– By Mr. Vikram Kumar, Managing Director, SRV Media Pvt. Ltd.
Digital marketing is the flavor of the era. It opens up avenues of opportunities for advertising and socializing for any brand. Online presence is a must for a brand to be successful these days and hence they spend a lot of money on their digital marketing campaigns.
In the current times, it is crucial to have a good digital marketing strategy to create buzz online. Additionally, another important factor to consider when putting out any data online is the measure taken to ensure data security. A company’s digital marketing strategy must include a robust cyber-security plan as one of its key metrics.
Whenever there is data involved, the fear of getting hacked or being introduced to a virus online is not alien. The problem is that the aftermath is alarming. A company can face serious consequences such as financial loss, reputation loss, regulatory fines and even get banned for not taking enough cautionary security measures. According to the Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2018, in that year alone, 43% of businesses reported experiencing cybersecurity breaches. Cybercrime has become an industry in itself and is growing every day. The most common kinds of cybercrime we come across these days are phishing, spams, identity theft, online harassment, cyberstalking, invasion of privacy and information warfare. The Official Annual Cybercrime Report stated that the estimate they are looking at by the end of 2021 of how much cybercrime will cost us annually by then is $6 trillion. To understand why a constructive digital marketing strategy should always involve cybersecurity, let us look at the cyber threats more closely.
Malware has the biggest market: By 2020, CSO Online predicts industry specific ransomware attacks will quadruple. Hackers use mal-advertising to install the malware in ads appearing on trusted websites. If you click on these ads even by mistake, the malware gets downloaded on your system. Sometimes a website, if not protected, is full of malware, and simply visiting such sites puts your system at risk. Research states that over 55% of China’s computers are infected with malware. Taiwan follows closely with almost 49% of their computers affected by Trojan malware. Malwares can take various forms: it can either be a virus that corrupts all your data and system files or a ransomware that takes full control of your system. It can also be spyware designed to record passwords, keystrokes, information and send it to the hacker. Malwares can be sent through links and attachments you receive in emails or can take the form of softwares that affect the whole system and also the customers who visit your site or click on your ads. Around 130 organizations were recently investigated by Cisco in their Cisco Annual Cybersecurity Report, to the industry’s surprise, they found that 75% of companies were affected by adware.
There is also the constant reputational risk associated with your data. You might have already heard about social media accounts and emails being hacked. In 2017, French President Emmanuel Macron’s emails were hacked. His emails pertaining to the election campaigns were posted online just days before the election. 9 GB worth of data was posted to Pastebin without his knowledge. These malicious activities can cause havoc as the hacker or virus can spread false information and offensive content to damage your reputation and your company’s value. Hackers can not only hack your payment details and personal information stored in apps, phones and your system, they can even track your keystrokes and obtain your password; this could lead to identity theft and heavy monetary setbacks. Looking at how we have gone mobile and all our information is saved in our handsets, we need to be extremely careful. Almost 60% of fraud comes from mobile devices; of that figure, 80% comes from mobile apps.
Awareness about the digital crime rate is shocking: The Global Data Risk Report is quite terrifying. They analyzed over 6.2 billion files containing critical information like credit card details, health records, etc. 21% of these files were open for global access. Furthermore, almost 41% of companies have more than 1000 sensitive files open to everyone, without any restriction or password protection. Over 83% of finance companies report at least 50 cyberattacks on their data per month. The most shocking part is that a company takes up to 197 days to notice a breach in its data or system; finance firms can take an average of 98 days. Imagine what a cybercriminal can obtain in this period.
Hackers are producing sophisticated software by the day to infiltrate the internet. Awareness and safeguarding at our end is vital. Most companies have understood the importance of cyber-security and are seeking security advice as a part of their digital plan. Digital marketing can do wonders if we have the right checks to ensure that the data generated does not fall in the wrong hands.