As the business landscape becomes more digital than ever before, websites have become the focal point of any successful marketing strategy for building brand awareness and driving growth. Plugins and various third-party applications are also used to amplify marketing efforts, but they can serve as potential entry points for cybercriminals. This requires that marketers become more technically savvy about their marketing tools in order to be a more proactive part of their company’s cyber defenses.
Here are the three things every marketer should practice to proactively support their company’s cybersecurity efforts:
- Vet the security of external tools: Among a marketers’ favorite tools are third-party applications, such as email marketing platforms. Although these applications can drive impressive results, they can also present security risks due to the amount of company data they have access to or security vulnerabilities in the software. When opting to use an external tool, marketers have an increased responsibility to regularly review possible security risks presented by these platforms. Additionally, they should work with their company’s IT or security team to ensure that as vendors release security updates, they’re implemented in a timely manner on the company network.
- Determine data privileges of external applications: Part of the process of evaluating external sources is understanding the access they’ll have to the company’s data. In a time when company data is constantly at risk of being leaked or stolen, third-party tools should only be granted access to the data that is absolutely necessary for them to function. For marketers, this means being cognizant of where customer data from newsletter signups or email marketing plugins is stored, who can access it, and put in restrictions if possible.
- Prioritize engagement with IT: Marketers and IT departments typically operate in different silos within an organization. However, since the face of any business is its online presence, the two should prioritize working together. For example, developing a sustainable cybersecurity education program helps to ensure the entire marketing team is aware of the latest threats. Additionally, marketing teams must keep IT teams apprised of new applications or tools they’re using that access company data.