How Marketing and Design Companies Can Protect Themselves Against a Data Breach
Data breaches can happen to any business if they haven’t taken the correct precautions – including marketing and design companies! Here’s how you can protect yourself…
In the digital age, every business is likely to handle some form of personal data. Marketing and design companies, as you may already know, are no different.
Whether it’s data belonging to employees, customers, partners or advertisers, marketing and design companies are likely to store plenty of information. And, if that information were to become compromised, it could have disastrous consequences, not just for anyone affected, but for the business itself.
It’s highly likely that a marketing and design company that suffers a data breach will endure a bout of naming and shaming across social media for failing to put adequate protection in place – even if that doesn’t paint the full picture. Here we discuss both why it’s vitally important for marketing and design companies to protect themselves against a data breach, and exactly how they can do it. Be sure to read on to find out more…
Why is a Data Breach So Damaging for a Marketing or Design Company?
There are several reasons why a data breach could prove to be disastrous for a marketing or design company – some of which may not be as immediately obvious as others. These reasons include:
Marketing companies will know this better than most – good press travels quickly, but bad press travels even quicker. If your business suffers a data breach and it can be shown that clear failures were made along the way, you’re likely to suffer heavy reputational damage that will be very difficult to repair.
This is especially true if the news makes its way into social media. You will likely struggle to create a an effective social media campaign if your marketing and design company is named and shamed across multiple platforms.
This one is pretty self-explanatory, right? If your marketing or design company suffers from a data breach, then there are bound to be several financial consequences and none of them will be positive.
If an investigatory body, such as the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), find that your company was at fault, you’ll have to compensate anyone who has been affected, invest in new security measures, and handle a regulatory penalty. None of that is going to be ideal if you’re busy trying to improve your brand’s existing online presence.
Under data protection regulations, all businesses are required to demonstrate that they have taken all possible steps to protect any personal data they hold. Legal action can be taken by anyone whose data is compromised, which will cause more than just a minor headache.
If your marketing or design company finds itself having to launch legal defense, or to provide settlements, it’s going to significantly damage your brand and lead to further naming and shaming across social media.
Although Facebook appears to be largely untouchable, it is an example of a company who took a major hit after it was reported that they were likely to face legal action following a data breach in 2021.
5 Tips for Marketing and Design Companies to Prevent Data Breaches
Understand Your Legal Obligations
First things first, if you own or work for a marketing or design company, you need to get to grips with your legal obligations. The laws related to data security can be somewhat confusing, especially if you’ve never had to deal with them before, so it certainly pays to do plenty of research and to make sure you have followed the letter of the law.
Have a Data Security Policy
To reduce the risk of a data breach, your business should draft up and roll out a data security policy that covers all of the practices, processes, and procedures that you need to follow at all times.
Never considered a data breach policy before? You may find that, after a quick Google search, there are plenty of templates available online.
However, you should be aware that these templates won’t always be suitable, as they aren’t going to be specifically tailored to the needs of your company. It’s, therefore, much more sensible to use these as inspiration to create your own policy from scratch.
Make Sure All Staff Are Well Trained
According to previous research, 95 percent of cybersecurity breaches are caused by human error. That should be reason enough for your marketing or design company to make sure every employee is well trained in data security so that they are fully aware of their responsibilities and best practices.
Regular training will not only provide staff with the tools and knowledge to identify and rectify data security threats, but it will also promote a shift in culture. A subconscious cultural shift towards more secure work practices is never a bad thing.
Don’t Forget to Update Security Software
Hopefully(!) your marketing or design company already has security or antivirus software installed. But do you know whether it is fully up to date? Many businesses fail to check on the status of their security software, which is what can later lead to avoidable data breaches.
Many security software update automatically, but it is always worth conducting a manual check on a regular basis to ensure that everything is in check.
Be Ready to Respond to a Breach
The fact of the matter is, as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, the threat of a data breach is always present, no matter how secure your systems are. So, with that in mind, you should be sure to have a response plan in place if the worst does happen.
This is particularly useful for mitigating some of the negative consequences of a data breach – especially the potential reputational damage. If you’re shown to be taking the situation seriously, this will go a long way in the eye of the authorities and anyone who has been affected.
How Else Could Your Marketing and Design Company Reduce the Risk of a Data Breach?
In this post, we’ve discussed how important it is to avoid suffering from a data breach, as well as taking a closer look at some of the ways you can reduce the risk of falling victim to such an occurrence.
Have you got any further tips for other marketing or design business design companies regarding data breaches? If so, feel free to leave a comment below!
Please be advised that this article is for general informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a trained data breach professional. Be sure to consult a data breach professional or expert if you’re seeking advice about protecting your business from a data breach. We are not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information on this site.