There are several crucial cybersecurity issues inherent in digital marketing. First and foremost, many small and medium businesses cannot afford specifically qualified cybersecurity professionals and have to rely on in-house resources to ensure the safety of their digital marketing (Kingsnorth, 2016; Ritz, Wolf, and McQuitty, 2020). Lackluster security standards in social media marketing may lead to hackers gaining access to the company’s account and threaten its finances and reputation alike (Konyeha, 2020). Phishing attacks, when hackers send e-mails camouflaged as if coming from a respectable organization to goad the addressee into revealing sensitive data, are a common threat, particularly in e-mail marketing (Chaffey & Smith, 2017). Finally, the use of loyalty measures as a marketing strategy also features the risk of the accumulated personalized customer data falling into the wrong hands (Pingo & Narayan, 2016). All these factors represent formidable challenges to developing an efficient yet safe digital marketing strategy.
However, they are still solvable, provided the company is willing to enhance its security measures. To avoid malefactors using the company’s social media presence against itself, it should enact the strictest privacy settings and have an administrator continuously watching social network activity (Konyeha, 2020). Safeguarding the company and its customer from phishing requires training the employees on e-mail security, setting up outbound filters, and using Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance (DMARC) to prevent others from using the company’s domain to misguide the addressees. A good example of a business that has successfully used this approach is Airbnb, an online rental company that has a policy framework for cybersecurity enforced among its employees and utilizes DMARC (Airbnb Security Report, 2021). As for the loyalty programs, they can become more privacy-aware and, thus, unlikely to reveal any sensitive information with the generalization of receipts and partially blind signatures (Blanco-Justicia & Domingo-Ferrer, 2016). Thus, navigating cybersecurity threats in digital marketing is entirely feasible, albeit costly at times.
Airbnb Security Report. (2021).
Blanco-Justicia, A. and Domingo-Ferrer, J. (2016). ‘Privacy-aware loyalty programs.’ Computer Communications, 82, pp. 83-94.
Chaffey, D. and Smith, P. R. (2017). Digital marketing excellence: Planning, optimizing, and integrating online marketing. 5th edn. London: Routledge.
Kingsnorth, S. (2016). Digital marketing strategy: An integrated approach to online marketing. 2nd edn. London: Kogan Page.
Konyeha, S. (2020). ‘Exploring cybersecurity threats in digital marketing.’ NIPES Journal of Science and Technology Research 2(3), pp. 12-20.
Pingo, Z. and Narayan, B. (2016). ‘When personal data becomes open data: An exploration of lifelogging, user privacy, and implications for privacy literacy.’ 18th International Conference on Asia-Pacific Digital Libraries, ICADL, 2016.Tsukuba, Japan. pp. 3-9.
Ritz, W., Wolf, M. and McQuitty, S. (2019). ‘Digital marketing adoption and success for small businesses: The application of the do-it-yourself and technology acceptance models.’ Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 13(2), pp. 179-203.