September 19, 2017

Why Marketers Need to Think About Cyber Security — Now!

Topline Summary

Although the Equifax hack put cybersecurity to reduce the cyber attacks on oil companies on the priority list for over 140 million Americans and scared the heck out of many others including yours truly, it is hardly a new issue for consumers. Major hacks at Yahoo and Target a few years back put many on high alert. So, you might ask, “What is new here and why should cybersecurity be a priority issue for senior marketers?”  Well, as it turns out, all that marketing technology senior marketers recently brought into their companies has created even more exposure for company data and the consumers with whom they do business. Sure enough, the pursuit of big data to optimize sales, marketing and customer experience efforts, has put companies at risk, in a remarkably big way. And of course, a data breach will inevitably become a brand breach as the folks at Equifax can attest. So batten down the hatches and have a listen as Norman Guadagno, Senior Vice President of Marketing at Carbonite, a data security company, shares his thoughts on why this is such a big problem and some of the steps that marketers can take to prevent or at least mitigate the impact of a security breach. (You can listen to this episode just by clicking on this link.)

Guadagno discussion with host Drew Neisser yields a number of recommendations for marketers:

  1. Assume you will be hacked and prepare a crisis plan;
  2. Befriend your CFO, CTO and Security experts within your company;
  3. Recognize that with each new marketing technology that you bring in, you will need to make sure that resources are allocated to secure that technology;
  4. Consider bringing in an outside security expert to identify and address your biggest points of vulnerability;
  5. Continue to make “deposits” in the “goodwill bank” with your customers by offering extraordinary customer service (this goodwill will help you weather a security storm);
  6. If you are hacked, be as transparent as possible about the problem and how you are going about addressing the problem.  That said, make sure that your efforts themselves are tough to hack!

Also, early in the show, Drew mentioned a few resources to check to see if the Equifax hack had an impact on you personally and if so, what to do about:

  • Equifax resource– To see if your data was compromised, Equifax set up this special site at which you enter your last name and the last digits of your SSN.  There are only two answers, Yes or No.
  • If Yes — You don’t necessarily have to enroll in the program Equifax offers BUT you do need take some action steps right away.  Here’s a link to Steve Faktor’s thorough post on what to do which we found to be particularly smart and useful.

What You’ll Learn

  • How marketers accidentally increased the likelihood of data breach at their companies
  • What marketers can do to help prevent martech from creating a security risk
  • How marketers can deal with the crisis that often follows a security breach

Quotes from Norman Guadagno

  • I think this is a watershed moment for consumers, for businesses and for marketers when we’re going to see an absolute shift over time in the fundamental issues around trust and data security and how we communicate around these issues.
  • You and me and everyone listening has been hacked before. You may not know it but you and me and every one of our companies has been hacked or someone has attempted to hack in the past and will attempt to hack in the future. This is the reality we live in today.
  • We’re also opening a lot of potential doors to malicious hackers [when we buy all this marketing technology.]
  • We didn’t get all the education necessary when we became big data marketing technology-driven marketers — we also need to be educated on where all that data lives, who’s going to go after it and how to protect it.