Marketers and the tech they use have specific vulnerabilities when it comes to hackers. Here’s why your marketing team needs a password manager to mitigate these vulnerabilities.
Whether you’re part of a marketing agency or an internal marketing and communications team at a company, your role requires you to juggle multiple accounts and access valuable information. You might manage your company’s social media platforms, or be required to use various marketing tools and apps. Not to mention companies are now using omnichannel experiences—which means you could be working on multiple devices to test customer experiences.
Usernames and passwords are often the only things standing between the information in these accounts and bad actors, and marketing teams become gatekeepers of this sensitive data. This is not only time consuming but also difficult to manage. You probably don’t have a surplus of time, so remembering multiple passwords, sharing them with the right members of your team, and switching between various platforms should be as streamlined as possible. Otherwise, many employees seek workaround solutions and develop poor security practices—63% of U.S. employees say they have recycled passwords on work accounts and devices.
And sometimes, you might safeguard data to the best of your ability only to encounter the inevitable hack or data breach, which can lead to loss of customers, brand reputation, and revenue. (You can check to see if your information has already been compromised here.)
We’ve compiled the best marketing practices for security and data to help guide you through protecting these accounts and making your life a little easier during the workday.
Why marketing teams are targets for hackers
As part of the marketing team, you have access to sensitive customer details: email addresses, PII (personally identifiable information), plus corporate intel about product launches, intellectual property, trade secrets, and company strategies. This opens up the department to potential data breach issues. If bad actors have uncontrolled access to customer data, this could lead to brand impersonation as a form of phishing, which could be catastrophic for your customers and the brand itself. Marketers work hard to strengthen a company’s public image, and security and data breaches could mean bad PR.
Marketers have public-facing roles, so they become a target for social engineering. Hackers can search to find out who the marketers are in a company and gain their trust through spear-phishing attacks.
A company called Proofpoint, which runs simulated phishing tests for brands, defines a “failed” test as one when a user clicks on malicious links and enters sensitive data, like login credentials. In Proofpoint’s 2021 “State of the Phish Report,” marketing departments had a failure rate of 12%. This score can be attributed to the role of marketing itself. Marketers are used to receiving emails from external sources, which means something like a direct message with a link or an email doesn’t always strike them as suspicious.
Data security means taking an active role in protecting company data through tools and best practices. But the responsibility does not solely lie with employees: Employee education about the impact of data security breaches can strengthen your cybersecurity culture at work and encourage employees to become more invested in protecting data.
How a password manager can help
Like we mentioned above, the nature of a marketing team is to utilize various different platforms to manage tasks and customer databases. For employees, keeping track of passwords and re-entering credentials is time consuming and frustrating, so many will seek shortcuts—like storing passwords in web browsers. This is just one of the vulnerabilities that could lead to a data breach, which can be extremely costly to a brand.
All companies should be aware of the most common types of data breaches and cybersecurity threats (including ransomware and insider threats) that lead to hacks, and the financial impact of a data breach on a company.
With the expansion of the remote workforce, new vulnerabilities pop up, like unsecured WiFi networks and hotspots. Creating an RDP (remote desktop protocol) is another essential component for maintaining a strong cybersecurity culture at work.
One way to enhance your company’s security culture? A password manager, which does much more than generate your passwords. With product add-ons, apps like Dashlane can enable multifactor authentication and biometrics, securely store and share passwords and logins to prevent stolen passwords, sync your passwords across devices, and more. Password managers also alleviate the need for more manual, unsecure password storage, like in spreadsheets, and ensure that a master password to access connected apps is highly secure, so you can streamline work without compromising security.
Here are just a few things a team might deal with on a daily basis, which a password manager can help streamline:
- Onboarding and offboarding team members
- Tracking down passwords for shared accounts
- Resetting passwords manually when someone forgets their login
- Getting the 2FA code if someone is OOO
- Recovering 2FA rights for an account managed by a former employee