3 big reasons for marketers to embrace cyber security

3 reasons for marketers to embrace cyber security

We’re on a mission to get marketers to embrace cyber security

We’re on a mission to get marketers to embrace cyber security and as marketers ourselves, we know it’s not going to be easy.

Why?

Maybe because it sounds boring.

Perhaps because it sounds technical. 

Almost certainly because it means some compliance.

And let’s face it, we don’t like being told what to do.

We get all this, we’ve been there and been a right handful for people we worked with in the past. People who were diligently trying to get us to get serious about cyber security.

But we’ve seen the light. Become converts. Turned from poachers into gamekeepers or whatever analogy is most relevant. 

Working on marketing for a cyber security company has given us a ringside view of the devastation that cyber attacks can have.

Whatever you can imagine, it’s worse. 

Businesses destroyed, charities defrauded, individuals left devastated.

Sure, it’s not always this bad. But it’s always bad. 

If you haven’t worked for an organisation that’s suffered an attack, you would be forgiven for not realising this. 

You see, people don’t like to talk about it. 

And that links into the reasons this really matters for marketers, marketing agencies and freelancers.

There are many – but here are three of the biggest reasons why marketers need to embrace cyber security:

1) You care about brand reputation, right?

If you are a marketing person, you care about your brand’s reputation – probably above all else (professionally speaking, at least). 

These days, there is nothing that can undermine your brand’s reputation more quickly and dramatically than a cyber attack or data breach.

Just imagine your customers’ private details being auctioned to the highest bidder?

That’s the headline. It’s horrendous and it happens. The body copy is more interesting. 

In reality, customer reaction to a breach is determined by two things: how well you respond (we’ll come to that later) and how seriously the business took cyber security before the breach.

If you can show you were at least trying to do the right thing, customers are much more forgiving. But if you look like you didn’t even care, you haven’t got much hope. 

So if your business’s or brand’s reputation matters to you, or your career, you should do all you can to embrace and encourage better cyber security in your organisation.

2) You probably control some of the most vulnerable assets

As a marketer, you and your team have control of/responsibility for some of the assets that are both most vulnerable to a cyber attack and also the most obvious (and potentially embarrassing) to have breached. 

We’re talking website, social media accounts, email lists, customer databases and so on.

For example, just imagine your brand’s Instagram account being taken over by far-right extremists or bitcoin scammers?

Not only will a problem in any one of these areas cause reputational damage (see above) to your brand, but it will make you and your team look completely incompetent if you didn’t follow best practice. 

Remember: customers, investors, bosses etc will almost certainly forgive you if you did – or tried to do – the right thing. 

And breaches are almost inevitable, sooner or later, if enough resources are deployed against you. 

People increasingly understand this. 

But they will not understand or forgive a breach that was ultimately down to lack of basic good cyber security practice when you should have known better.

So, whether to save your own reputation or to save your brand’s, learn the basics and make sure you adopt them into your and your colleagues’ daily routines.

3) You can be a hero if the worst happens

Sadly, there’s a good chance that a cyber security breach will happen on your watch. As a marketer, whether you were responsible or not, you’ll play a key role in coordinating the response. 

We mentioned above that how a company responds to a breach is crucial to how badly their reputation is affected. 

Imagine your customer database has been attacked and a malicious email has been sent, apparently from your company email address, to all your customers.

What will the consequences of them clicking a link on this email be? For them or you? Probably not good… 

What are you going to do? How are you going to use the resources available – PR, social media, email (if you dare) and so on to communicate? Every minute counts.

Who will you tell first? Do you issue a press release before letting your affected customers know personally?

Ideally, you will have thought about this before it happens and worked through it as a hypothetical scenario so you are prepared. You will have an incident response plan in place, complete with full communications plan and details for key/emergency contacts. 

But hang on…

If you have no idea about cyber security you are going to flounder. And when the CEO asks for your help, she’s not going to be very impressed. Or grateful.

Conversely, if you’re up to speed, you are invaluable. Once you’ve embraced cyber security, you will have thought about this kind of scenario in advance and worked a series hypothetical situations through with your team… Meaning you’ll be able to step up and make a hero’s contribution.

So this is why we want marketers to embrace cyber security 

There are many more reasons why this matters – if you’re interested, we’d love to chat and tell you more. Just get in touch 🙂 

Whether you’re a marketer yourself, you employ marketing people or these illustrations have resonated with you and you’d like to learn more, we’d love to hear from you.

You can always follow us on LinkedIn (links in profiles below) for tips and guidance.