July 10

Customer data protection: How to protect customer data on the cloud

Customer data protection refers to the policies, technology and processes, contact centres undertake to protect the personal information of their customers when operating on the cloud. But beyond that, the ability to protect your customers’ data is a major statement on your brand. Failure to do so spells disaster for customer confidence and reputation. Hence, in this blog post, we will discuss the best practices to protect your customer’s data.

Map data flow

It is impossible to protect customer data without knowing where it is going, and which end-user has access to the data. Data discovery tools are perfectly suited for tracing the flow of data within the organisation. The tools can trace data all the way to a terminal – if the terminal does not have the appropriate authorisation, then the data can be encrypted to block access.

Data discovery tools are identified by their attributes. A pre-built performance layer comprising of either RAM or indexing, which eliminates the need for pre-calculations, aggregates and summaries. Data discovery tools reduce reliance on pre-defined BI metadata. Finally, data discovery tools feature an interface that allows compliance professionals to access advanced functions even with little training

Encrypt data

Data encryption is a huge component of customer data protection because it is the only way to ensure that the contact centre is complying with all regulations and protecting information. AES-256 encryption should be used for any data stored on disk, along with field encryption. Encryption keys should be regularly rotated. Encryption techniques can vary, some secure web connections, such as a TLS encryption, while others use EFFSS applications to move data from users to the web application.

When working with cloud providers, encrypting a customer’s database might prove too expensive. In such cases, there are alternative techniques, like redacting and obfuscating data. Obfuscation makes something difficult to understand and prevents an attack through reverse engineering. Meanwhile, redacting is obscuring parts of a document that contains sensitive information.

Vulnerability testing

To properly protect customer data, contact centres and cloud service providers need to test their system for vulnerabilities in a process called vulnerability testing. Testing is done with fully automated security tools which then reduces testing time dramatically. There are several methods for testing, but one method is to isolate a single cluster or database to penetrate with an exposed access mechanism. Also, consider simulating attacks with automated security tools because these tools gather information on defence methods and response times to review the strengths and weaknesses of the security system.

These vulnerability tests can be performed regularly, be it a weekly, quarterly or monthly basis, depending on company policy. It is also important to account for side-channel attacks, which is when a computer performs cryptographic operations and uses the information to reverse engineer the device’s cryptography system.

Data Retention Policy

Data retention policy refers to the rules or policies an organisation follows for storing information. Organisations need a data retention policy for regulatory and operational purposes. Writing a data retention policy means giving due consideration to key factors, like how to dispose of information no longer needed and make information more accessible at a later date.

A data retention policy helps companies manage their data given that the amount of information companies collect is growing at an insurmountable pace, but a data retention policy helps organisations maintain relevant data. Data retention policies also help with customer data protection because it promotes organisational awareness about the scope and quality of data stored. It prompts better data management within the organisation and ensures compliance with the regulation. Data retention ensures that data will be deleted or adjusted in lieu of data regulation.

Ensuring information is safe with customer data protection

Customer data protection is a crucial aspect of cloud migration. Fortunately, there are several options for protecting customer information. These options include but are not limited to vulnerability testing, data encryption, mapping data flow and developing a data retention policy. Executing many of these tasks is challenging and sometimes done with the help of experienced consultants familiar with a cloud provider. Blackchair encompasses a team of skilled and experienced consultants who contact centres need to protect customer data. In addition to the aforementioned services, Blackchair provides a variety of services that protect your customer data, including independent usage audit, service level dependence analysis, dispute resolution and merge on, merge off services.

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