Aust & NZ
22nd Oct 2015

Your data is at risk, it must be protected.

Would you provide an outsider with the keys to your home to access your belongings? If the answer is no, then you should ask yourself the same question when it comes to your data. Your business’s data is one of the most valuable assets you have, you must protect it. Each day there are many threats to your data security and you have the power to put an effective procedure in place to ensure the quality of data remains secure. According to author Scott Joseph from Dealer Marketing Magazine, dealers need to start reviewing their security processes by taking a long look in the mirror.

Whether you access your data to update information, run a marketing campaign or gain an insight into your client base, every time your data is being maintained there’s a risk its integrity could be compromised. An extra keystroke or accidental button press can corrupt any client contact information. One thing is for sure, if a third party requests access to your data you need to ask yourself these important questions:

Do you know exactly how your data will be used?

As we all know, there is nothing more annoying than being cold called by a company you’ve never heard of. You want to know exactly how they got your details.We can only imagine the red face moment when you realise by handing your data over to another company for your marketing campaign, your data is also used for other people’s marketing campaigns. Ensure you create a strict policy to the guidelines of data use.

What will you do if your data quality is compromised?

You can pass the blame as much as you like, however when the data is incorrect you need to fix it. It’s very hard to pin down the exact time, location and person responsible for the data error. The fix to correct this data is going to come straight from your back pocket, this additional cost will also take time and resources holding you back from other priorities. These are just some of the inherited risks associated with passing your database onto a third party. You’ll need to spend countless hours double checking details are correct, perhaps staying back one night after hours could be a good time?

Who should you allow to access your data?

Only your staff and DMS provider should be able to access your data as they understand the respect and integrity your data deserves. The way your clients use the CRM information and contact your clients is a reflection of your company, you need to ensure people are well spoken, professional and understand how delicate some contacts may be. There are very few external third parties who are trustworthy, however the likes of call centres and other associated organisations need to be carefully examined.

The final question you really need to ask yourself is, why does someone need to access your data? After all, without your data being accurate it is impossible to contact a customer for that exciting marketing campaign to bring in addition revenue. Data should be treated with respect, it needs to remain protected from any external threats whilst also being flexible to be used in the way desired and finally, your data needs to be secure.

The end result is data corruption will affect your bottom line, so who do you trust with your data?