Many human interactions are built on trust. In businesses, the same principle applies. Customers wish only to work with a company they can fully trust. Keeping customer data safe and cyber-crime free is how a successful customer-company relationship is maintained.
Any form of breach of private client data is bad news to a company. It translates into a bad reputation, which often gets bad enough to cost you some clients. Therefore, as a business owner, you need to ensure that there are no loose ends when it comes to personal and private client information.
Here are seven reliable ways you can protect your customer’s data:
1. Limit Access To Consumer Info
Not every member of your organization needs to see all the client information in your possession. Specific departments need access to specific information.
It is best to have a protocol that reviews the access to customer information on a case by case basis. Reducing the number of people with access to the data reduces the risk of it falling into the wrong hands.
2. Collect Only The Information That Is Required
Ask only for data that is necessary. This limits the amount of valuable customer data in your possession. Furthermore, collecting a cache of sensitive information simply presents hackers with a large variety of what to steal.
Offer your customers an option of what information to share provided that they meet the bare minimum that your business needs to serve them properly.
3. Implement Top Cybersecurity Protocols
The best way to secure information is to set up proper protocols to protect it. You need to have proper encryption and coding. Hackers understand the basics of coding. Do not opt for cheap encryption software at the risk of the security of data and, consequently, the image of your company.
Encryption technologies keep evolving by the day. Frequent reviews are essential to avoid any attacks. Stay in touch with the latest advancements. Update your encryption technology periodically.
Although the frequent updating of encryption protocols will result in extra costs, you will rest assured that you have proper data security measures in place.
4. Destroy Data After Using It
After the data you collected has served its purpose, you may no longer need it. In such cases, it is best to get rid of it. Storing data even after it has been used means leaving vulnerable areas for cybercriminals to take advantage of.
Remove this possibility by destroying all the data that you are not using. While doing this, you should reassure your customers that your security measures are in their best interest.
5. Secure Data During Transmission
It is not only essential to protect the data while it is static but also when you are sharing it. Put in place proper, up-to-date encryption protocols. Ensure appropriate setup, configuration, and that the SSL is valid. Failure to do this leaves you at the mercy of cybercriminals.
6. Hold Employees Accountable
Even with current security protocols in place, the mishandling of data by employees undermines data security and protection. All company employees should be held responsible for the improper handling of information.
In regard to this, there is a need for employees to be made aware of the sensitivity of customer information. Ensure every employee understands how critical consumer data is and, most importantly, how they should protect it from hackers.
7. Proper Compliance Certifications
Compliance certifications (SOC 2) refers to a framework used to determine whether a company’s practices are effective at safeguarding the security of client and customer data.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accounts developed the SOC 2 following growing concerns over data security and privacy. Your business should have a recent and comprehensive SOC 2 report that proves that the measures of data security you have in place are efficient.
Compliance with SOC 2 shows that your company has a guarantee to safeguard your customer’s information. With this report, you have the upper hand over your competitors in your industry. With SOC 2 compliance, your business continues running smoothly, and your customers are assured of data security.
With increasing competition and growing technology, the only way to ensure that you remain among the best is to focus on customer satisfaction. Data security is a crucial component of this.
Any data breach leaves a negative impact on your image. This will translate into a loss of customer trust and, eventually, loss of customers. It is best to prevent this eventuality by taking the protection of customer data seriously.
Keep up with trends, stay innovative and proactive, and settle for cutting edge technology in order to remain at par with the competition. Think of data security as a way to grow your business. Clearly, you have a lot to lose if you do not implement solid data protection measures.