If you have an active company and a great product and/or service, you are likely using email platforms, social media networks, and have your own ecosystem of internal networks and channels for communication. This means that these networks gather and process sensitive data that is highly susceptible to data breaches.
The businesses that experience cyberattacks often face hazardous damages in terms of brand reputation and have to pay head-spinning penalties and hefty sums in order to recover from data breach incidents.
For instance, the average cost of a data breach worldwide was $3.86 million in 2020, according to IBM reports, while the 2021 numbers go up by 10%. The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t help these trends either, as remote work increases and becomes more popular across modern companies.
In order to mitigate these unnecessary and costly risks, businesses must invest more in data protection and do so in a timely manner. Otherwise, the dent in their resources and brand trust may end up being much worse when compared to cybersecurity risk prevention investments.
Let’s see what organizations can do to prevent cyberattacks and how they can use data protection best practices to safeguard their digital marketing efforts.
Table of Contents
Always Stay Up-to-date With the Necessary Regulations
With the introduction of GDPR in 2018, and with CPRA superseding CCPA (which should take place by 2023 at the latest), it is highly recommended that businesses make sure they are staying prepared for and compliant with all the necessary rules and regulations relevant for their industry and geolocation.
Having to comply with data protection laws and regulations is not a new thing within the modern business environment, but these regulations tend to change and get updates on a frequent basis. Additional issues may occur as there is still no clear and uniform precedent on international enforcement, which results in data protection laws and regulations being different in different countries.
This is why it is critical to have a firm grasp of what your particular company needs to do in order to stay compliant, and in so doing, reduce the risk of facing legal issues and penalties to the minimum. That way, they are also making sure that their brand reputation isn’t damaged and their digital marketing efforts are not impaired.
The Security-first Mindset
It is not enough to just have the compliance covered. You must also make sure that your business is always prepared for potential breaches and the changes and updates within regulatory laws that are bound to happen in the future.
In order to achieve this, organizations should ensure a security-first mindset across all teams, departments, and employees. All staff members must be mindful of how they are gathering, managing, processing, and using sensitive data, especially when it comes to consumer-based information.
Have a Powerful Data Management/Storage Strategy in Place
While we are in this area, it is important to mention that handling sensitive data can be quite tricky and risky unless your employees properly understand the data they are managing and the difference in the types of data.
This is especially true for managing and storing critical data pieces that can be of crucial importance in case your business faces some legal issues in the future. If, for example, your organization gets involved in a legal process due to a cyberattack, and your legal teams are not capable of accessing and retrieving information that is necessary for your case, you are highly likely to lose the case and damage the reputation of your brand.
This is why you need to make sure that your teams and employees know the following:
- What types of data need to be collected and stored
- For how long do certain data types need to be retained
- Where exactly these data pieces are stored
- How to reverse the damage in terms of brand reputation and marketing efforts in case there’s a legal issue caused by security holes…
Storage and Retention of Sensitive-Data
Properly tackling the processes related to storing and archiving sensitive information is one of the most overlooked tasks when it comes to data privacy and security. As we mentioned above, huge amounts of data flow through your business networks and channels, and these pieces of information (either about your own company or your clients) can be used for malicious purposes.
To prevent these unwanted scenarios, modern organizations must raise the levels of their approach to creating data archiving plans, and include policies and provisions for the reuse and redistribution and long-term data storage, like using social media archiving solutions for example. These solutions and policies help companies optimize their storage and data retention costs, while they also assist them in handling any potential regulatory compliance issues.
Make Sure Third Party Platforms/Vendors are on the Same Page
It is highly recommended to ensure that all third-party vendors are also compliant with the necessary laws and standards. In case you are not certain whether or not these platforms are properly handling your or your clients’ data properly, be sure to contact them and inquire about these issues.
This is especially true for marketing and social media platforms as they can expose brands to litigation issues, regulatory actions, financial issues, and overall reputation damage that can seriously undermine one’s marketing efforts.
Keep Your Social Media Campaigns and Platforms Compliant
It is a good idea to create your own social media policies and guidelines that focus on your unique set of core social media values that reflect your brand the best way possible. It is important to stay truthful, cooperative, and compliant with company policies, common sense, taking into account the permanence of the content that a company shares through social media channels.
Have a firm grasp of who is – and who is not – authorized to post and share on the behalf of your brand, and do consider having your upcoming social media campaigns legally reviewed.
The companies that deploy data privacy and security best practices don’t have to worry if their digital marketing campaigns and strategies would cause them to damage in terms of brand reputation and resources. Following proven data management rules allow you to build a strong brand and keep it growing.
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