How Can You Integrate Cybersecurity Into Your Content Automation Process?by@aprilmiller
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How Can You Integrate Cybersecurity Into Your Content Automation Process?

by April Miller April 23rd, 2024
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Automating content carries some cybersecurity risks you should know about. Review your tools and the data they access to see what type of risk you’re dealing with. The more sensitive information you use in content automation, the more advanced security measures you'll need. Encrypt all your content automation data.
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Every great innovation comes with some unique challenges. Automation can simplify your marketing processes, save time, and give insight you may otherwise miss. As helpful — even necessary — as automating content is, it carries some cybersecurity risks you should know about. That doesn’t mean these tools are strictly unsafe, but it does warrant attention.

You need to ensure you’re using AI safely if you hope to experience its benefits to the fullest. You can do so by following these five content automation cybersecurity steps.

1. Determine Your Risk Level

The first step to more secure content automation is deciding exactly what and how serious your cyber risks are. A more detailed picture of your risk landscape will make it easier to determine what kind of protections are necessary.

Some generative AI models may require legal permission to use customers’ data. Other marketing automation tools don’t store any customer information, so breaches won’t be quite so severe. Review your tools and the data they access to see what type of risk you’re dealing with. In general, the more sensitive information you use in content automation, the more advanced security measures you’ll need.

Your specific market may influence these decisions, too. At least 14 states have data privacy laws that may introduce unique requirements. Consider all these factors when determining your risk level and err on the side of going further than required to be safe.

2. Encrypt Everything

Regardless of your risk level, you’ll want to encrypt all your content automation data. Encryption scrambles information so it doesn’t reveal any actual details even if a hacker accesses it. That should apply to everything from customer information to social media logins to AI training data.

You may already encrypt data at rest, but it’s important to encrypt it in transit, too. You might even be able to encrypt it during use. That wasn’t always possible, but new standards like homomorphic encryption let you analyze data with AI without decrypting it.

Refer to any applicable laws or industry standards to see if there’s a specific level of encryption you must use. The government has recently recognized quantum-proof encryption methods you could use if you want to go the extra mile.

3. Restrict Access

Access controls are another big part of content automation cybersecurity. When fewer people or programs can access your content tools, scheduling software, and social media accounts, hackers have fewer options to break into.

Zero-trust architecture takes access restrictions and user authentication to extremes, so it’s the safest way forward. While this approach takes a while to set up, it increases visibility and reduces downtime by double-checking everything before trusting it. Even if you don’t opt for the zero-trust model, you should restrict content automation tools so only the employees who need it for their daily work can access it.

Strict access controls only work when you can reliably tell who’s who. Simple username-password combinations are too simple and easy to break past. Use multi-factor authentication (MFA) — ideally through SMS or cryptographic keys and not email — instead.

4. Choose Your Tools Carefully

Next, you’ll want to take a closer look at the software you use to automate your content strategy. These tools could potentially have access to some sensitive information — including customer data and your social media accounts — so you should ensure they’re safe before trusting them.

The first step in reducing these third-party risks is to consolidate your content automation tools as much as possible. Businesses use more than a hundred apps on average, and any one of these could have security flaws that jeopardize your data. Opting for a single provider to cover more services makes it easier to ensure you’re using a reliable, safe solution.

You should also have a formal process for determining if a software provider meets your security needs. The Cybersecurity and Information Security Agency outlines software supply chain security steps you can follow to create such a system.

5. Train Everyone

Make sure everyone on your content team understands security best practices. These include aspects like strong password management, why to use MFA, and how to spot phishing attempts.

As many as 95% of cybersecurity issues stem in part from human error. Consequently, if you train everyone on your team to practice safer, more mindful practices, you’ll prevent a lot of damage. Of course, even well-trained employees can still make mistakes, but the more prepared your workforce is for these risks, the less likely those errors will become.

Because people tend to forget things, periodic refresher training is a good idea. Retrain everyone in security best practices at least once annually to keep safety at the top of everybody’s mind.

Cybersecurity Is Crucial for Content Automation

Without reliable cybersecurity, your content automation tools could become a huge risk before you realize it. By contrast, you can use this technology to its fullest extent if you protect it first.

These five steps will help you create a cybersecurity plan that works for your content automation strategy. Be sure to review your system regularly to ensure you’re on top of any developing security trends or new risks.