What’s your company’s Twitter password? If you know the answer to that question (or if it’s written on a Post-It), then your brand is at risk.
In terms of moving to the cloud, marketing is probably the most aggressive function in any organization. Every new communication channel or social network adds risk to your business... whether it’s a hijacked Twitter account or an important file that was downloaded to the wrong computer by mistake.
It used to be that marketing campaigns would take weeks to plan with several more weeks to analyze results. Today, a single tweet or post can go from concept to execution in seconds - sometimes with very negative results. Your company’s brand is in the hands of any employee, contractor, or agency who has one of your passwords.
But marketing is probably the most ill-equipped team to deal with the threats of these emerging technologies. From AdWords to Zuora, each web service is managed via a web app, and each of these web apps requires a username and password, which are often shared. So while companies race to establish a presence on the newest social network, the technology to protect the brand is falling further behind.
Sharing credentials can be hazardous to your brand
In my 17 years in marketing, I’ve been lucky enough to have been a part of teams big and small - from a one-man army to vast organizations with thousands. While the technologies have changed over the years, sharing has always been a constant. Today, that means coordinating campaigns using technologies like marketing automation apps, content management systems, social networks, and ads platforms.
While the migration to web apps increases accessibility, that same access creates headaches when it comes to account and password management. At present, I’m juggling over 50 accounts and passwords for marketing-specific web apps.
If your accounts are shared by multiple users (e.g. temps, interns, agencies), then you have lost accountability. What happens when someone leaves the team? How easy is it for you to change the password on every account - if you even know which ones - they had access? But even for web apps where each user has their own account (e.g. Facebook, Google AdWords), you still have a nightmare managing users across dozens of web-based marketing apps.
Most organizations don’t have a solution for managing accounts and passwords, and they’ll often ignore the problem hoping that nothing bad ever happens (which it always does).
So, what’s the answer?
The more that marketing teams are reliant upon web apps, the more they need a way to secure and manage them. A browser that lives in the cloud enables centralized account management, and that makes life easier for both admins and users.
With Silo, admins can assign super-complex passwords because users don't have to remember them. Usernames and passwords are securely inserted automatically for users, and because they never knew the credentials in the first place, users can’t circumvent Silo by logging in from their regular browser or a mobile app. Users now have one password which gives them secure access to dozens or even hundreds of accounts.
Admins can also share accounts with entire teams; or just as easily, they can cut off a single user or group of users from all their web apps - even mid-session. Again, because users don’t know the passwords on their web apps, they can’t bypass these controls.
Another benefit for marketing teams is that a cloud-based browser simplifies the user experience. Accessed from a work laptop, home desktop, or iPad on the road, a cloud-based browser looks and acts the same regardless of the device. Compatibility issues with Flash and Java go away. Software patches and updates are a thing of the past. And since everything is running in the cloud, there’s never any data residue on the end device when the session is closed - no cookies, no history, no temp files.