have been on the rise as more businesses rely on outsourced providers and there are many scammers in the online space looking to secure content and design work for free.
How to Secure Marketing Campaign Data
Restrict Unnecessary Data Collection
In order to minimise the risk of customer personal details being compromised it is important to be selective with what information you gather and store and only use the data that is necessary for the campaign.
Apart from increasing the risk of data compromise it can also be off-putting to customers if too much unnecessary information is required, leading to trust issues in itself. Customers should always be given the option whether they want to provide their details or not.
Use Data Encryption
Data encryption is one of the best ways to provide a failsafe for your business in case of any data breach.
With encrypted data even if the cybercriminal gains access to it they won't be able to read it or garner any information from the data, rendering it useless to the hacker or malicious actor.
Keep Up to Date on Regulations
One of the first key considerations is to ensure you are up to date on privacy laws and data protection regulations.
It is important to understand the requirements of these data regulations in order to bring your marketing strategy and data-gathering processes in line with these laws, and many websites such as the ICO can provide helpful tips on how you should handle sensitive data.
Perform Regular Data Audits
In order to keep your marketing campaign data secure it is important to carry out regular data audits to log whose information is being gathered and stored and for what purpose. This is also a requirement for GDPR regulations and data privacy laws!
Using live infrastructure monitoring allows you to keep tabs on all components of your network including any devices and endpoints that may be vulnerable or likely to be targeted by hackers.
When any problems arise an alert is immediately sent to the engineering team for them to respond quickly and resolve the issue. This provides an additional safety net with all elements of the business infrastructure being continually monitored for data breaches and malfunctions.
On top of any equipment and device tracking, 24/7 security system monitoring gives businesses another layer of security with expert analysts performing round-the-clock surveillance on the integrity of any cyber security systems.
This means that if your marketing cyber security system does fail in some way and there is any kind of breach, the cyber security team will be alerted in real-time and can provide a faster and more robust response than internal members of the marketing team.
IT Solutions Provider
At Lyon, we provide marketing firms with a full suite of IT solutions to cover every area of data protection and cybersecurity.
These range from: encrypted data, cloud storage solutions, infrastructure and device tracking, security system monitoring, 24/7 cyber support, staff security awareness training, penetration testing and a full package of cyber support including help desks and threat alerts.
For more information on which systems will be most beneficial for your marketing campaigns and how these would integrate with your existing processes, get in touch with us today or find more information here on protecting your marketing campaign data.