Customer data security is one of the most talked-about topics of 2021. Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, customers are forced to rely on online mediums to fulfill their needs. With so much reliance on online mediums, cybercrimes are mounting every hour. According to CNBC, 15 million customers are engulfed by cybercrimes every day. Although governments worldwide are trying to create safe and secure cyberspace for people, it is still hard to figure out who did what and put them behind bars. Since talks on data confidentiality are mounting, let us first understand what it actually is.
What is Data Confidentiality?
Data confidentiality means safeguarding online data such as passwords, names, phone numbers, email addresses, and bank details from the eyes of hackers. Companies protect their customer data so that no hacker can creep in and steal it. Once stolen, data can be misused in numerous ways. Cybercriminals may use it to withdraw money from customer’s bank accounts, place orders, and sell it on the black market. Moreover, they can ask for ransom in exchange for the data they have stolen. Thus, data confidentiality is as important as having a lock in your home’s front door.
Is Sharing your Confidential Information Risky?
As a customer, your data is primarily your responsibility. It would be best if you wisely chose whom to share it with. Just because a website is asking for your data, you must not give it over. Analyze whether or not there is a need for sharing your information.
Sharing confidential information freely opens the gates for data theft. Whenever you share something online, your information is exposed to the cyber world. They can steal your information, sell it to someone who can further cause trouble. Thus, please don’t risk your data by sharing it freely all around.
5 Pillars to keep Customer Data Safe?
1. Use Multi-Factor Authentication
As a website owner, you must be skeptical about who is visiting your website. To ensure your customer’s and your security, you must employ 2-factor authentication logins on your website. If a customer visits your website, he might have to enter both his password and One Time Password or OTP to log in.
Some companies do not employ such security tactics as they think these things are time-consuming and irritating for the customer. But the fact is, when customers see that they are entering a safe space, they feel much more satisfied and content with the experience.
2. Use Password Managers
Password managers are extremely effective in safeguarding your customer’s information and maintaining password hygiene in an organization. In organizations, many employees have to employ a single account for various purposes. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for such loopholes. To remedy that, you can use password managers to create, encrypt, and save your passwords. Since those passwords are bot-generated, human minds can’t figure it out. Thus, by using password managers, you can save your confidential accounts.
3. SSL Certificates are the need of the hour
SSL or Secure Socket Layer certificate is authorized by the CA or Certificate Authority which resembles that a website is safe and incoming traffic is being monitored. SSL is mandatory in today’s tech-savvy world as it encrypts the communication that your website has with its customers. It protects and safeguards the data transfer and passes it over a secure and safe network so that no cybercriminal can get his/her hands of it.
SSL is a mandatory protocol that all search engines expect your website to have at all times.The presence of SSL largely influences search engine rankings, and your reputation in the online world enhances. You can buy SSL certificate in multiple forms, namely regular (single-domain), multi-domain SAN and wildcard. Regular SSLs only protect your primary domain, whereas wildcard SSL certificate protects both primary and its subdomains as well.
4. Don’t Store Data on Random Places.
Businesses prefer to store their data in various places so that just in case if they lose it from one place, they can retrieve that back from another. But this is a huge threat to customer’s data security. Since you have multiple data storage options, hackers too have different means to steal your data. Thus, you should invest some time and effort in creating a data storage strategy. You can even take expert help in the same. Data storage strategy might not sound interesting to you in the short term, but it is extremely effective a decade down.
5. Keep yourself updated with the Latest Technology.
To weather the storm, you need to prepare for it in advance. When the time comes, you can’t be looking for solutions; you must prepare them now. To do so, you must comply with the latest cybersecurity guidelines. Firewalls, TLS/SSL certs, and anti-virus software are best friends. Cybercrimes are evolving in the same proportion as technology. Hackers are constantly finding ways to neutralize security protocols and pose threats to the existing system. Thus, the best you can do is keeping your system, website, and anti-virus software up to date.
Importance of Data Confidentiality
It is completely normal to ask why I should implement data security measures until you are safely venturing online. But what about when the devil knocks on your door?
Will you be asking the same question then? Data confidentiality protects your website and customers against malware, spyware, ransomware, and phishing attacks. When a data breach happens and a customer loses his/her money, your company has to pay for the loss. Governments have a strict customer data security policy that allows them to impose sanctions on companies; thus, companies have to face heavy penalties. So, yes, data confidentiality is important.
Benefits of Implementing Strict Customer Data Security?
1. Improve Brand Reputation
Brand reputation takes time to build, and just one mishap can turn it into a nightmare. Customers are looking for brands that can assure them their data safety at least. Data safety is the basic requirement of every customer. It is an important spoke in the wheel of reputation. As a business, if you want to build your reputation, you must install security protocols, employ two-factor authentication and take necessary measures. A good security strategy for data protection can increase a brand’s reputation manifold.
2. Neutralize Automated Attacks
Automated attacks are made by using malicious bots that can creep into a system and damage it. These bots do not need cybercriminals to channelize them as they are programmed in such a way that they know exactly what to do with your system. But, if your business employs robust security protocols, there is no need for you to worry as they can take care of such bots.
They do not allow bots to enter your system and steal information or cause a shutdown. Automated attacks are prominent these days due to the over-reliance of businesses on cyberspace.
3. It helps in Keeping your Clients Happy.
Happy clients come by good communication skills, and when they notice your commitment towards the safety of their data and your organization. How safe your employee information is, who has the administrative access, where you keep your most confidential data files all constitute a happy client-business relationship. When a client sees that you have all the security measures in place and is well-prepared for any atrocity, it develops a sense of trust. Thus, maintaining your data security has a huge impact on clients.
4. No Government Intervention
Since the reliance on cyberspace has increased, governments worldwide have become more aware of what is happening in cyberspace. Many countries have already imposed sanctions on companies who are playing with customer data security. Rules and regulations are getting formulated, and fines are being imposed on companies who do not take their customer data protection seriously. These days, if a company has to stay away from government restrictions and interventions, it must have a robust customer data protection policy. And, if you already have it, you can care less about the legal authorities.
These days the customer is the king, and if you want to trade with the king, you must have all the security measures in place. With cyberspaces lurking around, you cannot take any chance. They are always looking for an opening to exploit, and you can very well become their next target. Be skeptical about every customer’s data and keep them as safe as you keep your locker keys. We are sure that by employing the five steps mentioned above, you can safeguard your website from the dirty eyes of cybercriminals. So, make the best use of the five steps given above and keep your customers satisfied.