In the data driven world, the data of the customers has turned out to become the most important for businesses who wish to rapidly evolve around the expectations of their clients and customers. We do have studies that have shown us how businesses have failed to safeguard the data of their clients and customers, leading to an epidemic of the data theft. In one of the studies conducted researchers showed that more than 21 major data breaches by the global enterprise companies turned out to affect hundreds and millions of their customers.
It is of no surprise that there has been an increase focus of the government when it comes to the corporate data security. Different countries will have different frame works. Say for example in a country like Canada you will get to see PIPEDA and CASL and GDPR in EU. The provisions in these regulations turn out to vary from one and another, though they have some common themes like in the following:
- The organizations need to obtain a clear and informed consent before they go ahead and collect and use their personal information.
- Organizations that have been collecting the data of their customers and have been using them for their business purpose, need to have well designed policies on how the employees are permitted to utilize and handle the data of the customers and how it has to be stored.
- All the methods being used in data collection should adhere to the pertinent regulations.
- The companies will have to disclose when there is a breach of customer data.
While these are regulations that currently turn out to exist as an inconsistent patch of work, and the companies should only expect more of consistent data regulations and stronger penalties. But apart from the mere compliance of the law it is important to understand why the companies need to protect their customer data.
Why do you need to care about protecting your customer data?
We all know that actions speak louder than words. And taking measures to have your data protected will ensure if there is a future data breach, then the damage to your data will be mitigated. Even when the customer data base breaches are caused by the third-party vendors then your customers will hold you accountable.
It is always better to take steps in order to be more compliant with the regulations of data usage, rather than further down the road when you might actually turn out to face harsh penalties for failing to safeguard the customer information. Data breaches even today come with a host of anticipated costs. And beyond the costs of the low business and the lost customers there are a few varieties of expenses that you often fail to consider.
Say for example then additional costs incurred by the data breach response, the promotional costs in order to improve the customer relations, hiring investigators outside along with the data security experts in order to ensure that the breach does not turn out to happen again.
What has to be done to protect your customer data?
- Researching new vendors thoroughly: If your data breach turns out to happen as a result of the bad practices, the onus here is still on you because your customers trusted that you have kept their information safe. In short having a background check done, getting references, and then investigatingwhat are the data safety practices a potential vendor has in place.
- Doing a data audit: In order to have your plan really very effective, it is important for you to do a complete audit of your data collection practices along with the data storage, along with the inventory of data that you have in file. It is also important for you to understand what types of data you need to collect, where is it stored and what protections do you actually need to have around that data.
It is important enough to understand that using the collected data base of your customers increases the risks of exposure, especially when the data is being transmitted from one individual to the other or within the other parts of the organization. While making a data security plan it is important that you examine the various levels of your organization in order to understand and know how the information gets exchanged within your organization.