Businesses today are taking a holistic approach to cybersecurity. An issue that was previously only handled by specific departments is becoming a strategic play across organizations. As recent reports have proven, bots and fake users impact nearly every goal and KPI that companies of all sizes hope to achieve. Cybersecurity for business means protecting websites, paid advertising, sales funnels, BI and analytics, business development campaigns, and more. It goes beyond preparation for data breaches and hacks and seeks to mitigate the risk of invalid traffic in all areas of business. Since 27% of direct and organic traffic comes from invalid sources, organizations are realizing that cybersecurity is critical 365 days a year. There are many ways to achieve holistic business cybersecurity, so let’s dive into some key areas where cybersecurity is highly applicable.
IT departments have historically benefited greatly from cybersecurity measures. Securing the technology a business uses means proactively fighting against data breaches, which helps both employees and customers feel protected and can increase overall organizational trustworthiness. Furthermore, having employees install cybersecurity tech can help prevent phishing attacks before they get to an inbox. In these senses, cybersecurity can be considered an insurance policy that both prevents attacks from becoming problematic, and helps identify and quickly stop attacks when they do happen. Furthermore, cybersecurity in IT departments can ensure compliance with industry and legal requirements.
One of the teams that have adopted cybersecurity the most quickly has been the marketing department. When marketers launch advertising campaigns, they rely heavily on pre-selected audience segments. However, when those segments become polluted with bots and fake users, campaigns can accidentally target lookalikes that are also invalid. Eventually, these campaigns become completely unusable. Furthermore, when pay-per-click budgets are wasted on invalid clicks, businesses can miss out on key revenue opportunities. In fact, it is estimated that $42 billion is lost each year in revenue opportunities because of Invalid Traffic (IVT). For this reason, business web security techniques have become critical for maintaining a functioning marketing department. Antivirus measures and overall fake user protection in these areas can help not only marketing but a business’s security as a whole.
Growth & Business Development Departments
Another department that can help in achieving holistic business cybersecurity by protecting its efforts is the business development team. When business development professionals generate leads and prospect for new customers, it is critical that those individuals fit within a given ideal customer profile. Unfortunately, leads frequently slip through the cracks that are not only viable customers but in many cases are not even real users. All types of IVT can make their way to company websites, fill out forms, and imitate legitimate users. This can cause a serious issue of wasted time, budget, and resources. Additionally, since many CRMs and marketing platforms charge on a per-contact basis, bills can become inflated by leads that have no chance of converting.
Sales departments can also benefit from taking on cybersecurity measures. After a lead reaches the sales team, a lot of activity occurs to try to see if that lead is a good fit for the company’s offering. Nurture campaigns are put in place, follow-up emails are sent, and many types of A/B testing on messaging is employed to figure out how best to resonate with these potential customers. However, if even a small portion of these so-called opportunities are invalid, teams may make changes to content and frequency of outreach only to realize their adjustments are informed by fake users, not real human activity. By protecting lead databases from invalid traffic, sales teams can stop bots at the source, making things easier for the company as a whole as deals progress.
Business cybersecurity is also incredibly helpful within analytics departments. By protecting a business’s source of truth, companies can ensure all critical decisions are being made based on accurate data. When organizations look to grow their offering, expand to a new office, make changes to headcount, update pricing, or project yearly revenue, all of those decisions rely on data. While BI platforms can provide robust insights, they cannot always identify the specific types of IVT that may be present, how they are affecting your source of truth, and how to mitigate the risks associated with them. In fact, it is estimated that $697 billion is wasted globally on skewed data due to IVT each year. That is why layering cybersecurity on top of existing analytics tools can be so beneficial.
Nearly every area of business can benefit from cybersecurity, and it is important to take a holistic approach. Since IVT pollutes all initiatives, all initiatives can be protected. Rather than looking at cybersecurity in siloes, it can be beneficial to look at cybersecurity as a company-wide strategic initiative. To learn more about how cybersecurity can protect all areas of business, reach out to our team.