3 Key Ways To Avoid CRM Security Risks

October 12, 2018 Jennifer Seitz
Information Age lists cyberattacks as the number one threat to businesses worldwide. Hackers can drain your accounts and hijack not only your employees’ personal information but also your customers’ and vendors’. They can also engage in competitive espionage endeavors. Breaches in data can cause damage to your brand, your internal and external relationships and, ultimately, directly to your bottom line.  
 
The news is rife with instances of data breaches that have impacted companies across a wide variety of industries, from Equifax and Twitter to T-Mobile and Target. One of the most recent occurrences happened at Facebook where an estimated 50 million users were exposed to some form of account vulnerability. As technology becomes more advanced and ingrained in our operations, this trend of data breaches is likely to continue on an upward trajectory. 
 
The CRM is an area where companies are particularly vulnerable. The burden of responsibility for securing the sensitive data in the CRM lies squarely on the shoulders of the companies who at some point asked for this data from their customers, employees, and vendors. When the request for data is made, there is a reasonable expectation that data will be kept under lock and key. When this fails, it can damage and even destroy a business. Here are a few tips to help prevent a data breach. 

How To Prevent A CRM Data Breach 

1. Secure Your Servers 

If you have servers at your physical office location, it’s important to secure points of entry to your servers as well as to secure routers and local networks. This can be accomplished through a wide variety of measures including:

(a) Locking down the SSID of your router. Don’t use easy to guess names that a hacker could easily figure out.

(b) Disable your router’s SSID broadcast. Prevent unwanted visitors from finding you by turning off this broadcast.

(c) Create, protect, and continuously update your admin login credentials. Set a calendar to change the password, make it strong, and keep a log of who has credentials. 

(d) Eliminate or limit remote access to your server. It might be inconvenient, but doing so can help to strengthen your wall of security and prevent outsiders from accessing your server remotely. 

(e) Ensure your browsers are updated to support the latest security updates.

(f) Enable firewalls for all computers on your network. 

(g) Consider contracting with cloud data storage companies with strict data storage, encryption, and security measures like redundancy.

2. Manage Internal Admins

Managing internal admins can be one of the biggest challenges to implementing CRM security for many reasons such as:

(a) Staff members want to feel they can be trusted. Managing access and access-levels to your CRM, however challenging it may be, is an imperative aspect of keeping your security risks at bay. Guard against unauthorized people having access to company computers and accounts.

(b) Large companies struggle to manage their large user populations. Have unique, individual logins for employees whenever possible instead of share logins). Additionally, ensure that when an employee leaves your company, his/her login expires. 

(c) Limited access can place undue burden on managers that do have access to needed data or reporting. An important and overlooked CRM security risk is the ability to download information. While many employees need this ability to perform their jobs, it can pose risk to the precious data that lives inside your CRM. So limit the number of individuals who can download data and have protocols in place on how to properly handle the information. 

3. Stay Up-to-Date

Don’t make the mistake of not staying up-to-date on the latest versions of your CRM software. With each update, you’ll gain deeper protection from data breaches and risk of vulnerability of your system to hackers, viruses, or bad actors of any kind.
 
CRM security risks are real and could threaten the very lifeline of your business, not to mention leave your business exposed to legal threats if negligence exists. In lesser scenarios, it can damage your brand, hurt your bottom line, and impact your internal culture - all things that can take years to rebuild. Be proactive and empower your employees to support your CRM security goals to help you succeed in this area.
 
Please note: The content of this blog is to show how you can potentially secure your CRM from data breaches; it is for information purposes only. We do not make any specific promise about the accuracy of the content, and we are not responsible for any data breaches. It is your responsibility to ensure that your CRM is secure. 
 
Featured Image Source: Open security lock on computer keyboard - computer security breach concept by wk1003mike Shutterstock

About the Author

Jennifer Seitz, MBA is a writer for TechnologyAdvice.com. She is a marketing & content strategist with over 10 years of helping businesses develop their voice, brand and improve their marketing strategy. She specializes in content development to achieve SEO KPIs, improve the user experience as well as reinforce the overall brand. Jen has a background in large corporations and scrappy startups and currently hangs her hat at the agency she founded, the Content Workshop.

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