In this article we touch on Guarding Your Brand’s Integrity: The Role of Data Privacy.
It’s no secret that cybersecurity is one of the most pressing topics for businesses around the world. Just last year, it was estimated that cybercrime cost the global economy as much as $6 billion, and this number is expected to go to $10.5 trillion by 2025.
Data breaches can be the costliest issue that your business will ever face, but not just from a financial standpoint.
One of the most damaging things that a data breach can do to your company is wreck the reputation that you have with your customers, built over years of hard work, dedicated relations and pinpoint marketing.
A data breach can simply wipe the slate clean – in the worst way possible.
This is part of the reason why Incogni – a company designed to put data back in the hands of internet users – has seen such an increase of interest over the last few years. Consumers are not only growing aware of the problem; they are growing tired of it. For too long, personal data has been put in the hands of companies unwillingly, and they are finally doing something about it by removing their digital footprint on their own terms.
This is all the more reason why you should not be complacent about the data that you hold within your company. Although you might have collected it legitimately, that doesn’t stop a hacker taking it for their own purposes.
Table of Contents
Data Privacy and Brand Values
There are several values you need to have as a reputable brand in 2023. You need to demonstrate sustainability, accessibility, equality, but also privacy. Customers need to know that they can trust you with their information.
Whether you are a B2B or B2C company, demonstrating that you care about your customers’ privacy is far more important than harvesting a rich store of data – especially if that data is then accessed by a malicious third party. Information can only give a company so much.
But trust from consumers can give a company everything. For that reason, you need to be responsible about how you manage user data and do everything you can to protect it, even outside of GDPR compliance.
How To Avoid a Catastrophe
According to recent figures, as many as 60% of SMEs go out of business within six months of a cyber-attack. But even for businesses who stay afloat, rebuilding trust, or restarting online reputation management to acquire new customers, can take years. For this reason, you need to have a clear strategy about how you’re going to protect invaluable data. This should include:
Knowing Exactly What Data You Have
The problem for a lot of companies is that they’ve spent so long gathering data, that they don’t even know what kind of data they possess or how they’re using it. Data can range from something small, like age and gender, to something more serious like an address or telephone number. Make sure you audit all the data that you hold.
Keeping Data Encrypted
During this audit, you should also ensure that the data is encrypted, and your transit solutions are secure – most data is stolen when being moved from one system to the other.
Collecting – And Deleting – The Essentials
According to government legislation, you should only be collecting essential data that relates directly to your business. But not only should you collect essential data, you should also delete it when you are finished. If the data has been useful but its use has run out, don’t keep it on the system.
You should also make sure that not everyone in the company has access to this information. There are government-made guidelines on limiting access, but you should also draw up your own internal guidelines that apply to your company, partners, suppliers, and third parties.
Educating Your Staff
Lastly, everyone in the company should know about the importance of privacy. Make sure that your staff are always aware of the latest policies and privacy trends, and bring them up to speed with new security software.
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