As companies around the world become increasingly digitized, the relevance of data protection has become an important topic.
In this context, data is information that’s typically provided through digital analysis programmes or other means of information documentation.
Companies of all kinds gather customer data for the purpose of gaining deeper insights into consumer behavior. This data then assists in the development of more efficient loyalty programs and marketing strategies.
The private information handed over by a customer to a company (such as identification, delivery address, bank details, and purchase history) usually winds up sitting in cloud-based or internal platforms with restricted user access.
However, private data can — and often is — leaked. Cyberattacks are an increasing problem globally, and data is often a target.
Due to the Coronavirus cybercrimes have increased dramatically. This post has been updated to share the most important cybersecurity statistics and data for 2023, which you can find here. The damages pertaining to cybercrime are estimated to reach a staggering $6 trillion annually by the end of 2021.
On top of all that, consumers are more concerned than ever about the security of their data. Customer data protection is now a non-negotiable priority.
What can companies do to eliminate further damage to the information chain of data?
Data Technology and Protection: the Missing Link
Despite the shocking statistics on the rise of cyberattacks and how much it costs, there is some good news. A huge portion of recorded data breaches have more to do with negligence than intimidatingly powerful cybercriminals.
What this means is that as long as companies start picking up the slack and putting appropriate security measures in place, the number of data breaches should wind down over the next few years.
The missing link in customer data protection is proficient data security.
The current template for information chains across the world lacks necessary cushioning. It has already caused millions (if not billions) of companies and individuals to become victims of financial loss, operational downtime, reputational damage, and loss of sensitive data.
There are several strategies for better data protection and security that companies need to start implementing. These measures will avoid bolstering the number of breaches that occur every year. Here are some of the most effective ones:
- Launch role-based access — The less people with access to your database, the safer it is. Establish a system where only trusted, allocated individuals are allowed access to customer data and information. Additionally, if you have accounting software or other software with sensitive client information, ensure only a small number of staff have the logins.
- Perform a risk assessment — Ever heard the saying, “hire a thief to catch a thief”? While we definitely don’t recommend hiring a cybercriminal to test for vulnerabilities, an experienced data security professional helps you identify issues and take preventative measures for protecting your customer’s data.
- Regularly back up your database — One of the many other downsides of a data breach is often the loss of information that’s of no use to the hacker, but extremely useful to your company. Make regular back-ups of all important data to avoid major data loss if your security is breached.
- Use containers — Data containers are like secure digital segments that live in digital clouds. They contain all the information or data a company needs to run one particular aspect of business. By separating the different sections of data into protected containers, you only run the risk of losing one small portion of data if it does get breached.
In 2021, companies can no longer afford to leave data protection at the bottom of the list. The task of strategizing rock-solid security protection is paramount to upholding a positive reputation with the public and allowing for a more financially sustainable company future.
Why Customer Data Protection and Security Has Become Non-Negotiable
When a person chooses to invest their time or money with your business in exchange for their private information, the best thing you can do is keep it safe.
Customers entrust you with their information because they believe its protection is a given. Reinforcing that trust by providing them with adequate security must be a high priority for any business — no matter which industry your company pertains to.
The fear around data breaches and malicious use of data has become much more prevalent in the past few years, and with good reason. Breaches are occurring more frequently and with harder force than ever before.
Because of the now freely accessible information around data insecurity, consumers are growing increasingly conscious of the dangers surrounding data breaches.
Companies of all sizes will need to continue to fortify their data protection standards if they want to stand out amongst competitors.