Attacks on data are becoming increasingly common for businesses of all sizes, even SMEs. In the first half of 2017 alone more than 28 million data records were lost to hackers in the UK. Government figures revealed that last year around half of UK businesses identified at least one cyber security breach or attack in the last 12 months. A CRM is a data goldmine, one that has huge benefits for businesses when it comes to optimising vast amounts of data – which can also make it a target for hackers. A CRM data breach not only damages the business’ reputation but could also create compliance issues with data protection legislation – so, how do you ensure that doesn’t happen?
Make sure your network infrastructure is secure
It’s crucial to have sufficient security in place with respect to the infrastructure that is hosting your CRM. If security is inadequate it could not only leave your data vulnerable but also mean you’re not compliant with standards set by regulations such as the GDPR. Make sure you have basic protection, such as a sound firewall and antivirus software. It’s also important to ensure your operating system is regularly updated and to use encryption to protect data.
Work with the right CRM provider
The CRM you choose could make a difference in terms of whether or not you become a target. CRMs with known vulnerabilities are much more likely to be attractive to hackers, for example. Basic online research will often reveal potential issues with a CRM provider and you can browse vendor blogs and IT news sites to look for any reporting on previous security breaches. Ask plenty of questions and request details of vendor security measures – these should be clearly and transparently provided if the CRM provider has nothing to hide.
Make sure your password protection is strong
“Password” and “12345” remain two of the most popular passwords, which makes obtaining access very easy for hackers. In 9 out of 10 security breaches it takes hackers less than a minute to bypass systems because password security is often weak. Passwords should be made up of a combination of numbers, alphabet and special characters, the more nonsensical the better. It’s crucial to change passwords regularly and to show employees how to safely store those that are not easily remembered.
Give employees the tools to be useful
Your employees can be a huge asset when it comes to protecting the data in your CRM and ensuring compliance – or they can be your biggest vulnerability. Providing the right training will ensure that staff don’t make careless mistakes when it comes to the way they access, handle and dispose of data in your CRM. Create a clear security policy that educates staff on safe web browsing, obvious signs of malicious attachments or links and password protection so that they also have the security of your CRM and its contents in mind.
Monitor your CRM closely
Key alerts can be put in place to ensure that any unusual activity within the CRM is swiftly identified and can be dealt with before any real damage is done.
Our online CRM solution is designed with security and compliance in mind – contact us to find out more.