The first incident was by far the most massive known high-profile hacks in recorded history, and it dealt a painful blow to the already-floundering company that was then set to be taken over by Verizon.
That event helps us establish two truths about compromised network security:
- Data breaches can and will deal a significant blow to your company’s reputation; and
- Companies will face severe legal liabilities once news of the breach gets out.
So, now that we’ve covered how failing to secure your company’s customer data is a recipe for disaster, we can now move on to the good stuff.
What is Data Security?
Before we go into explaining the importance of your customers’ data security, let’s define what data security means.
In the business context, data would be any information you collect that can be used to make decisions and get/stay in touch with clients and customers.
Examples of data:
- Complete names
- Phone numbers
- Email addresses
- Order history
- Credit card information; etc.
With that in mind, data security would encompass any and every attempt to protect that data from anyone who may want to use the information for illegal or immoral activities.
Moreover, it also involves meeting certain federal, local, and state security regulations for processing this data.
The New Oil of the Modern World
In the digital world, everything runs on data. Even our marketing strategies are mostly dependent on what data we obtain from people. And it looks like our consumers know this as well.
It’s incredible how people have become savvier with how their data is being used. They know that the products and services delivered to them are primarily based on data they’ve provided so far.
However, as the image above shows, the consumer population shares mixed sentiments about how companies are using their data. Some think it’s perfectly fine as long as they get better experiences or offers in return, while others find it an invasion of privacy.
In general, it’s safe to assume that whatever data we do obtain should be treated with great care and caution, especially considering the growing concern people have about cybersecurity.
Data Security As A Driving Force For Your Business’ Success
So, now that we’ve understood the value and responsibility involved with consumer data, let’s shed light on how investing in data security be lead to your business’ growth:
More Trust Equals More Business
The more you make customers feel their data is in safe hands with you, the more trust you build. And the more confidence you create, the more confident they’ll be in paying for your goods and services.
What’s more, trust is what causes a customer to shop with you for years, always to choose you over competing businesses and going out of their way to provide you with both positive and negative feedback with the intent of helping you out.
It’s Data That’s Exclusive to Your Business Alone
The longer you’ve stayed in business, the more expansive and detailed your customer database is. And this is a goldmine of information that any hacker or competitor would love to get their hands on.
The last thing you want is for people to misuse the data or use it to their advantage, leaving your company with a shattered reputation and upturned customer relationships.
To keep your business-to-customer relationship in balance, significant effort and resources must be put into protecting your customer database from the threat of cyber-attacks and compromise.
Doing so allows your business to continue to expand by retaining already-loyal customers and catch the attention of potential ones who believe their data is safe and secure with you.
It’s Your Main Resource for Data-Driven Marketing
All marketing should be data-driven. Data provides the answers of the who, what, when, where, and why of that can lead to more effective decision-making. What’s more, it produces more actionable results that your business can use to create compelling marketing strategies or refine existing ones.
Data-driven marketing, however, may require the use of advanced analytics tools. This is especially true when you’re handling Big Data, which is the term used when dealing with huge volumes of data, as is the case with larger businesses.
Example of Big Data tools that have been popular with many businesses in the past is Apache Hadoop, Sqoop, or even the tried-and-tested Microsoft Excel.
A Closer Look at Today’s Data Security Problems
Most businesses are only using single-level protection on their network. And the lack of more strict staff-monitoring methods also puts a company at risk of illegal data gathering from their own IT people.
The challenges get even more complicated if you’re dealing with Big Data, which often involves enormous chunks of information that must be protected from the threat of a cyber-attack.
The good news is that there are numerous ways to add an extra layer of security to your business, such as the following:
- Hire an outsourced DPO
- Have your security team do regular sanity-check meetings
- Regular data backup and updates
- Restrict access to vital information
For smaller businesses, we suggest using updated and powerful antivirus tools, as well as requesting the assistance of IT security professionals that you can trust to do the job properly.
Tying It All Together
Securing customer information plays a massive role in any business’ growth. It’s the life-blood of data-driven marketing, which uses refined marketing techniques based on valuable customer insights.
And if you’re determined on making your business a success, then investing in cybersecurity is more than just an option; it’s a must. This, however, requires the right people and the right tools to get the job done. And they don’t often come at a low price, given the responsibility and complexity of what you need them to do.
But the money you invest in your data security will reap bigger and better rewards for you in the long run. As long as you don’t fall into the trap of underestimating or not utilizing the power of data, then you can be sure that you’ll be getting your money’s worth and more.
You might also like