Why Hackers Love Advertising Agencies
The advertising community has long complained about the procurement process. The costs of creating spec work, generating reports and presentations, gathering data, giving away marketing strategy, and spending endless hours on pitches are simply table stakes if any agency wants to be competitive. Experience is important, creativity is imperative, and everyone knows that cost is definitely going to play into any decision by the client. But now there’s a new wrinkle: security.
Here’s why. The Coca-Cola servers are probably very secure. So if a hacker wants personal data on millions of customers, do they attack Coke? No. They track down Coke’s partners who are gathering consumer data and attack their modestly protected servers. Sure, they may not be collecting sensitive information, but after hackers start cross-referencing with other pools of stolen data, they have an opportunity to create all kinds of mischief.
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Clients are demanding greater security for the data that advertising agencies collect. Is this a selling point in your next proposal, or something that you need to start investing in right now? From social data and contest data to loyalty programs and remarketing campaigns, the amount of information advertising agencies gather is staggering. And when you consider the cornucopia of personal information they will be gathering in the very near future from cars, mobile devices, and the Internet of Things, the problem becomes clear. Inadequate security is a ticking time bomb for agencies.
No advertising agency wants to take on additional costs when margins are slim and undercutting a competitor’s bid is essential. But if it’s a major selling point in your next proposal, the expense of heightened data security could pay for itself. While the damage of a major attack tied back to a poorly secured server could not only lose you a client, but could spell disaster for your entire business.