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Managing Risks of Ever-Changing Digital Channels

The internet evolves fast. Much like questionable fashion trends, the platforms we use to connect with friends, engage with followers and share content come and go quickly. While there are some social media platforms we may be happy to leave behind (RIP to my Myspace Top 8, I hope you’re all well!), as a business it can be difficult to know where to invest advertising and digital marketing efforts in a continuously evolving landscape of digital channels. It’s even harder to know how to secure the use of these dynamic networks.

Take Snapchat for example. When first released, Snapchat was seen as an innovator in social networking, introducing the concept of sharing small moments of your day with friends and followers. Snapchat Stories provided a brief look into the everyday lives of people we know and follow – even if those lives were more curated than candid. And then came Instagram Stories. Upon initial release, adoption was slow; people did not see the value of the feature because they already had a tool, Snapchat, with the same functionality. But at some point there was a shift and Instagram Stories users now double Snapchat users. The feature has proven so successful in the Instagram platform that its parent company, Facebook, has added Stories as well. Other than prompting several great memes predicting the next platform that will add Stories (Excel maybe?), it’s still hard to say if the addition of Facebook Stories will prove effective for Facebook.

What the evolution of digital channels means for marketing & security teams

Marketing today is inherently digital. Sure, we may occasionally still print out a PDF version of an asset but engagement and lead generation is most often fostered – at least in part – through digital channels. Whether prospects visit your website directly (or a website that looks like yours) or find you through social media sharing or digital ads, marketing teams are investing heavily in the use of social and digital channels to drive leads and increase sales.

Marketing teams looking to stay on the cutting edge of new digital channels may forsake security for the possibility of innovation or in order to reach a wider audience. But sharing corporate and brand materials on unvalidated platforms can lead to account hacking, information leakage and brand infringement. Marketing teams must strike a balance of social and digital engagement and protection of that engagement, particularly as new digital players continue to arise.

When marketing teams engage on new platforms without proper protection it affects not only marketing but the security team as well. While security teams may now have a solution in place for handling risks on traditional social networks, new digital channels represent new risks not yet understood. Just when security teams have their arms around protecting social media, there’s a new platform in town and they have no idea how to monitor or secure it.

Digital channels are evolving, so should digital protection platforms

The evolution of digital channels is not to be feared but to be celebrated. It represents growth, innovation and opportunity for new ways of doing business. And yes, it also represents risk. Tools like ZeroFOX alleviate the need for your security teams to constantly identify new data sources and measure the risk they pose to your organization. Your  marketing teams can share freely knowing your brand reputation is secure.

How do we keep up with this changing landscape? We’ve built a product designed to scale. Proof: we started with social media and a few networks 5 years ago. Today, we offer coverage for over 100 unique data sources, and that list is growing as you read this.

How do you know you’re protected on the platforms you need? We’re open about what we offer (you can see all sources within the platform configuration settings) – and what we don’t offer (yet!) – so that you can easily understand what is covered and we can continue to grow and expand that ever evolving list of sources.

What to look for

If you’re considering a Digital Risk Protection tool, make sure that it checks all of the data sources boxes you currently want to monitor. Want to find impersonating profiles of your execs on social media? Want to identify compromised credentials on the deep and dark web? Want to find counterfeit versions of your products on web marketplaces? Make a list of the data sources you need and provide that list to your prospective vendors.

But don’t stop there. You can’t predict the future (at least I don’t think you can), so you want to make sure you choose a vendor that can scale. You need a platform and a team with the tools (and the mindset) to continue to innovate and expand to new platforms as demand grows and risks develop. The platforms you’re concerned with protecting today might not be the ones you need protection for tomorrow.