Data is a precious fuel the digital world runs on. No matter the industry you’re in, it’s highly likely that you are collecting, storing and sharing information about your customers. This data could be email addresses, mailing addresses, phone numbers and credit card/bank account details. If your business collects and stores any such data, you must give due consideration to customer privacy and data security.
Here are some reasons why you should do everything you can to protect customer data.
Compliance is Not a Choice Anymore
Whether or not you believe your business is at risk for data breach, you are legally obliged to take preventive measures to fight data breach. For instance, every business should comply with the Data Protection Act 1998 when using information about employees, customers or vendors. There are other requirements that vary from industry to industry. For example, every small financial business should also comply with FSA regulations.
Then there’s the GDPR, which requires website owners to protect any customer data they collect on their website.
Security Leaks can Tarnish Your Brand
There have been instances of companies paying hefty fines for failing to take appropriate measures to safeguard their customers’ data. Forget legal action, a security breach can tarnish your reputation and erode customer trust in your brand, which will affect your bottom line at the end of the day.
Look Beyond Firewalls and Cybersecurity
If you believe that by installing the right mixture of hardware and software, you will be able to reduce your exposure to data theft, think again! Technology is only one part of the data security puzzle. You could still be exposed to data breaches.
Consider this situation: you have installed the best security software on all the computers in your office. However, one fine day a client rings in and wants to know which credit card is registered with you for their account. Your employee authenticates the caller by verifying their name and address, looks up the information on file and shares it with the customer. Only, the caller is not a customer, but actually a criminal who got a hold of your customer’s name and address in your rubbish bin.
As you can appreciate, data security risk is not limited to technology, especially in small and medium businesses.
Those are three most important reasons why you should protect customer data. But the benefits of protecting customer data are myriad. To fully appreciate the importance of protecting customer data and having a disaster recovery plan in place, we highly recommend a free consultation with one of our data protection specialists in Cardiff. Talk to us today.