The internet had made our lives easier. You can find the answer to a question instantly in a couple of clicks instead of waiting on hold to speak to someone. But with this ease comes a price – when was the last time you entered your credit card information online? What about more personal information like a driver’s license or a Social Security number? Our whole lives now exist online and we trust the companies we interact with to keep our personal information safe. That’s why large data breaches make headline news and sometimes cost companies millions of dollars. So how can you create a data security solution your customers will love? Here are some key steps…
- Understand EXACTLY what level of security each customer needs – Simply put, some industries require higher levels of security than others. You probably don’t need to encrypt data in transit between systems if the only information is a last name and zip code. Make sure to consider the data storage requirements of your customer’s industry and that at a minimum you comply with what is required. It’s also important to factor in cost when evaluating your level of security. Protecting your data should be a top priority, but don’t break the bank for a solution that is significantly stronger than what you actually need.
- Create and maintain a security policy – Now that you’ve determined what exactly is in your data security solution, it’s time to get it all down in writing. This is important because it will allow you to evaluate any gaps in your security solution as well as assign stakeholders and employees to each component. Many organizations also create a “data flow” security diagram that illustrates how the data enters and exits their solution. Once you create your policy, it’s important to remember that this isn’t something you finalize and put on the shelf. It’s a policy that is always evolving and changing. Schedule multiple times each year to review and update your security policy so it’s current and addresses the evolving data security needs of your customer.
- Internal data security staff isn’t enough – As you schedule your policy review meetings, it’s important to include data security experts. You may have a data security professional (or even a team of them) but they are often working on a day-to-day basis with your solution to make sure it’s operating as efficiently as possible. Outside experts provide an unbiased opinion and will advise you on the data security industry – one of the fastest moving industries in all of technology – and will help you to develop strategies that will keep your solution ahead of current trends and threats. No company can handle data security all on their own and risking your customer’s data isn’t a good idea. As a customer support software provider, we meet with data security experts often and recommend you do the same.
- Test, test, and then test some more – In the same way no company can handle data security on their own, a company should think twice before handling all their data security testing internally. You can’t simulate every single event that could happen with your data and it’s important to get an outside perspective on your data security solution from people who look for vulnerabilities on a daily basis. Make sure you plan, deploy, and mix-up your data tests in a timely fashion to ensure the data is secure in multiple ways. Many companies will have a regular testing protocol as well as special testing procedures when any major changes have been made to the data security process. Finally, don’t forget the main goals of testing are to keep your data from being hacked or compromised and to efficiently enact backup recovery plans if data is corrupted. Test with a purpose and you will be successful in keeping your data secure and intact.
In conclusion, your customers will love the data security solution you make for them if you take the time to tailor the solution to their needs. Create an exhaustive security policy and make sure people are held accountable for their portion of the policy. Finally, don’t forget to ask for help as data security is too important and moves too quickly for you to keep up all by yourself. A data security solution is at its best when the customers don’t talk about it, and these tactics will help you to create a solution that will keep your customers completely silent.
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