Protecting Digital Marketing and Media Agencies

The Growing Threat to Digital Marketing and Media Agencies

If your agency is under the impression that cyber security is strictly an IT issue, you should think again. Effective security is a company-wide commitment, and marketers play one of the most crucial roles. Consider how much personal data you collect; if that information is lost or stolen, it will severely damage your customer relationships. In fact, a Ping Identity survey found that 78% of people would stop using an organisation’s online services if it had experienced a breach.  

In addition, your advertising budgets will be directly affected by the ‘bot problem’. On average 40% of impressions and clicks on search and social advertising channels will be made by bots; a direct waste of budget for zero return. And if 40% of click-throughs from an ad to your website are not human and you don’t know which ones are bots and which ones are human, then all of your website visitor data will be inaccurate! And once a malicious bot has come through from an ad to your website, you are at risk. 


In the marketing industry, businesses often work with first-party data. This type of data is data directly from your business customers, which contains their sensitive data such as bank details and direct contact information. For this reason, digital marketing agencies must ensure that any information they are storing is securely protected from unauthorized access to prevent the possibility of a cyber-attack, whether a direct attack to the website or an attack via an ad, affiliate or other route. 

These marketing agencies also need to protect data which includes sensitive information such as login details facilitating access to the control panels and front end of their site, profits and earnings data as well as confidential marketing strategies. If this data becomes compromised by a hacker or competitor, there could be serious consequences for the agency responsible for keeping the information safe and result in harm to the growth of the business overall. 

Data security is of the utmost importance, especially today, where advanced methods to mount successful cyber attacks exist and are a real threat. Marketing agencies usually hold confidential information of both their customers’ and clients’ businesses, which — in the wrong hands — could result in data breaches and loss of trust in the business. Both are severe consequences directly impacting business growth and people’s livelihoods. 

After all, a data breach or cyberattack can completely derail a company’s digital marketing strategy. A devastating breach that impacts consumer or client data can also jeopardize a company’s reputation and leave them financially in the red, particularly if they are subject to heavy data protection fines from industry regulators. 

Ultimately, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses of all types. By securing their systems, businesses can help ensure that their data is safe from hackers and other cyber threats.   

The point is, if you run digital marketing campaigns in a competitive and cutthroat industry where public scrutiny is often expected, you cannot afford to be lax when it comes to your cybersecurity strategy. You may be wasting a large part of your online advertising budget as well as being open to cyber attack. Whether you have an in-house team of IT and cybersecurity experts or you rely on a specialist cybersecurity partner, such as Veracity Trust Network, your cybersecurity posture and ad-fraud prevention solution can make or break your digital marketing efforts going forward.  

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How Veracity Trust Network has helped others in this sector

6th Level Marketing is a results-focused marketing consultancy working with businesses of all sizes to maximise business growth and profitability through the use of the Internet as a marketing medium and a sales channel. Using Veracity Trust Network’s Web Threat Protection, we detected and successfully mitigated 56% of traffic on 6th Level Marketing’s client websites, identified as malicious bots. 

“Before talking to Veracity, I understood what cyber attacks could do but never really took the time to imagine what impact it would have on the business. I was shocked at the level of bots coming to the website because I thought they would just be on larger/well known organisations.”  

Mark Lloyd, CEO at 6th Level Marketing. 

Dex is an integrated marketing agency focusing on their client’s business needs while elevating brand reputation. They support some of the world’s largest organisations through visual and design, performance marketing, customer acquisition and community engagement. Dex implemented Veracity for one of their clients, QV Skincare Singapore – an Australian- owned skincare brand. QV products are soap free, gentle on the skin, and suitable for eczema sufferers. QV is highly recommended by dermatologists and is the No. 1 Skincare brand in Singapore hospitals.  

“After years of running digital ads on various platforms like META and Google, we started 
to question the integrity of ad interactions as the results did not seem to translate down the funnel. As we started investigating the various analytic touchpoints, we noticed an increase in discrepancies between the ad clicks and web results. We saw a high bounce rate and low average time on site which indicated low quality traffic. This helped us in identifying the gap we needed to address.”  

Samantha Tan Campaign Specialist at Dex  

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Examples of cyber attacks on digital marketing & media agencies

Data breaches don’t just hit small businesses with limited resources. Even some of the world’s biggest brands have been negatively impacted. 

More recently, in July 2023, a Polish diplomat’s advertisement to purchase a used BMW was corrupted by Russian hackers and used to target Ukrainian diplomats. The hackers copied the flyer, imbedded it with malicious software and distributed it to foreign diplomats in Kyiv. 

Malicious bots can damage your company reputation

Bots can cause multiple types of damage to your brand’s website and – by extension – your company reputation.

Misinformation is one of the many ways bots cause issues worldwide and, while you may think your brand is safe from that type of attack, the technology used to create bots which spread false data can also be used to cripple legitimate businesses.

Malicious bots mask themselves and are becoming cleverer, attempting to interact with applications or websites in the same way a legitimate human user would, this makes them much harder to detect and block.

They enable high-speed abuse, misuse and attacks on your website, mobile apps and APIs, leading to the bot operators being able to perform a variety of unsavoury acts including click fraud, competitive data mining, information scraping and more.

Any one of these actions can have a significant effect on your company reputation and the confidence of your customers when it comes to their identity and other data safety.

Malicious bots are often the first indicator of online fraud and represent a risk to digital businesses, as well as their customers.

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