Is Your Agency’s Security Up To Scratch?

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



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

einsights

Latest News

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

M&C Saatchi Group has partnered with documentary makers, writers, producers and digital content pioneers Michael Lawrence (left in photo) and Nicholas Cook (right in photo) to launch film and television production studio THIS. Lawrence and Cook have established an enviable track record creating story-driven content and feature documentaries based on The Human Indomitable Spirit (THIS) […]

The ‘Business Of Busyness’: How Productivity Keeps Us From Preparing For The Future
  • Opinion

The ‘Business Of Busyness’: How Productivity Keeps Us From Preparing For The Future

Jeff Schwisow is a Melbourne-based strategy specialist, speaker and the author of Projectify – How to use projects to engage your people in strategy that evolves your business. In this guest post, he argues that our obsession with being busy right now is what’s holding us back from planning our futures tomorrow… To survive in today’s […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Host/Havas Creative Chief Darren Spiller To Depart
  • Advertising

Host/Havas Creative Chief Darren Spiller To Depart

Creative agency Host/Havas has announced that its chief creative officer, Darren Spiller, will be leaving the agency. Spiller joined Host as its chief creative officer in January last year and then assumed the same role when the agency merged with Havas in October 2017. Host/Havas has received of a long list of creative accolades this […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Creative Agency Launch Project Management Tool Hassl
  • Media
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launch Project Management Tool Hassl

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning Melbourne based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their […]

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly
  • Media

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly

It's one of the ABC's edgier, controversial shows, but Tom Ballard's proven too edgy and controversial for ABC chiefs.

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Media

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership

Global discovery platform Taboola has announced a strategic partnership with Wider Planet, Korea’s largest demand-side and data management platform. The partnership builds on Taboola’s programmatic efforts in Asia-Pacific, and will bring together Korea’s largest demand platform for agencies and brands to provide access to Taboola’s global audience through premium publisher placements. The partnership means advertisers […]

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients
  • Marketing

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients

The Haus announces two new client wins. Admittedly, not as good as winning three, but far better than losing four.

businessman using tablet PC and information communication technology concept. IoT(Internet of Things). GUI(graphical user interface). paperless office.
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Smartly: The Future Of Martech Is Automated

Automated ad buying platform, Smartly was at the centre of the tech innovation stage at the Online Retailer conference 2018. Smartly head of ANZ Marta Bonzanini (pictured below) discussed the integral role automation plays in the future of marketers and creatives. “If an ad is not performing as well as planned, you probably have some […]

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games
  • Technology

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games

For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most. Chatting face-to-face live makes all the difference when you have exciting news to share, you need a study buddy for a big test, or you simply want to pass the time […]

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo
  • Media

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo

Sphere snares Stockdale & Leggo business, which is a real estate group & not a simmer sauce as first reported on B&T.

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation
  • Technology

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation

With Aussie farmers facing so many challenges, could the answer be Blockchain technology? Ranking top 10 at this year’s Overseas Talent Entrepreneurial Conference (OTEC), pitching against 32 other start-ups from around the world, Aussie start-up Agunity are leading AgTech innovation. Having won the right to represent Australia during Investible’s nation-wide pitch competition, AgUnity took to […]

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci

Facebook's Carolyn Bollaci is the latest to sup at B&T's truth serum we prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency

The Fuel Agency has launched the new ‘TAFE + Jobs’ campaign, aimed to promote and drive applications and enrolments for courses starting in 2019 There’s a lot happening in Victoria, with record investment in road and rail projects, and in the health, community and disability sectors. As a result, there’s greater demand for skilled workers. […]

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO

Rakuten has a new CEO. However, judging by the tired handshake photo, B&T doesn't have any new ways of illustrating it.

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising
  • Advertising
  • Opinion

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising

Who better to explain why your ads are getting blocked than a real ad blocking expert. As B&T has done right here.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman

B&T has spared no expense with today's top Women in Media profile, save for suit hire, corsage and dry-cleaning.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner
  • Technology

Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner

The announcement designates Kantar as an approved third-party measurement provider for brands looking to verify their media spend performance on Google owned platforms. Kantar is approved globally to provide both Brand Lift Insights for evaluation of brand impact from campaigns and for independent measurement of audience reach from campaigns on Google properties. Kantar CEO Eric […]

THIS
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Final Call! B&T Late Entries Close Today!

B&T Award entries officially close at 5pm today! Good news if you've almost finished, bad news if you haven't started.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off
  • Campaigns

Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off

“It’s 2018”, is something you hear a lot when you talk to the players, coaching staff and fans involved in Rugby AU’s bid for the ‘Rugby World Cup Women’s 2021’ tournament. There is this sense that they are not only ready for a greater stage, but raring to go. As one player said “Ready?! We’re […]

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power
  • Marketing

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power

Shhh Silk is an Australian brand that quickly grew in popularity among celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Kim Kardashian West. Shhh Silk has just received a $1.8 million order from a very large brand in the US, and CEO Olivia Carr’s projections is for this to be a $50 million business in five years’ time. […]

SaaS Player Taps oOh!media Chairman Tony Faure To Lead Its Board
  • Media
  • Technology

SaaS Player Taps oOh!media Chairman Tony Faure To Lead Its Board

Software-as-a-service (SaaS) company ReadyTech has announced the appointment of Tony Faure as its new chairman. Faure is the chairman of outdoor giant oOh!media and data intelligence platform PredictHQ. He is also a non-executive director of digital mortgage company Uno Homeloans, content platform Stackla and specialised media company Medical Media. Faure is regarded as being one […]