Is Your Agency’s Security Up To Scratch?

Is Your Agency’s Security Up To Scratch?
SHARE
THIS


What best describes you?

If CSI Cyber and Mr Robot have taught us anything, it is that there are plenty of black hat hackers who are out to get big companies for little reason beyond maliciousness or personal gain, says this guest poster, marketer & producer with Five by Five Sydney, Louis Petrides.

According to a new report by EMC released on Tuesday, 32 per cent of Australian businesses have suffered unplanned system downtime due to external security breaches. The estimated average cost to organisations for last year’s downtime was $1,422,000.

Although many hackers go after parent companies, it’s important to consider how agencies fit into the mix. As data and creative custodians for brands, agencies sometimes can get caught in the firing line of hackers, so it’s important to take steps to avoid this and protect the intellectual property of your clients.

So before you become a target, here are six security tips your agency should start following right now:

1. Don’t post agency office photos with hardware in the background on social media

A seemingly innocuous office photo could tell a hacker what type of physical firewall, hardware and security software you are running. If a hacker can analyse your existing set-up through a simple agency photo, they can adapt their approach.

The photo can tell a hacker about your operating systems: is your computer still running Windows XP? Which antivirus logo is viewable, or worse, is a security icon even visible? Anti-virus software runs updates (otherwise known as signatures) at different times – sometimes weekly, which gives an attacker up to seven days to get into your system before a breach is even identified.

Solution: Always ask the agency IT manager to double check your photos before you post them on social media or just avoid publishing office photos with pictures of your computers and servers.

2. Your agency passwords should never mimic your personal passwords

InstaBrute is a good example of a vulnerability within Instagram that allows attackers to obtain passwords from users. If your business email password is the same as your Instagram, it makes it easy pickings for hackers.

Solution: Stop using your personal password on any business account. If memory isn’t your forte, consider getting a password manager tool. Look into password manager services such as LastPass that Auto-fill in passwords and contain random password generators.

3. Avoid using your phone to log-in to or post messages on client social media

While it is convenient to manage a client’s social profile on your mobile phone on the go, they are much less secure than the average computer and some argue they are more valuable to attackers because of its access to your personal phone contacts coupled with location profiling.

The last thing your client wants is some random hacker holding the keys to their social brand identity.

Solution: Don’t use your phone to manage social media as the risk is simply not worth it when you are holding such intangible brand assets in your hand.

If you must use your phone, ensure it has the latest mobile and cloud based security. Check out solutions from security providers like Symantec or Webroot.

4. Steer clear from using your personal computer and laptop to manage sensitive client information

Your agency computer has been set up by IT professionals (hopefully) for a reason. Security is a core component of this and unless your home computer has been set up by a similar specialist, we can assume your business computer is safer than your personal one.

Solution: If you know you’ll be working from home, take your work laptop home because this means there are still more layers of security, which inevitably make it more difficult for attackers or speak with your IT professional about the best way to access files on your personal computer if you don’t have a work laptop.

5. Stay away from Skype as a way to communicate with your clients and partners

Many people don’t know that Skype exposes your IP address to those that simply know your name. Your IP is synonymous with the keys to your office and in this day and age, it is a lot more valuable than you think. Your agency probably has access to billions in marketing assets and this is why security matters.

There are multiple types of attacks made possible when someone has your IP address, including DDos attacks or attempts to gain full control of your  machine. More information can be found here.

Solution: Collaboration and chat software like Slack or HipChat brings all your communication together in one place within a secure environment that does not expose your IP address. They have all the functionality that Skype does, so just stick to using Skype on your personal computer with your mum.

6. Think twice before using free public WiFi to check your work emails on the go, especially when using your agency laptop or handheld

The same aspects that make free WiFi hotspots enticing for consumers make them enticing for hackers who can gain free access to unsecured devices on the same network.

While connecting to free WiFi, the hacker can access and even see every piece of information on your machine, including, important client emails, project folders, credit card information, logins and the list goes on.

Solution: Stop using free WiFi for business purposes and use your own mobile data or a pre-paid dongle. In Australia, Optus & Telstra provide a range of devices to get you connected to their networks on the go.

It is vital that your agency maintains the highest standards when it comes to online security so by following these simple tips, you could prevent a security disaster.

It’s also worthwhile providing training for staff on basic security at least once a year so they are aware of new ways to protect themselves and the business. Otherwise, you may end up with this guy on your digital doorstep.

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Latest News

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?
  • Opinion

Does Your Christmas Marketing Suck?

It's the most wonderful time of the year for the worst kind of marketing. Is your brand guilty of producing crappy Christmas conte

Opinion

by Peter Harris

Peter Harris
Study: Aussie Retailers Set To “Struggle” Over “Stagnate” Christmas
  • Marketing

Study: Aussie Retailers Set To “Struggle” Over “Stagnate” Christmas

According to IBISWorld, Christmas retail spending in Australia is expected to stagnate this December, falling by 0.2 per cent compared to the same time last year. While not all categories are impacted, IBISWorld is attributing the overall decline to lower discretionary incomes, negative consumer sentiment, and price discounting across the retail sector. “Overall, IBISWorld has observed early […]

Industry Diversity: It’s More Than Skin Deep
  • Opinion

Industry Diversity: It’s More Than Skin Deep

In his final column for the year, B&T’s favourite industry maverick and troublemaker, Robert Strohfeldt, turns his opinion pen to adland’s topic du jour – diversity. And, he says, it’s as much about the thinking as it is who you employ at your agency… There is an old (and wise) statement most people would have heard […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban
  • Campaigns

Queensland Anti-Porn Crusaders Cop Ad Ban

We have a strident anti-pornography policy at B&T. Earphones must be worn at all times and strictly no little people.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

Nature’s Way Celebrates Big Things Little People Do In UCG Videos Via Wavemaker & Storyful

Health and wellbeing company Nature’s Way is celebrating the achievements of kids in a series of relatable and entertaining online videos that tug at the heart strings of parents. Instead of using actors to tell the brand story of Nature’s Way’s Kids Smart supplement range, Storyful has helped Wavemaker to license user-generated content clips of […]

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account
  • Marketing

DEC PR Wins Hisense Account

Electronics and whitegoods specialist Hisense has announced it has appointed DEC PR to lead its strategic communications remit in the local market, following a competitive tender process. DEC PR will work to support its brand building activities and managing corporate communications. The agency’s work will integrate closely with Hisense’s other marketing partners. Andre Iannuzzi, marketing […]

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’
  • Advertising
  • Media

QMS Media Expands Presence In Melbourne With New Digital Billboard ‘The G’

Outdoor media company QMS Media has strengthened its digital outdoor presence in Victoria, unveiling an iconic digital billboard in the heart of Melbourne’s famous sporting precinct. The launch of ‘The G’ sees QMS’ landmark digital portfolio ‘bookending’ arguably one of the most iconic and in-demand digital outdoor locations in Australia – Richmond Station Bridge – […]

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

HSBC Sydney 7s Creates New Visual Identity For 2018 Via Digilante

As part of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, the Sydney 7s event returns in January complete with a new brand identity, creative strategy and media campaign. With the 2017 Sydney 7s a sell-out event, the challenge for 2018 was to carry that momentum into the third year, defining Sydney’s place as the new ‘go-to’ […]

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies
  • Media

Bound Round Launches Family Travel Publication for Aussies

Family travel platform Bound Round has announced the launch of its first e-magazine to Australian consumers. Travel Bound is a family-focused, digital quarterly publication available on all Virgin Australia flights through the carrier’s in-flight entertainment system, and is also available for consumer download via the Bound Round website. Bound Round founder and CEO Janeece Keller […]

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News
  • Media

SBS Unveils New Look, New App For SBS News

Do you like say "I only watch SBS" in an attempt to sound smarter than you are? Well, why not pretend to read this too?

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director
  • Marketing

Ex-Samsung CMO Joins Amazon Australia As Marketing Director

Amazon Australia has appointed former Samsung Electronics chief marketing officer (CMO) Arno Lenior to lead its marketing division. Lenior worked as Samsung’s CMO for more than three years before departing in 2015. According to his LinkedIn profile, he has also held CEO roles at VR company Virtical and brand consultancy Blue Ocean Brands, and joined […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year
  • Marketing

News Corp Names Its Car Of The Year

News announces its annual Car Of The Year and it's not what you'd expect. Well, we certainly didn't expect it anyway.

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership
  • Marketing

Aussie Tennis Open & Country Road Announce New Partnership

The Australian Open has partnered with iconic Australian clothing and lifestyle brand Country Road to supply the uniforms for next year’s tournament. Confirmed today as the official fashion lifestyle Partner of Australian Open 2018, one of Australia’s most loved brands will be worn by thousands of tournament staff at Melbourne Park in January. On-court officials including the chair and […]

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties
  • Media

Andrew O’Keefe Quits His Weekend Sunrise Duties

After 12 years with Weekend Sunrise, Andrew O’Keefe has decided to step away from his hosting and reporting duties. O’Keefe will continue his full-time role as host of Seven’s quiz show The Chase Australia, as well as focus on other projects with the Network. “The ideal job is doing work you love with people you love,” O’Keefe […]

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences
  • Marketing

Study: Brand Loyalty Hinges On Customer Support Experiences

Fast and effective support will be a competitive differentiator for companies looking to win over digitally transformed customers and employees, new research has revealed. According to a study by IDC and LogMeIn titled Support Services as a Competitive Differentiator, nearly 67 per cent of consumers said that customer satisfaction was more important than price when […]

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform
  • Advertising
  • Media

OMA Appoints Red Ant Design To Build Industry’s First Automated Proposal Platform

The Outdoor Media Association (OMA) has announced the appointment of Red Ant Design to build the out-oh-home (OOH) industry’s first automated proposal platform (APP). After an extensive global search and industry consultation, the decision to build the system in-house with a local Australian company was made. The APP will be built in an agile process, […]

Nick Ballard, Managing Director
Australia & New Zealand, BlisMedia
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Blis Unveils New Consumer Behaviour Analytics Tool For Maketers

Location data technology company Blis has launched an analytics tool that allows marketers to analyse consumer behaviour – from audience profiling, to exposure, to attribution – by capturing and activating mobile movement data. Smart Trends offers robust in-store consumer behavioural insights and in-store comparison of multiple location types and brands, allowing marketers to break down demographic, […]

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign
  • Campaigns
  • Marketing

WiTH Collective Linked By Isobar Renames Colours Of The Great Barrier Reef As Part Of New Campaign

The Great Barrier Reef is under threat, and WiTH Collective – part of Isobar Australia Group – has launched a social movement to protect it. The ‘Unite for the Reef’ campaign will put vivid pops of colour into millions of social media feeds as a global network of individuals united to pledge support for the future of the Great Barrier Reef.  Spearheaded […]

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations
  • Marketing

Imagination Unveils Creative For Sydney’s NYE 2017 Celebrations

The City of Sydney has unveiled the creative line-up for 2017 Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations, including a new look and theme for Australia’s largest public event, conceived by experience agency Imagination. In its seventh year as the creative team behind the event, Imagination has set out to create a fresh, inspiring new theme and […]