For the most part, data is exchanged daily across an enterprise—some of it structured and easily managed and organized, while some of it remains unstructured, transmitted as Big Data across the Internet of Things (IoT), requiring advanced data analytics to mine it for value. However, while the quality and content of the data may vary, once it enters your systems one standard remains constant—the need to safeguard it against vulnerabilities and ensure confidentiality is maintained throughout its use.
While this practice is a must for any business, there are many instances where a data breach means more than just a loss of money or even a loss of business. For instance, in both the healthcare and financial industries, the mishandling of client data could be utterly detrimental, crumbling the foundation of a company and severely threatening its future.
The Price of Vulnerability: Loss of Money, Business, and Customer Loyalty
A 2015 global research report sponsored by IBM and conducted by information security and privacy experts Ponemon Institute examined the results of a data breach across 350 companies in 16 industry sectors, each of which experienced a prior data breach ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 compromised records. In all, the average per capita cost of a breach increased fro $145 to $154, increasing the total financial impact from $3.5 million to $3.8 million, a 23 percent jump since 2013.
Yet, monetary consequences are only one part of the overall picture. Increasingly, customers are placing their loyalty in companies with proven track records of data security, and are weary to even consider giving their business away to an organization with a less-than-stellar security reputation. In fact, a recent Global Consumer Sentiment Survey conducted by international digital security company Gemalto found that 65 percent of customers would never, or are very unlikely to, do business with a company that had experienced a data breach resulting in stolen financial information, and only 50 percent of customers feel that companies take the protection and security of customer data seriously enough.
Standing Out in Security: How CRM Can Help Companies Keep it Confidential
Data is most vulnerable to attack when it’s left unguarded—whether that means in loose stacks on an office desk, scattered in various folders on legacy software installed across multiple computers, or even a combination of the two. Staying on top of all incoming leads, project milestones, customer updates, and profile information is essential to ensuring that nothing slips through the cracks—though manpower alone is rarely enough, as it leaves room for human error. Your employees are busy performing their assigned job functions, and keeping up with influxes of information can easily overtake their time and reduce their functionality and performance.
To this end, an automated, on-premise CRM system can help capture the important data insights your teams need, organize them into manageable and convenient formats, and make sure they’re always accessible for all team members—and inaccessible to anyone without specific permissions. Built-in analytics can even help sort through incoming Big Data, retaining only the insights most important to your company. In addition, maintaining centralized control in-house increases executive oversight and allows for a more hands-on management structure, helping to ensure that data is routed only to approved individuals, and in the event that a breach is suspected, enables a quicker and more seamless remediation. As a result, not only can teams work smarter and more effectively, businesses—and the customers who rely on them—can breath a little easier.
“2015 Cost of Data Breach Study: Impact of Business Continuity Management,” IBM and Ponemon Institute LLC, June 2015.
“The Real Cost of a Data Breach: Customer Loyalty Infographic,” Gemalto, 2014, http://www.safenet-inc.com/resources/data-protection/data-breach-customer-loyalty-infographic/.