Why failing to keep track of tags could cost you
The spectre of security vulnerabilities and potential for data leakage is a major concern for enterprises, and it’s one that should be taken seriously. Companies spend significant resources trying to prevent malicious hackers from gaining access to their sites and information. Why? Because there’s simply too much to lose if their sites are breached, yet these same companies pay very little attention to an issue that can be just as problematic as hackers: the growing number of third party tracking technologies (referred to as “tags”) on their sites.
Third party tags can create digital blind spots and increase the likelihood of data breach vulnerabilities, but many businesses are completely unaware of the risks they pose. More surprisingly, a significant number of businesses are already aware of these potential issues, but simply ignore them. No matter what their level of awareness is, a majority of companies don’t understand how to defend themselves against these problems. What’s particularly concerning is that the number of individual third party tags is growing every day. The more tags introduced into the web ecosystem, the harder it can be for your IT and marketing teams to discern how each one affects your site security and functionality.
Just what do businesses stand to lose by ignoring the risks posed by third party tags?
Non-secure tags can trigger mixed content warnings on your pages, and users often interpret these warnings as a sign that transactions on a site might not be secure. In fact, our recent joint study with Ponemon Institute discovered that as many as 57 percent of online customers abandon their shopping cart when they receive a mixed content warning. In addition, non-secure tags increase the potential for harmful man-in-the-middle attacks. The result is that it’s costing you easy revenue, but also damaging your brand image as customers flock to competitors in search of a more secure e-commerce experience.
Data leakage, a hot topic right now, can also occur as a result of these unmanaged third party tags. When your site shares the same tag with another site, data that has been collected through that tag can potentially be transferred to other sites using it. That can have tremendous consequences if tags on your site overlap with those of your competitors, who could access this information and use it to their advantage.
As problematic as these issues can be, with the right policies in place, you can protect your site and keep your users’ digital experience at a high level. First and foremost, having an accurate picture of all your tags and how they function is essential for understanding what potential issues could affect your site. Having full transparency into the tags allows you to measure how effectively they are working, determine whether or not there are overlapping tags with your competitors, and identify where and how these third party tags were loaded onto your site. Using that information, you can quickly and easily make decisions about which tags need to be revised, or even removed.
Also pivotal to the digital technology management process is establishing strong vendor management policies. Having agreements in place at the start of a relationship with a vendor grants you greater control over what tags can be placed on your site, and assures you won’t be caught unaware when new tags from unknown, non-secure sources end up on your site.
This problem isn’t going away anytime soon, and too few businesses have instituted the proper procedures and measures to protect themselves. If your company isn’t regularly monitoring tags and vendor agreements, the result could be a loss of revenue, confidence in your brand, and control of your data and your site. But it’s not too late to take the necessary steps to protect your site and customers. Instituting smarter strategies for digital technology management – aided by greater transparency and comprehensive data – is how companies prevent these problems from happening in the future.
Damian Scragg is Ghostery’s Managing Director EMEA
NetNumber: Time for a cloud-native transformation
NetNumber is accelerating the transition in the telecom industry to 5G as it starts a shift to cloud-native architecture to address the fast-paced demands of global subscribers and businesses.
NetNumber is offering the industry’s first cloud-native platform designed to ensure InterGENerational™ network performance addresses both the legacy and next-generation requirements of telecom networks.
“NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of telcos,” said Matt Rosenberg, Chief Revenue Officer of NetNumber.
The platform provides vertical and horizontal scale-out with low latency, coupled with a suite of data replication capabilities, which provide flexible architectural options that can evolve with the changing network over time.
“Cloud-based solutions from other vendors tend to be limited in terms of supporting particular network generations or protocols. We’ve created our latest platform TITAN.IUM to allow customers to take any generation of applications, any generation of legacy services and protocols and move them into the new world of cloud-native architecture,” said Rosenberg.
“This is a really important part for a carrier to harmonise their network, bring data services together, bring legacy with new together in order to make a more effective and efficient network, as well as reduce their cost as they scale forward,” he said.
Established in 1999, NetNumber has fostered a strong team environment that leverages the industry’s best skills to offer software solutions tailored for carriers of all dimensions. Based outside of Boston and with presence in over 20 countries, the company delivers a range of products that address all generations (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) of network functions in the core network, deep rooted security products and services, STIR/ SHAKEN and set of options around data services in more than 90 countries.
Steeped in experience in building telecom solutions, software, protocol stacks, and integration of third party tools, the company’s development organisation has proven to supply to the industry with the most reliable and flexible solutions on the market.
“At NetNumber, we focus on our core competencies – we are dedicated to providing industry expertise in signaling, routing, security, subscriber management and data services. We provide customers a strong ROI through platform-based solutions that reduce Capex and Opex in the long-term,” commented Rosenberg.
Five reasons why customers choose NetNumber:
- Expertise - NetNumber has experts with deep knowledge in signaling/routing, security, and subscriber database management.
- Integration - An industry-first platform brings together domain services, applications, security, and global data services.
- Scale - NetNumber has the ability to seamlessly increase network efficiency using vertical and horizontal scaling.
- Speed - World-class solutions have the power to help companies create new service offerings and accelerate time to ROI.
- Savings - Customers enjoy significant savings in capex and opex, flexible deployment models, and investment protection.
NetNumber and Virgin Mobile MEA
“We're very proud of our partnership with Virgin Mobile MEA as they've taken the concept of the InterGENerational platform into their regional network strategy,” commented Rosenberg. “That’s accelerated how they develop exceptional services across the Middle East and Africa region.
“We work with them hand-in-hand to deliver multiple applications onto our platform which has enabled them to provide exceptional, advanced and innovative services to their customers across the Middle East, who demand high quality services.
“What they've really taken advantage of is scale. What I mean by that is they are putting multiple generations of applications and services onto the same platform and distributing that data across their network. That has resulted in an advantageous position of time to market and operational savings.
“Rather than having different applications for many different vendors that cause operational chaos, they've been able to consolidate that and reduce their operating costs by having everything on one common architecture. We’ve had a long-term relationship with Virgin Mobile in Saudi Arabia, and recently signed an agreement with Virgin Mobile in Kuwait.”
Rosenberg says that with these solutions, Virgin Mobile MEA can take advantage of getting to the market much quicker and faster—which is what today’s discerning customer demands.