Why is Cybersecurity Important in the Digital Sphere?
Building a solid online presence requires strategic planning and a considerable investment of your time and effort. It all starts with a responsive site, optimized for search engines. Then, there is an extensive market analysis. To build a strong relationship with your target audience, you need to understand them, as well as know who your major competitors are. Based on the results you get, you need to generate more leads and turn them into conversions. And, to do that, you need to leverage social media marketing, email marketing, content marketing, and similar practices.
But, there is one thing you failed to take into consideration and that’s cybersecurity. Maybe there was a time when this was just an IT problem. But, with the number of hacks is growing at an astonishing rate, cybersecurity has become a marketing problem, as well. Ignoring it can put your target audience at risk and ruin your reputation forever.
Here is why cybersecurity should become an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.
A Cyberattack Affects your Image
It doesn’t matter if you’re a blogger or an ecommerce website owner, the number of your competitors is constantly growing. So, to attract new readers or customers and retain them, you need to build a unique and reliable brand that stands out. Like you already know, establishing such a brand is a long-run process that never ends. It may take you years to position yourself as recognizable and authoritative in your niche, while making just one mistake may ruin everything you’ve invested in. And, cyberattacks are the perfect example of what I’m talking about.
Even if you impose all preventive measures, breaches still happen. No matter how fast you act and how minor the consequences are, such problems can affect your brand reputation significantly. There will be a lot of negative press created around your brand, impacting people’s perceptions of it. Remember, digital marketing is all about building trust and once this trust is broken, it’s hard to recover it.
For SMBs, a Hack means a Considerable Financial Loss
Small business owners should observe the problem of cyberattacks from the financial viewpoint, too. According to some recent reports, 60% of small businesses that go through a cyberattack go out of business in less than 6 months. Unsurprisingly, one of the major reasons for that is an immense financial loss. Sure, to recover from a cyberattack, you will need to cover some additional costs, such customer notification, credit monitoring, potential legal judgments, etc. Not to mention the loss of clients that may affect your company’s long-term viability. The Ponemon Institute report claims that the average cost of cybercrime is about $11.7 million.
We Need to Learn More about Cybersecurity
In the past, hackers focused on targeting computers as the weakest link in a security chain. They were looking for their major vulnerabilities and created their plan of attack based on them. Over time, they realized that it’s not machines that are most vulnerable to hacks. It’s people.
As a website owner, you’re wearing multiple hats. You’re managing numerous social media accounts, doing email marketing, storing a bunch of sensitive data in the cloud, creating and sharing content, and using various tools to measure your effectiveness and manage projects.
Most importantly, you’re working with people. Your job is to answer questions, hit links, and download files. As your tasks are constantly piling up, you probably don’t have time to check every link you click on or every document you download. And, cybercriminals are aware of that and they’re waiting for you to make even the tiniest mistake to hack you.
How to Make your Online Presence Safer?
Ever watched Mr. Robot? If there was one thing that this TV series has taught us, it would be that there is no individual or organization resistant to hacks. When a powerful virus ends up in the hands of a skilled hacker, even the largest world’s conglomerates suffer. Today’s malware is sophisticated and more intelligent. It spreads fast through all your systems, corrupting your confidential files. Spyware can be installed on your computer and you may not even notice it.
So, what are the most vulnerable fields of your digital marketing strategy?
Protect your Website
For years, WordPress has been the most powerful content management system and, as such, it represents a perfect target for hackers. Moreover, over 70% of WordPress is not protected well against hacks.
Keep in mind that most hackers don’t want your content and files. They want control over your email list. Their goal is to use your email servers to send spam mail and the consequences are obvious- your email campaigns will be compromised, your followers will leave you, and you will get blacklisted.
So, to prevent this on time, you should work on your site’s security.
First, scan your internal and external networks regularly to detect potential vulnerabilities.
Second, WordPress has an awesome support community and a wide range of security plugins that are specifically designed to help you with detecting and eliminating security threats.
Finally, choose a web host that understands the importance of cybersecurity and invests a lot in your file backups.
We’ve already heard of phishing scams. They’ve been around for years now. But, they’re still one of the major problems website owners face. And, when it comes to email marketing, people on your email list are your weakest link. It takes only one click on a link or a file to open the floodgates to a huge cyberattack. And, to prevent this on time, you should make sure your servers are up-to-date. Invest in the right tools that will offer you additional security and encrypt the emails sent to your target audience so that hackers cannot use them.
Social Media Marketing
The number of social media users is on a steady rise. So, no matter if you’re building a personal or corporate brand image, you cannot avoid this channel. On the other hand, social networks are highly vulnerable. One of the most serious problems you may come across is identity theft. No matter if it’s poor passwords, sharing sensitive information, or unauthorized downloads, social media is hackers’ favorite channel to exploit personal information.
For you, this means implementing preventive measures, such as having a strong user password policy, tracking your social media activity regularly, and implementing strict privacy settings. SMB owners should also raise their team’s awareness of these problems and provide them with adequate education in this field.
As cybersecurity awareness is growing among marketers, hackers are developing more intelligent and powerful software that bleeds into all the segments of your digital strategy. Your site, emails, social media accounts, payment systems are weak and, to make sure they stay intact, you need to protect them well. Monitor these channels regularly, implement the right security measures for your website, email accounts, and social networks.
Hope this helps!