Both as public policy and for business, cybersecurity has made it to the front burner. For the first time it drew extended discussion in the president's State of the Union address. Major firms from Apple to The New York Times have been hit by security breaches. And in this new environment, marketers and marketing departments are now at the front lines of the cybersecurity challenge.
Why marketing? Because no other part of a business is more deeply engaged with the world beyond the front door and the company network.
Marketers are reaching out to customers – and in the Big Data era, they are also gathering information about both current and potential customers. If customers' sensitive information is compromised, marketers will bear the chief burden of restoring their confidence in the firm.
Some key questions that Daniel suggests that top executives should be asking are also questions that CMOs and other marketing professionals need to ask:
How are marketing leaders informed about cyber threats to their company, especially (but not only) those involving marketing-related operations?
What is the current level of cybersecurity risks to the company, and what would be the impact of a serious security breach?
Is the company and marketing department following cybersecurity industry best practices?
How many threats are detected each week? How many are reported up, and how is this determined?
Is a comprehensive cybersecurity response plan in place? Is it being continually improved?
Part of the challenge of cybersecurity is that a single flaw can be exploited by sophisticated attackers, triggering a cascade of disruption. For example, one weak password can expose an entire database – perhaps filled with sensitive company or customer data – to penetration.
The good news is that marketers and companies need not face these threats alone. GRT Corporation brings 17 years of cybersecurity experience to the task of helping firms protect themselves from security threats.