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3 Real Threats to Your PR Database

January 24, 2019 No Comments

Featured article by Calvin Paige, Independent Technology Author

Successful PR and marketing activities largely depend on a company’s ability to both develop and maintain valuable relationships in an industry, both personally and digitally. To do so, a company must appear to be reliable and trustworthy.

As you will need to store a substantial amount of contact and biographical information, your business will have a responsibility to safeguard the sensitive data effectively. Here are three real threats to your PR database.

1. GDPR Compliance

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect on May 28th, 2018, with the aim of changing how businesses manage data that belongs to both customers and prospects within the EU. If your business includes public relations, you need to consider how GDPR will affect the data you hold about journalists, bloggers, influencers, etc.

For example, to be compliant, you will need to:

- Prove consent
- Publish a data protection policy (explain the information you hold, what you do with it and how you share it)
- Ensure internal security processes are up to standard
- Ensure your suppliers are compliant
- Educate your team on the importance of GDPR compliance

If your business fails to comply with GDPR, you could face a penalty for non-compliance, which has a maximum fine of either 2% of your annual global turnover or €10 million, whichever is higher. A serious data breach could potentially double the maximum fine.

2. Malware

As public relation agencies, media firms and internal marketing departments will store a considerable amount of journalistic data, they are becoming a target for intelligent cybercriminals.

Recent reports have found that a Chinese Cyberthreat group, known as “admin@338” has been targeting various media organizations. It’s believed the group sends spear phishing emails about newsworthy stories to various newspapers, television and radio outlets, which feature malicious attachments.

As PR firms and departments will store a significant amount of information, a successful cyberattack could provide hackers with in-depth intelligence. Unfortunately, if your business does not integrate the best security software solutions into its operations, they could become a cybercriminal’s next victim. Learn how to protect your PR database by reviewing these dependable security awareness resources.

3. Human Error

While cyberattacks and a lack of GDPR compliance can lead to serious financial and legal repercussions, human error could also pose a big threat to your PR data.

According to a Data Security Incident Response Report, 37% of data breaches were traced back to human error. Incidents reported include:

- Employee theft
- External device theft
- Malware scams

Unfortunately, a loss of critical data can lead to a poor reputation, as well as financial and legal repercussions for your business.

There are, however, ways to prevent data loss, as you should:

- Educate your team about data security and its risks
- Keep track of portable storage (company laptops, smartphones, USBs, hard drives, etc.)
- Simulate phishing attacks during training
- Strengthen all company passwords (unique phrases with characters and symbols, two-factor authentication, etc.)
- Change passwords frequently
- Encrypt data

As your PR database will help to power your business operations each day, you cannot afford to neglect its security. It’s imperative to consider the above risks and solutions when building a powerful database of journalists, influencers, editors, and bloggers.


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