More and more businesses are falling prey to security breaches online today. Plus, research shows that over 43% of data and privacy breaches target small businesses.
Why? Most of them either do not give due attention to security issues or do not have the resources to invest in them. The problems are common, especially when dealing with third parties like agencies. There are huge risks associated with this, like data breaches, phishing, etc., which can cause huge losses.
Below, we shall look at some of the key security issues your business should be wary of when working with agencies and how you can deal with them to avoid the repercussions.
Employing the services of third-party operators comes with the need to share information either about your company or its clients. Some could be confidential data that can be detrimental if it falls into the wrong hands.
For instance, if you share details about your customer contacts. Such data can be used to send misleading information or con your customers. Worse still, you risk lawsuits resulting from wrongful use.
What should you do?
Before working with any agency that needs your data, you must protect yourself and your clients legally. Have written and signed agreements about the storage and use of your data. That reduces the potential for disaster and yet protects you in case something goes wrong.
Limit information sharing and access
You must enforce limitations over who has access to your data within your organization and with the agency. For example, only project team members should access customer data.
Furthermore, you must regularly sensitize them about how to deal with such confidential information to avoid leaks out of ignorance.
Use secure pages
With marketing automation tools especially, you may often have to create landing pages and the like. You must use secure pages published with the https:// URL prefix.
These are essential more than ever in the online space since they come with added data encryption. So, when you or your clients fill in forms, there is minimal risk of interception and hacking.
Email marketing risks
Digital marketing tools like emails and social media can be powerful and yet risky with security and privacy. They are highly prone to phishing and spamming.
These are instances where malicious players intercept communications and send malware to encrypt a victim's files or even solicit emails to obtain money by pretense.
When such things occur, your company or even your customers could lose a lot of money or confidential data in the process.
The most common solution is using email security software in company emails and customer messages. These guard against unwanted access.
You must use data encryption for all emails with customers or other contacts, especially when exchanging sensitive information like credit card details, addresses, etc. With encryption, the emails become unreadable to third parties.
Enable Firewalls and Other Security Tools
Using email firewalls is a great way to reduce cyber-attacks through emails. These enable you or your clients to filter out suspicious emails or those with malware and the like.
Other supplementary antivirus software can also help you identify content with viruses and other dangerous material before downloading files.
Other security measures
Failure or delay in updating any systems or tools your business uses can open you up to security breaches. Updates often come with added security features, bug fixtures, etc.
Yet, many practitioners do not initiate updates or even work with the agency staff in this regard. Such puts your business and data at risk of virus attacks or hacking. So, your team must ensure you always have the most up-to-date versions of software to reduce virus threats.
Also, ensure that any agency you work with places importance on software upgrades and that they can follow this up whenever they are available.
Failure to encrypt your data
Data encryption is a critical factor that many businesses, especially small firms, often underlooked. With the vast amounts of data shared daily within and outside your company, it becomes easier for hackers to access. Even worse, venomous competitors could easily take advantage and erase all your and client data as well.
For instance, in some companies, teams work on personal devices, making them even more vulnerable.
You must prioritize data encryption and authentication. Such measures would help you minimize the risks of wrong elements accessing your data. For instance, all critical information or accounts should require 2 Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication to access.
Furthermore, you could consider limiting access to company data via personal devices, especially with a physical team. A few company devices equipped with cybersecurity tools would reduce the risk of data breaches compared to the former.
GDPR Compliance issues
GDPR laws are strict regulations that govern data security in the EU. They apply to businesses under these categories:
- “The organization is based in the European Union and controls or processes personal data for EU/EEA individuals (also known in this capacity as data subjects).”
- “The organization processes personal data from individuals in the EU/EEA concerning either the offering of goods or services to individuals in the EU or the monitoring of individuals in the EU.”
Your business must consider such regulations in the EU when dealing with customer data and work with compliant agencies like Funnelbud.
With the Funnelbud GO offering, clients can choose whether to store their data in the US or the EU if they must comply with GDPR rules. Funnelbud Go and all of its data are 100% hosted in Europe.
System integrations often may also pose GDPR challenges since they work with foreign-based tools, such as Zapier. Yet, with Funnelbud, our unique “partnership first” business model allows us to build many such integrations in a fully GDPR compliant way.
Get a free Funnelbud Go demo and see how it works.
Working with agencies involves a lot of information sharing, which in turn increases security risks. In the wake of the Covid 19 pandemic, data and privacy threats dramatically increased, causing massive losses in the process.
As you deal with agencies, these are some key security considerations you should be aware of to safeguard your business and clients.
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