Customer data is the lifeline of a business. By keeping track of the details of every customer, you can provide better products and services to suit their needs. It is quite easy to collect customer data. Website registrations, logins, surveys… These are just a few of the methods that can be used to collect data from your customers.
Customer data is easy to acquire, but securing it is another story. In the digital age, proper data management is a top priority by global industries. Customers are becoming wary of possible data breaches that can result in unauthorized access to their data. This will negatively impact a brand’s reputation. For a startup or small-scale business, the loss of customers’ confidence can be disastrous.
For these reasons, businesses must implement strategies to secure their customers’ data. These strategies must exhibit GDPR compliance to strengthen the data security of the business and its customers. This article focuses on four strategies to help any business secure customer data.
1. Invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) tool.
Data security is essential for a business to thrive in the digital world. To ensure that you are securing your customer data, you must first be able to manage it. A customer relationship management tool can help you gather, store, and secure data.
Many CRM tools are available today and the best part is that most are GDPR compliant. This means that you can organize your customer data while keeping it secure from unauthorized access. Securing access is an integral part of making sure that sensitive customer data is safe.
Another advantage of using a CRM tool is the insights you can gain from it. Businesses today use this tool to analyze customer data. This analysis will then help them further enhance their business strategies.
2. Apply data masking methods.
Data masking is another strategy that businesses can use for securing data. It refers to the creation of another set of data that is similar to the authentic customer data. In essence, you will mask your customer data by creating a fake dataset that seems credible to external viewers.
Data masking is a good way to protect sensitive customer information. Many companies use this strategy for training purposes and live customer demonstrations. Data masking allows these companies to present realistic examples to employees or customers while still maintaining data security.
Another use of data masking is for testing security practices that a company uses to secure data. Since the data used is fake, the company can try to crack or reverse engineer several datasets and identify what went wrong in case a data breach occurs.
3. Use data encryption tools.
Data encryption is another widely used strategy for securing data. It is an added layer of security in case a data breach occurs. For instance, if hackers attack your database server, they can potentially have access to your data. But if your data is encrypted, they won’t be able to open it at once. This gives you time to defend against the breach and regain access to your servers.
Several data encryption tools are available in the market today. Some experts will say that storing sensitive customer data on external and offline storage systems is a good way to ensure security. However, many businesses use cloud-based databases to store data due to the sheer volume of the data. In these cases, you can integrate data encryption software into cloud-based servers.
Data encryption tools provide a unique set of encryption and decryption keys. Although these tools can be expensive especially for an enterprise-level version, encrypting data is still one of the best strategies to secure it. You can also select the data that you want to encrypt and secure the other data using other methods to save on costs.
4. Always back up the data.
For startups and big corporations alike, data is collected and organized daily. With the use of a CRM tool, this data can be stored and secured in physical or cloud-based servers. But what happens if there is a data breach? The best-case scenario is that the hackers won’t be able to access the data at all. However, businesses must always be prepared for the worst.
In the worst-case scenario, the data will be lost to hackers. This becomes a huge problem if there are no security strategies in place. If the data is encrypted, it adds a sense of security that the hackers won’t be able to access easily. But the problem now is that the company lost its data.
To avoid this problem, businesses must ensure that there is always a backup and recovery procedure in case the data is lost. This is essential to securing customer data. Regular backups should be scheduled to ensure that the data is protected. Depending on the volume of the data, companies can opt to store the backup in a cloud server or an encrypted external storage system.
Today, data privacy and security are hot topics worldwide. Businesses are prioritizing data security in all aspects of the organization to avoid unwanted infringements. Digital tools like secured digital business cards are also being used to secure internal data.
Several large companies have already experienced data breaches that led to a loss in customer confidence. Although going digital is a step forward, it also comes with significant risks that you should prepare for. The security strategies listed above can prevent data breaches. These strategies can also help keep your data protected even after a breach occurs.