Beyond the CISO: CMO’s & Business Leaders are Adopting Cybersecurity

This is a guest blog post from CHEQ, the leader in Customer Acquisition Security.

Cybersecurity has always been the exclusive concern of the “security team.”

Traditionally speaking, cybersecurity has always been a “security team” concern, aimed at protecting data, securing infrastructure, managing access and permissions, preventing various forms of cyber attacks and securing networks and applications. And as for the rest of the organization, from marketing, to sales and operations, security was never their concern. “That’s what we have a CISO for”.

But bots and malicious activity are impacting performance, and business teams have started to take notice.

While marketing, sales, data and operations leaders have typically removed themselves from the security discussion, the industry has started to see a curious shift. Over the past few years, organizations have started to realize that malicious website activity, bots, fake users and sophisticated invalid traffic are not just a security organizational concern, but a business and marketing concern too. Malicious and invalid activity affects business performance, measurement and results in various ways which are detrimental to the organization's health and growth. This has birthed new and emerging categories like Customer Acquisition Security, which aim to help go-to-market teams combat invalid and malicious activities disrupting their efforts. 


There are a few key ways bots and fake users are disrupting business and marketing performance. 

  • Paid Marketing - One of the key ways companies attract new potential customers is through paid media and advertising. Frequently, these ads are served to pre-set audiences and then optimized toward whichever users appear to be most engaged. However, invalid users and bots frequently interact with these assets for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is a competitor looking to waste their competition's ad spend, sometimes it is malicious bots looking to steal information, and sometimes it is seemingly innocent scrapers and crawlers who may not have malicious purposes but are also not real users. By enacting cybersecurity measures to mitigate these risks, CMOs can ensure their advertisements are being optimized toward a higher percentage of real users, and that their audiences do not become additionally polluted with bad actors. 

  • Website Conversion Efforts - After a user interacts with an advertisement, promotional material, or organic content on the web, they frequently then make their way to a business's website. This is where they have the opportunity to convert into a lead or even a customer. Oftentimes this is by filling out a form, requesting a demo, or adding an item to a shopping cart. While human users take these actions to indicate interest in a company's products, invalid users can also take these actions for suspicious or malicious purposes. When a customer acquisition funnel becomes crowded with bots and fake users, business development teams then waste valuable time and resources trying to nurture invalid leads. This is a major issue when it comes to operational efficiency. Cybersecurity can help get ahead of this issue by making sure these types of users are not taking up a spot in the funnel that could be better used by a real human customer. 

  • Data & Analytics - Virtually all major company decisions are made based on analytics and data. Whether it is the decision to add more headcount, enter a new market, or expand their offering, businesses look at data constantly. But if this data includes a significant portion of invalid users, after a certain point it becomes obsolete. With bots and fake users present within business intelligence data, decisions are made based on incorrect information. At best this is skewing important details, and at worst it is completely misleading the entire trajectory of a company and could have devastating effects. Cybersecurity can help clean up this data and ensure decisions are being made based on clearer insights. 


The implication: Cybersecurity is becoming more central to the organization's strategy and daily operations.

Overall, businesses have noticed how invalid traffic impacts not only data security but also other key organizational initiatives. Because of this, many executive leaders are beginning to view cybersecurity technology as something that can not only mitigate risks but also serve as a proactive measure to promote efficiency and productivity across departments. This comprehensive approach makes cybersecurity more central to an organization's well being. It signals a shift toward prioritizing cybersecurity as a way to drive business, rather than keeping security measures within a single information technology department that remains siloed. 

In short, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly essential to an organization's health, rather than one department designed to protect specific data sets. Smart CMOs and other executive leaders are taking note, and adopting this technology for their purposes.

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Kerry Coppinger | Manager, Brand Marketing @ CHEQ 

Kerry is the Manager, Brand Marketing at CHEQ. CHEQ is the marketing team's security suite, trusted by over 10,000 customers worldwide to protect their funnels, sites and analytics from bots and fake users. Powered by award winning cybersecurity technology, CHEQ offers the broadest suite of solutions for securing the entire funnel, from paid marketing, to on-site conversion, data and analytics.