The value of CRM data makes it vulnerable to security threats since it contains personal information about your clients. CRM security shouldn’t have to be difficult, but you need to be aware of how to protect it against internal and external threats.
No matter how secure your CRM database is, the data that it holds should be protected with encryption. If your database is already protected, this may seem like an extra step you are tempted to skip over. However, it is a good precaution to implement encryption in case someone ever got unauthorized access to your database.
Create a complex password by using numbers and symbols and avoid using anything that would be easy to guess. You can use a password generator to create a strong password for you. Ensure the password is changed every 30-90 days and change it immediately if anyone who knows it is unauthorized to access the database. If you want restricted access to certain data, consider using a second password within the database.
Another reason you should encrypt data is to protect any exported data that is removed from the database. Enforce that data is encrypted if it is exported onto any kind of files or spreadsheets. Devices that contain exported data should be protected with passwords and security measures.
Be cautious if USB drives contain CRM data. These can be easily lost or misplaced. A USB with confidential information should always be on someone’s person and never left unattended. Any files or data on a USB drive should be encrypted or only be able to be read by a specific USB port.
Limit employee access to your CRM database. Only allow access if employees need the CRM data for their daily tasks. Another option is to only grant access to the data that is relevant to their job.
Appoint someone to oversee the system permissions. A process should be in place for allowing and revoking access to your CRM database. If a user is granted access and is promoted to another position or department, their access to the database should be reconsidered, and revoked if appropriate.
In addition to limiting employee access, limit what devices the CRM database can be accessed from. Limiting access to inside the workplace is the safest option. Be aware of the risks of accessing a CRM database from mobile devices. Wireless networks are less secure and can leave your data more vulnerable to hackers.
Put controls in place so you can monitor who is getting access to the database and where they are getting access from. Set-up alerts so you can monitor who is logging in and are informed of any changes made to system permissions. Monitor the data employees are accessing and if there are any patterns that create red flags such as a user logging in after work hours.
In addition to granting limited access, you can’t overlook the importance of monitoring behaviours of employees. Often an internal data leak is due to untrustworthy or irresponsible staff, so ensure you closely monitor what they are doing. Sometimes strict monitoring is enough to deter someone from leaking confidential data since there is a likely risk they will be caught.
Ensure you have a recovery plan to retrieve CRM information stored in your database. You should back up your data at least once a week. It may be appropriate to do this once a day depending on how much new data is entered your system. Decide on an appropriate schedule to back up your data depending on your company’s needs and make it a routine maintenance for your database.
You should periodically evaluate the current security of your CRM database. It is important to find your weaknesses before hackers do. Ensure you regularly evaluate the security and make any changes based your security assessment. Find a reliable IT company to perform regular security assessments.
Contact Keystone Technologies for on-site security assessments and recommendations on mitigating potential CRM data breaches. Call us at 519-451-1793.