Unfortunately, businesses have never been more exposed to threats of cyber-attacks than now. As more and more information is shared online, hackers are enhancing their efforts and targeting vulnerable businesses. The good news is that there are also more security solutions available than ever before. By implementing them in the appropriate manner, you can keep your marketing team protected.
Seven ways marketing teams can stay safe
While individuals and departments at every level of every organization face some level of risk, it’s hard to deny the inherent dangers marketers face. As you interact with customers and spend time online, you may inadvertently be exposing yourself to malicious hackers who want nothing more than to access the data and information you have on your company and your customers.
There are two key requirements to staying safe and protected. First off, you must instill the right procedures and behaviors. Secondly, you need to identify and utilize the proper technologies and resources. With that being said, here are a few tips, strategies and best practices that will allow you to better protect your marketing team amidst looming security threats.
Incentivize employees to be more aware of security
Employees need to understand the importance of security. If they simply look at security rules as a vague collection of corporate expectations, they’ll never invest the time and energy needed to implement them.
Employees should be incentivized in the beginning stages. Establish a system that tracks whether or not employees are following through on security requirements and reward those who do. Contrarily, have direct conversations with those who don’t. Your security chain is only as strong as your weakest link. Too many weak links and you could eventually crumble.
One of the best ways to incentivize employees is by setting an example. If you prove that you’re willing to do what it takes to establish a secure environment, then employees will be more likely to do the same.
Require better passwords
One of the most practical things you can do is require better passwords. While it may seem rudimentary, many hackers still gain access to networks and accounts by cracking simple passcodes. Here are some ways you can help your team avoid this vulnerable entry point:
Prohibit employees from using the same password across multiple accounts. Require unique passwords and use a tool like Dashlane to keep everything straight.
Require employees to change their password at least once per month.
Make passwords at least eight characters long and require a combination of uppercase letters, lowercase letters, numbers and symbols.
Never give out passwords via email.
Some of these tips may seem obvious, but you can never be too cautious. The last thing you want is for a hacker to gain full access to an account as a result of carelessness or oversight.
Utilize self-hosted sharing
In a technologically advanced business world, it’s not uncommon for businesses to use hundreds of different devices, web browsers and servers. When it comes to sharing private files and confidential data between these devices, browsers and servers, you may unknowingly be putting these files at risk.
This is where self-hosted sharing comes into play. With a self-hosted solution like CentreStack, you can share files without compromising security. By avoiding external threats related to file sharing, you can greatly mitigate your chances of being hacked.
Consider using a VPN
When you send an unsecured email, the data contained in that email is released into a worldwide network that can easily be hacked by individuals with bad intentions. While it’s impossible to avoid the risks associated with email, you can stay much safer by only sending emails over a virtual private network (VPN). With a VPN, the data contained in your emails is encrypted and only authorized recipients are able to access the information. Incidentally, the aforementioned solution, CentreStack, also provides a pretty efficient VPN alternative.
Don’t outsource email marketing
Since email marketing requires a lot of time and effort, it’s not uncommon for businesses to outsource this aspect of a larger marketing campaign to another company or contractor. Sadly, this is how many security breaches happen.
“Approximately 63 percent of data security breaches are actually the result of bad outsourcing,” WPVortex points out. “If you choose to outsource your marketing efforts, make sure you question potential marketing services thoroughly regarding their security measures to ensure they comply with your standards.”
Be wary of downloads
In case you haven’t realized by now, email isn’t exactly the safest method of communication. While it’s fine 99.9 percent of the time, all it takes is one mistake or wrong click to end up in trouble. With that being said, you should be very wary of downloading attachments.
Attachments can be like mini Trojan horses. They look fine and harmless at first glance, but once they’re inside, they can wreak havoc before you even have time to defend yourself. Make sure all devices have software security measures in place to screen for viruses and prevent harmful information from being downloaded.
Monitor social media
Social media accounts aren’t immune from security breaches. Because these profiles are so valuable to many businesses, hackers will try to access them. In order to stay safe, you need a robust intrusion detection system.
One of the best is the LogDog app. This personal mobile security solution constantly runs in the background and monitors your accounts. If there are any signs of unauthorized access, it will send you an alert that allows you to take control. This may seem like a minor issue, but it can save you in the long run.
Don’t let cyber threats ruin you
Run a quick Google search of recent cybersecurity hacks on businesses and you’ll see a host of articles about the damages these threats can cause. In order to avoid becoming another statistic, you need to do everything possible to protect your marketing team. In doing so, you’ll establish a stronger, more stable foundation upon which to grow.
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