4 Steps to Improving Client Service in the Age of the Breach


You strive to harness your team’s creative genius while maintaining structure and efficiency. But in the pursuit of excellence in today’s increasingly digital marketing world, you can’t forget security — especially in the age of mega data breaches like Heartbleed.

Marketing departments rely on digital and web-based tools to reach their audiences. They collaborate online both internally and externally, meaning they’re storing sensitive data online. Innovations like the replacement of cable TV boxes and devices with smart, integrated home units also means more and more things in the household are ripe for data theft.

A study revealed that 43 percent of companies had experienced a data breach in the past year — up 10 percent from the same period a year before. Not only are breaches more frequent, but they’ve also become more complex and destructive.

Businesses that fall victim to breaches will have their reputations tarnished and lose customer trust. When your data isn’t secure, you’re endangering your customer-client relationships, your customer retention rates, your customer acquisition potential, and, ultimately, your bottom line.

However, you can reduce the risk of a breach. Approximately 80 percent of 2014’s breaches could be traced back to employee negligence. It’s important to focus not only on protecting your clients’ data, but also on educating your employees.

Better Client Service Is a Company-Wide Movement

External threats aren’t the only concerns. Businesses must consider how other factors such as cloud-based technologies, mobile devices, third-party vendors, employee behavior, and human error can endanger data security.

Weak, inefficient, redundant, or burdensome security measures and processes give clients the impression that you shouldn’t be trusted with their time, let alone their data.

Your data is only as secure as the weakest point of access. To secure data without encumbering it to the point of inaccessibility, start with these four tactics:

1. Use access management tools. Access management tools can help employees and clients use information while keeping it secure. Look for a user-friendly tool that’s compatible with most operating systems and browsers. It should have mobile apps and be backed by a company with extensive security experience.

2. Track and limit access. As a general rule, you should limit the number of people who can access your systems. You can do this by granting different levels of access to different groups of employees. The most common way to secure a company website to which many employees contribute is implementing a rules-based logic to logins and permissions.

Most access management tools can track users as they navigate your system. You can see who has accessed what information, how long they spent looking at it, and where they went afterward. This is useful in both preventing data breaches and tracing their origins.

Consider using two-factor authentication to ensure that unauthorized parties who do gain access to login credentials can’t access your systems without the designated second factor, such as a one-time password.

3. Establish personnel policies. Create processes and policies that outline a clear separation of duties. Only give certain people the ability to assign and revoke access to corporate or client online accounts. Make data security protocols and account access transfers part of your onboarding and offboarding practices for clients and employees. Make sure management has the ability to gain control of logins and remove access if an employee tries to wreak havoc on your data.

4. Educate your staff. Once your guidelines are in place at your Chicago digital marketing agency, teach your staff members the ins and outs of data security so they can protect themselves and the company.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is establishing a policy that requires employees to frequently change their passwords but neglecting to provide password management tools. This almost guarantees that employees will reuse passwords or write them on Post-its.

In today’s ever-connected world, it’s more difficult to protect your data. But by implementing a solid policy, educating your staff, and taking the proper preventative measures, you can reduce your risk of falling victim to a crippling data breach.