Customer data should be to a company what the crown jewels are to the royals –valuable and protected beyond all measures.
In light of recent hacks, however, including credit monitoring agency Equifax’s alarming data breach that left up to 143 million U.S. customers’ vulnerable, companies are being forced to recognize their susceptibilities and strengthen their security measures.
We cannot blame customers for their hesitation or lack of trust in companies. It is our servers that host customer data, therefore, the duty rests upon our shoulders to be constantly evolving our strategies for safeguarding this information.
The following are effective steps that your company can take to ensure that it has covered every base in the realm of protecting customer information:
While encryption seems like an obvious basic step towards protecting data, not all encryption measures are as sound as one may assume.
For example, while online credit card payment providers such as Visa ensure that their retailers encrypt card information, if the vendor stores the payment details on their website – they are susceptible to a data breach.
This is of course unless the company website has gone to all lengths to ensure that their security measures are up to date.
No, you shouldn’t allow your employees or customers to adhere to one of the age-old (and easily cracked) password models, such as house number + street name = password.
The fact of the matter is, if your business does not have a minimum password requirement that makes sure each employee and customer includes punctuation marks, numbers, and capital and lowercase letters within it, you are exposing your data to potential hacks.
With bots out there trained to continuously guess passwords, it’s imperative that both your customers and employees are strategic about their passwords.
Keep what you Need
You don’t require your customer’s credit card information after a purchase has been processed, so why store it on your server? Yes, it makes it easier for customers to make repeat payments, but is the risk worth the reward?
This is where online credit card payment providers come in handy, because they can take the pressure off you by storing all your customer’s pertinent information on their advanced server.
At the end of the day, all you really need to know about your customers is their name, email and home address. So stick to storing the basics.
Stay up-to-date with Technologies
If you store your company data on your own server, it’s critical that you update and patch your software frequently.
Furthermore, if your company stores customer data on the cloud, it is your duty to confirm that the cloud vendor is in compliance with data centre industry standards.
Test your Measures
Simply trusting that you’ve done your due diligence after implementing or adhering to the aforementioned tactics for protecting customer data does not suffice.
In order to confirm that your protection methods are working, you’ll need to regularly test for holes in your system. To do so, some companies choose to bring in a cyber security firm to assess their security measures on a daily basis.
Have a Plan
Unfortunately, even the companies with the tightest security measures can be hacked. Therefore, it is wise for any business storing customer data online to have a plan for if the worst ever occurs.
Should a cyber attack ever hit your data, having a plan in place for how your company will handle communication with customers and employees will end up being of great.
At the end of the day, if your company remains committed to protecting its data through both constant vigilance of its security system and keeping updated on all things to do with encryption and data protection – you can rest assured knowing that you have brought your best defense to the frontlines of your servers’ frontier.
At Innovative Vision, we ensure the safety of our client’s data through all of the techniques we have touched on in this article. If you’re looking to outsource your contact centre and are eager to learn more about our process, drop us a line today!