CRM Cyber Security Essentials
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are one of the most useful applications for any organization. They are an essential part of a business and help increase revenue, strategize plans, and fuel customer growth.
CRM systems store valuable information such as client demographics, financial information, sales data, operational data, and even client debit/credit card details. And as the name suggests, all of this is done to help build meaningful customer relationships.
A CRM system does this efficiently but, there’s a flipside.
If you’re not careful you might fall prey to a CRM data breach from a hacker who’s been drooling over your data.
The amount of so much mouth-watering data is tempting for any hacker.
Table of content:
- What is a CRM Data breach?
- How to protect your CRM Data from Hackers
What Is a CRM Data breach?
If a company experiences a CRM Data breach it could indeed be catastrophic. They’re liable to face a bad reputation, maybe face a ton of lawsuits and lose the trust of their client base.
Just the opposite of what the CRM system set out to do, ironic, isn’t it?
When you face a CRM Data breach, the data stolen from you can be exploited for:
- ID Theft
Someone might use the stolen personal data to impersonate someone else and commit fraud.
The stolen data could be misused by criminals for conducting illegal activities.
- Nation-state espionage
Not as action-packed as 007 but still, stolen data could be used to disrupt operations of organizations or to gather cyber intelligence.
- Corporate espionage
Stolen data could be bought by competing companies to be used against their competitors.
- False billing
Criminals may use stolen data to submit false or altered invoices that convince a buyer to make a payment that should not have been made.
- Selling data to a third-party
Stolen data can be sold in the data exchanges.
How to protect your CRM Data from Hackers?
There are several steps that you can take to protect your CRM Data from hackers. We have listed 5 practices that could save you from a potential CRM cyber security breach.
1. Secure your IT Infrastructure
- Ensure that all the devices in your company use a secure Operating System (OS) which is updated regularly with the latest security updates and patches.
- Install a trusted antivirus that has a real-time scanning feature to protect from trojans, worms, and viruses.
- Install a reputable firewall.
- Encrypt your disks and use a VPN to encrypt your communication and browsing.
2. Use secure passwords
- Make sure that passwords for all the devices in your organization are strong and consist of both upper and lower-case alphabets, numbers, and special characters.
- Try and use multi-factor authentication as much as possible for all of your devices.
- This will provide you with an extra layer of security and go a long way in protecting you from a CRM Data breach.
3. Train your staff on CRM cyber security
- Conduct regular staff training to teach them how to protect themselves from a CRM data breach.
- The basics of online safety 101 should be drilled into them like, not clicking on unverified emails and only downloading files from trusted sources.
- Teach them how to spot phishing emails, fake websites, and spoof accounts. They should know what to do when they spot malware or a phishing attempt.
- Educate them about the online security protocols of the organization so that they can handle software, hardware, and data the correct way.
4. Monitor your CRM activity
If your CRM system starts logging an increased level of unusual activity, especially during the hours when it’s not being used, it’s most probably been compromised.
Setting up a dashboard to show you real-time statistics on your CRM system and security network can be very helpful in avoiding a CRM Data breach.
5. Choose a trusted CRM Provider
The first thing that hackers will be on the lookout for is which CRM software you’re using. They’ll search for vulnerabilities in the system and try to exploit that. So it’s imperative that the CRM system you choose meets all of your business and security requirements.
Here are a few pointers to help you find the perfect CRM provider:
- Research various CRM companies; once you set up your CRM system it’s an inconvenient process to migrate to another one later.
- Refer through various IT news sites which provide unbiased reviews and comparisons.
- Your CRM provider should offer unlimited and secure access to your data and follow the ISO 27001 standards.
- Check the provider’s websites/blogs to find out if they were involved in a CRM Data breach if any, and how the company addressed them.
- Do proper research on the CRM provider’s transparency, communication, and security reputation.
- Ask them for documentation on the security procedures that the company follows to secure customer data.
The data in the CRM servers makes it easy for a company to offer customized products and services to their customers. Further, the volume of data grows alongside the company and with the growth, it is more susceptible to being hacked
A CRM Data breach can ruin your company’s hard-earned name or even destroy it completely.
By practicing these 5 tips you can be safe in the knowledge that your company is not vulnerable to hackers and the only thing you should be worrying about is growing your business.
About the Author
|Elvis Richard Cormuz|
|Elvis hails from Darjeeling and has had vibrant work life experiences – a musician, social worker and freelance translator/transcriber, his hobbies include music, movies and reading.|