As electronic systems have become the backbone of business operations, customer data is accessed, used and stored at various stages. For instance, e-commerce shoppers are required to enter their personal information and card details during the checkout process. Similarly, those registering for a website or portal are asked for their personal details. Medical records of patients are another example of user data. Whichever is the form of personal data; it can be reused by the business later for various purposes such as consumer research and targeted marketing. Now that private data no longer remains private once it enters e-records, there is a need to take adequate data security measures to ensure that it is not used for fraudulent purposes.
Why data security is to be taken so seriously?
Over the years, the significance of data security has increased. This is primarily attributed to the fact that the threats to data are increasing as hackers have access to sophisticated hacking techniques. Seeing these threats, regulatory authorities are coming up with stringent security and control measures which ensure that businesses give extra attention to safeguarding the personal details of the consumers. For instance, the upcoming implementation of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU will impose a regulatory compliance on every business dealing with the data of the residents of the EU. With this, businesses will need to give due attention to data security. Let us see the reasons that it needs to be taken so seriously:
Data is a business asset
Consumer data is no longer a set of names, addresses and numbers. It is a powerful business asset that can be leveraged throughout its lifetime to generate key information about the current and prospective customers. Businesses make an in-depth analysis of the data to gather insights about the customer behavior, preferences and demographics. These insights serve as a reliable predictive tool to formulate the marketing plans for revenue optimization, risk mitigation and long-term policy formulation. In this way, data can generate future benefits which makes it asset for any organization. Like any other asset, it needs to be kept secure and confidential by the business.
Data security influences business reputation
Since all businesses are concerned with selling of goods and services, customers need to transact with then to pay and buy these goods and services. Even as they buy a single item and pay online, they have to share their private financial information with the business. As they do so, they place their trust on the business and expect them to keep their information secure. The reputation of the business depends greatly on its ability to keep this confidential data secure at all stages. For this reason, businesses would ensure that they keep this data safe so that their reputation is not affected in the long run. Even though no genuine business would risk the data intentionally and take the best measures to secure it, there may still be threats from hackers, leaks and security breaches. When anything like this happens, the risk to the business is far greater than that of financial loss. It risks the reputation of the organization, which takes years to build but may be destroyed in seconds.
What can businesses do to strengthen data security?
Businesses of all sizes are at risk to security breaches. They need to take relevant measures for strengthening the security of confidential customer information. Even if they have to spend on these measures, the cost is completely justified. Here are a few preventive measures that can be taken for this purpose:
Data backup: Regular data backups involve copying, organizing and storing the digital information on a regular basis so that they can be retrieved in the event of a security breach. Backups can be taken on physical data storage devices or on cloud/dedicated servers.
Data recovery: The next measure is the recovery of data which is no longer accessible as it is corrupted or damaged. Regular backup ensures that the business is able to recover it whenever there is a need.
Virus and spam protection: Virus and malware impose a massive threat to data they can access confidential information and damage it. Another measure that ensures data security is a robust virus and spam protection strategy.
Firewalls: Firewalls are the network security systems, which consistently monitor the network traffic and also control it on the basis of fixed security rules. They act as a barrier between an internal network and any external network, ensuring that no outsider can access the data of the business.
Considering the importance of data security, it becomes crucial to take the relevant measures. Finding a company such as Cisco Partner Secure Data Technologies, is the first step in this direction. Expert professionals ensure that your business data and reputation are never at stake due to data threats.