As the new year begins, one of the biggest topics of discussion is data. Who has it, how it’s being used, and how best to protect it. In a recent survey by IBM, 75 percent of people surveyed stated that they would abstain from purchasing a product if its manufacturer could not be trusted to protect their data. As many of today’s most promising innovations rely on data, it is critical for companies that collect and store data to ensure customers that their information is in safe hands. Here are five ways that you can show your customers how much data matters to you.
1. Lead by Example
Often enough, your customers’ first impression of your company is your corporate website. This is the place to set the tone when it comes to data security importance. Make sure that your website is secure with HTTPS certificates. This shows your customers right from the get-go that you value secure communications. At the same time, you can let your customers know that their concerns about privacy and security are also important by including the proper cookie disclaimers and consent forms. Many companies are even going one step further with privacy-by-design - meaning that all application, software, user settings are set to the most secure by default. In this case, users have to opt in to share more data.
2. Data Security Awareness
One of the simplest ways to guarantee data security is creating a sensitivity for it. In this day and age, when we have become accustomed to sharing our personal data with any number of companies, products, and applications, many people have become desensitized to the importance of cautiously sharing and forwarding data. With proper training you can help your service technicians avoid critical mishandling of customer and company data.
3. Two-Factor Authentication
Making data accessibility as user-specific as possible is one successful approach for preventing data theft. Though a password selected by a user is one safety measure, the more such measures you employ, the safer the data. This is why many companies have opted for two-factor authentication. Using a combination of passwords, devices, and even user biometrics, companies can make it significantly more difficult for malevolent actors to gain access to data. At the same time, users are in no way inconvenienced as they can activate these extra security measures with readily available devices, like their mobile phones, or even with more unique features like fingerprints or facial biometrics.
4. Mobile Device Management (MDM) Software
In the digital age, field service technicians rely almost entirely on their mobile devices: for knowledge transfer, communications, invoicing and more. However, giving technicians access to company and customer information on their private mobile devices also poses a potential data security threat. Many companies looking to strike a balance between high hardware costs and tight security opt for CYOD. In this scenario, employees are able to “Choose Your Own Device” from a pre-approved list of options. Either the company or the employee covers the cost of the device. However, since there is a select number of devices to choose from, companies can more easily pre-configure security tools and provide troubleshooting support. Since employees still have some control over the technology on their devices, mobile device management software is still essential as it allows the company to monitor all devices using backend software and an app installed on employee devices. MDM software also lets you provide end-to-end encryption between all devices, and completely wipe sensitive data from devices remotely should the they be lost or stolen.
Companies looking for maximum level security are turning towards a Corporate Owned, Personally Abled (COPE) approach. In this case, the company is not only responsible for procuring devices and retaining ownership of them as well as installing various security tools, but it is also able to define and limit what applications are downloadable for personal use. This is the best way to mitigate any potential threats from unknown and insecure third-party applications.
5. Security First, Innovation Second
Last but not least is an understanding for priorities. Data security should always take precedence over quick fixes and the latest tech trends. Rushing to implement the newest innovations may be in the best interest of profit margins and expediency, but it is not always in the best interest of customer and company data security. Before you hurry to transition to chatbots, employ augmented reality service tools, or hand over decision-making to artificial intelligence-powered algorithms, make sure you have completed your security homework: Encrypt all your customer and company data. Check that new tools do not result in compromises to business procedures or gaps in security measures. Create a disaster plan in the event of data hacks or cyberattacks. Only once you are sure that can proceed safely should you take the next step towards integrating new technologies.
When it comes to data security, transparency is key. The more your customers know about how you manage their data, the safer they will feel providing their information and using your products. And customer trust is a cornerstone for any successful business.
Read more about this topic:
- Implementing a BYOD Strategy: 8 Tips for Mobile Security
- BYOD Security & Policies for Field Service Organizations