6 Best Practices for Protecting Customer Data in 2020

How well you protect customer data can directly impact your reputation and limit your organization’s progress. If people perceive that you fall short of safeguarding their information adequately, they’ll resist giving it to you. 

Some may even take their business elsewhere rather than continuing to support you. Here are six data privacy and protection best practices to follow in 2020 and beyond. 

1. Consider Using Two-Factor Authentication for Enhanced Protection

Two-factor authentication (2FA) can significantly cut down on successful breaches associated with compromised passwords. That’s because a person needs a long-term password and a temporary piece of information to access an account. Many companies require a client to type in a password and a numerical code sent to their smartphones, for example. 

A February 2020 study showed that only 25% of IT security professionals had no plans to implement 2FA for customers. Codes sent by text message were the most popular 2FA method selected by organizations, with 41% using it now or planning to soon. 

Relying on 2FA when customers want to access their data you keep or to give an extra layer of protection to employees who work with customer information could prove a smart decision. That’s especially true since there are several 2FA options to consider. Companies can pick the ones that provide tight security without unnecessary friction. 

2. Invest in a CRM Tool to Centralize Your Data Storage Approach

A crucial part of effective data security involves understanding where the information resides. After learning those specifics, you can determine how to move forward with the security requirements for each storage location or type of data residing there. 

Using a customer relationship management (CRM) tool could be an excellent step in the right direction. Suppose your company still primarily depends on physical records and keeps client details in various places instead of one main location. In that case, a CRM can overcome those challenges, help you achieve better data security, and improve your overall workflow.

For example, Nimble is a CRM that brings together data from more than 160 apps into one platform. You can also use it through a web browser, Android and iOS apps, or products like Microsoft Word and Excel. Besides helping you capitalize on connections with customers, a CRM can go a long way in supporting your data privacy goals. 

3. Ensure Your Cybersecurity Strategy Covers Customer Data

A comprehensive approach to cybersecurity can and should cover a multitude of areas. It may address how to train employees to spot phishing attempts and which access control measures to use for remote workers. Endpoint protection measures and data backup plans also factor into many cybersecurity plans for today’s businesses. Those topics are crucial to address, but you should also explore how cybersecurity safeguards customer information. 

Getting the advice of a third party is an excellent way to protect customer data through better cybersecurity. The professionals you hire will probably spot several vulnerabilities you previously missed or did not think of at all. Knowing where the weak points exist is the first step toward fixing them and preventing future issues. 

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Encrypting the customer data collected by your organization is another wise choice. That approach makes it more difficult for hackers to use the information once they obtain it. 

4. Familiarize Yourself With Data

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