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The Urgent Need for a Digital Marketing Assurance Platform

By Josh Manion, CEO of Vault JS | January 1, 2022

Digital marketing assurance platform

In 2009, my team invented the modern tag management system. Back then, enterprise websites had an average of only 3 to 4 JavaScript tags on every page, but a solution was needed to support a growing universe of martech tools relying on those tags. Today, enabled by tag management systems, the number of tags on an average enterprise web page has increased to more than 90.

Martech tools deliver incredible value, yet as their use rapidly expanded, we began to witness leaks of customer personally identifiable information (PII) through JavaScript tags. Some of these leaks were due to third-party tools attempting to gather as much customer information as possible. Some were accidental, such as mistakes from IT, marketing or agency partners. And others were perpetuated by a bad actor with malicious intent. In fact, recent data shows that a full 59% of companies experienced a data breach caused by a third-party vendor.

These losses of PII can be devastating for the enterprise. They greatly harm a company’s reputation, and result in lost customers, lawsuits and even large potential fines from legislation such as GDPR, CCPA or COPA. Worse yet, they often go completely unnoticed for months.

The industry clearly needed a solution, and tag management systems were not set up to deliver it. That’s why we created Vault JS and introduced the concept of Digital Marketing Assurance to the world.

The Vault JS Digital Marketing Assurance Platform (DMAP) is the first and only solution that truly enables organizations to take advantage of all the useful digital marketing technologies that are available, while also providing the certainty that customer PII is safe.

The Risks from MarTech/AdTech Tags

The explosion in marketing tools has also meant an equally big increase in risk. That’s because each of those martech tags connects to other tags and files outside of the page, and each of these connect to other tags and files, which connect to others. Companies with robust digital marketing programs have hundreds of third-party connections, many of which they are often completely unaware of. The complexity can be daunting; following all those connections, close to impossible.

Plus, these third-party code files are continuously changing and updating. The average we see with our enterprise clients is at the level of thousands of changes per month. Many of those changes are relatively benign, such as changing the unique ID that identifies a visitor or changing the timestamp to break caching. But some of these changes are also significant code alterations or additions used to grab valuable customer data on purpose, or even by accident. These changes could also represent activity from a hacker. Without someone carefully tracking each change along the entire network, there is simply no way to know which changes are problematic, and no way to protect customer data from ending up in the wrong hands.

Until now.

Protecting PII

The Vault JS Digital Marketing Assurance Platform uses a powerful and effective combination of artificial intelligence and human analysis. Our continual monitoring system identifies every code change in our client’s tag ecosystem. It filters those that are benign, and flags anything suspicious.

Any potential issues are then immediately investigated by experts who live and breath JavaScript. Our team members are security, privacy, and digital marketing experts all in one. They study the entire network and monitor these technologies over hundreds of thousands of URLs, enabling them to identify the false alerts and notify our clients only when a real threat emerges.

That’s what makes the Vault JS solution so unique. It delivers sophisticated artificial intelligence combined with an experienced technical team, working in unison.

Built for the Digital Marketer

Protecting client data is no longer solely the responsibility of Security or the CISO. According to accounting firm KPMG, “These threats require an integrated approach, embedding cyber in all technology-fueled growth decisions.” Forward-thinking digital marketers recognize that, as the domain expert of the technologies they run, they also bear the responsibility of monitoring the third-party JavaScript they deploy.

Not only is protecting client data a cross-functional responsibility, but at Ensighten, we noticed that our clients’ security teams weren’t truly engaging with third-party technologies. IT or Security might run a pen test, request contractual protections or even just mandate the use of minimal third-party tools, but none of these strategies enable the digital marketer to do his/her job more effectively and more safely. Before now, there just was no simple way to reconcile this issue. That’s what a Digital Marketing Assurance Platform was built to do.

No Code to Add

Our many years of experience in the industry taught us the hazards of adding even more code to an enterprise site. Not only does it create additional internal complexity, it can also negatively impact the user experience. Ironically, every piece of embedded code also introduces another vector for attack. These are all contrary to the goals of digital marketing assurance.

That’s why one of the remarkable aspects that we built into Vault JS is its ability to monitor the entire existing and continually changing tag ecosystem, all without making any changes to the site, or adding any new code.

The Value of a Digital Marketing Assurance Platform (DMAP)

A DMAP enables digital marketers to benefit from martech tools without worry, knowing that their customers and their companies are free from the dangers of stolen or misappropriated consumer data. Implementing a Digital Marketing Assurance Platform means digital marketers can…

  • Use the best martech tools to out-market their competition
  • Gain peace of mind about customer PII with an important additional layer of protection
  • Ensure the best user experience
  • Free themselves from investigating alerts or monitoring privacy SLAs

Help Spread the Word

If you found this interesting, please share this article on your own social channels so that we can distribute this information to more marketing technology professionals.

Customer PII is everyone’s responsibility. As an industry, let’s improve the way we protect it.

Finally, if you want to evaluate your own risk, we can run a custom report—without adding any code to your site—that will model your entire tag ecosystem and identify areas of concern. Click here to learn more.

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