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Tuesday, April 05, 2011

50 Major brands data hacked, are you next? What should marketers do?

Today Mashable report that Epsilon have been hacked resulting in over 50 major US brands having client data compromised. In recent weeks emailed customers informing them that the security of customer names and email address had been breeched whilst stored on a third party system (Silverpop). BBC and The Guardian both reported on this story and handled the breach well by reporting it quickly to customers and advising them of the risks of phishing.

With the increased sophistication of email marketing software most companies rely upon third party partners to deliver solutions, each one is under attack from hackers, no-one is safe.

What should marketers do?

Don't assume you are safe, challenge all your third party vendors for a security audit. Marketers should be aware of the likelihood that data will be compromised and plan for this eventuality, have an emergency communication strategy in place. This should include email, social media and announcements on web sites. With social media prevalent in most peoples lives bad news travels fast. Consider employing social media monitoring tools like Radian6, these may give you early warnings of a breech. Smaller companies might consider Raven Tools or Google Alerts (less so).


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