Marketing and Web Security: How Marketers Can Mitigate Risk

Think site security and performance are mutually exclusive? Think again. Having proper protections behind your site not only keeps it secure but also improves its reliability. The more reliable your site, the more your visitors trust you can keep their information secure and the greater their trust in your brand—and your marketing.

Organizations across industries and regions are becoming increasingly digital. As your company undergoes its own digital transformation, not only are you generating more and more data across more devices, you’re progressively responsible for the information others share with you. And, the more data that’s produced, the more difficult it is to keep it safe.

But wait, there’s more!

Pretty straightforward so far, right? Let’s make it a little more complicated.

The growing digital landscape gives malicious actors greater motivation, whether they’re a computer-savvy hacker in their parents’ basement or a professional cybercriminal working for the cybercrime equivalent of a large department store. Cyber attacks on businesses are growing in number, with bad actors employing increasingly sophisticated and evolving methods to obtain access to all the data that’s up for grabs.

To make matters a little scarier, there’s a global shortage of skilled security operations professionals to thwart the bad guys and keep the data safe. The talent gap is so large that Gartner predicts by 2020, “60% of digital businesses will suffer major service failures due to the inability of IT security teams to manage digital risk.”

What does this have to do with marketing?

In 2018, Chrome and Firefox began marking any unsecured pages with clear ‘NOT SECURE’ warnings to encourage the use of SSL, essentially designating the certificate as a basic, foundational security feature.

While warnings are certainly worthwhile, in today’s digital world, basic security features are no longer enough.

Let’s try an analogy.

Think of the World Wide Web as your neighborhood, your landing pages as your house, and an SSL certificate as the standard lock on your front door. You work hard to make your house a home. You’re happy you can lock the front door to keep that home safe, and you’d never really consider not ­having a lock. Yet, you (and your guests) would feel much safer knowing your front door not only locked but that you’ve implemented a comprehensive security system to better protect your home and everything in it—especially if you live in a high crime area with very smart and opportunistic criminals.

Put simply, while it may slow them down, you can’t prevent bad people from entering your home with only a sole lock on the front door, just as you can’t protect your data from cyber threats with only an SSL certificate.

The current IT environment is ripe with threats perfectly poised to take down your landing pages. While we’re seeing Denial of Services (DoS), Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS), and malware attacks decreasing in number, the magnitude, and severity of these types of threats is growing tremendously, with attacks 37% larger on average.

With a whole heap of malicious traffic to defend against, there’s increased pressure to keep your users’ data safe no matter your role. As such, keeping your pages up and running while proactively guarding against potentially damaging cyber-attacks is now a top business priority. A secure, live, functioning website is not only crucial for brand trust but could potentially save your business from spending thousands-to-millions of dollars to repair the damage done to your security infrastructure—and your reputation—by a successful breach.

Extending domain security beyond SSL

SSL certificates both protect your end user data and improve your search rankings and conversion rates. They’re integral to site security and performance. But, there’s more to landing page security than certificates.

For most, managing SSL certificates is a manual, time-consuming endeavor. It’s also one with increasingly greater consequences. Expired or poorly maintained certificates can either cause downtime or your landing pages to crash, leaving your site vulnerable to attack—DoS, DDoS, malware, malicious code, etc. Crashes and downtime are costly, both from a revenue and a reputation standpoint, and result in a painful experience for those managing and visiting your pages.

Five things to look for in a marketing automation solution for web security

Marketing automation solutions with servers backed by advanced security technology do more to help you secure the pages they host for you, as well as all other hosted assets, including forms and images.

1. Automated certificate maintenance and renewal

Automation removes the need for manual SSL certificate management, lessening the burden of cybersecurity for the marketer and ensuring a more secure, reliable digital experience for your site visitors, protecting both their data and your reputation.

2. Landing pages served via Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS—emphasis on the ‘S’)

HTTPS means all communications between a browser and your website are encrypted. Encrypted communications not only better secure your pages and your visitors’ data, but also help you avoid the dreaded ‘Not Secure’ warning.

3. Managed Web Application Firewalls (WAF)

Managed WAF keeps your pages secure by monitoring, filtering, and blocking malicious HTTP traffic moving to and from your website. Bonus? The WAF is automatically updated when new vulnerabilities are released, ensuring your environment remains secure within an ever-evolving threat landscape.

4. DDoS protection

DDoS protection is designed to protect your environment from even the largest DDoS attack. By preventing the bad traffic that causes your pages (and your solution’s infrastructure) to crash, DDoS protection ensures your pages will remain live and highly performant.

5. Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDNs act as load balancers to distribute page views based on geolocation. By geographically distributing cache page content to end users based on their physical location to the closest server, CDNs allow your landing pages to load more quickly and improves your visitor’s experience with your website. Effective cybersecurity has gone far beyond the realm of IT teams—now each employee bears some of the burdens for properly securing their environment. Marketers especially need to answer the call for a more comprehensive approach to security as we’re responsible for our end users’ data throughout every stage of their buying journey, from lead to loyal customer.

As we steadily abandon print for electronic media and the amount of digital data proliferates, the bigger the amusement park we’re building for cybercriminals. And, without the proper protection in place to help police it, we’re giving them V.I.P. passes and unlimited rides on the tallest, fastest, most adrenaline-inducing roller coaster there is.

The post Marketing and Web Security: How Marketers Can Mitigate Risk appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.