We are witnessing an incredible technological revolution that continues to reshape human lives. As Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices become more and more common, the need for quality privacy protection features continues to rise! Customer data protection shouldn’t just be a concern of tech giants like Google or Amazon. Businesses of all sizes can suffer from data damage; however, the damage and risk in some cases are bigger than in others.
Today, most companies are required to comply with relevant local data privacy policies. If you have business operations in the EU, you need to comply with the GDPR. Similarly, if you are doing business with Californians, you need to ensure CCPA compliance.
These policies are not just geographical, they’re also industry-related. For example, if your business belongs to the financial, healthcare or education industry, you need to follow the GLBA, HIPAA, or FERPA requirements. As you can see, there are many different kinds of rules and regulations to adhere to!
Due to the trend of increased cybercrime over the years, there has been an intense focus on safeguarding people’s Personal Identifiable Information (PII) by enacting specific privacy protection rules that all companies need to implement.
Luckily, there are privacy features that can help you save your customer data, ensure compliance, and keep your company from collapsing from any/all security breaches!
Let’s scan those privacy features together
1. Identity and Access Management (IAM)
Security is a serious job, which is why it is important to have both IT and legal professionals on your team. An IAM system minimizes the chance for human error, disabling hackers from gaining access to your customer database by keeping it protected with a strong security wall.
Your IAM solution should include the following privacy features:
- Strong password: Having password protection is a critical privacy feature that stops hackers from obtaining your valuable data. However, it shouldn’t be just any password. The majority of data breaches happen due to credential stuffing or simply guessing the password with various hacking tools. The absence of a password leads to a 100% data breach, as seen in the case of Antheus Tecnologia where 76,000 fingerprints were stolen!
- Multi-factor authentication: In case your strong password has been compromised, there is a plan B:multi-factor authentication. This is a second security block that will stop hackers from gaining access, even if they make it past the password process. This backup requires an additional login confirmation, such as a code messaged to your phone, which is almost impossible to obtain in any malicious way.
- Access manager: With customer support software that includes an access manager feature, you can go another significant step higher in your data security journey. With this option, you define who of your staff members will have access to a certain type of customer data by assigning them specific tickets and giving them different accesses to your customer database. The access authorization can be role-based, repository data-defined, and ticket or feature type determined. In this way, you reduce the chances for the hackers to occupy your whole database if they somehow get access to one employee’s authorization as an entry point.
- Workflow automation: When you automate who will have access to certain customer profiles and histories, you eliminate the risk of human error. Unauthorized employees’ chances to gain access, or hackers malicious attacks via your employees, will remain unsuccessful.
- Adjustable inactivity time: Another privacy feature that helps you strengthen your security practices is the ability to set the acceptable time during which your support reps can be idle or put customers on hold, so there are no unattended chat sessions.
- Single Sign-On: This privacy feature is quite helpful. While it is important to protect each database entry with a password, it can be overwhelming to remember all of them. With Single Sign-On (SS0), you can authenticate your support reps with a central Identity Provider. This practice enables all the users to access multiple applications with one set of credentials. It is a win-win solution! Your staff won’t have to remember multiple passwords and your IT team will have a better overview of the authorized access, thereby maximizing password policy adherence. The Helpy team is aware of the benefits of SSO implementation and supports SAML, LDAP, and OAuth integrations.
- Agent UI IP Whitelisting: You can always do more in the security world. With Agent UI IP Whitelisting, you not only limit access to one employee, but you also base that access authorization on the employee’s IP address. In this way, your customer support reps will only be able to open your database from an authorized device.
- Security analytics: To track the success of all privacy protection features, you need to establish clear privacy standards and have an analytics tool that provides accurate results. However, the use of all privacy features will be hard to oversee if they are not in one place. Thus it's advisable to get one customer support software that is responsible for all your security challenges.
2. Data Privacy and Protection Compliance
The most famous data privacy protection laws, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and Brazil’s Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados (LGDP), have already been used for issuing multiple hefty fines on unprepared companies.
These laws cover the whole state or country. For instance, GDPR mandates that all companies that collect the data of EU citizens and residents follow certain requirements. More specifically, they all must establish data policies that guarantee the maximum customer privacy protection.
Part of this includes allowing consumers to practice their right to access, delete, or correct their shared PII. Similarly, CCPA makes companies responsible for protecting the private data of Californians. And last but not least. LGDP is the most recent data privacy law that regulates personal data use within the Brazilian territory.
While the LGDP strongly echoes the consumer protection measures found in the GDPR legislation, it is noticibly less aggressive on companies regarding the associated penalties.
The Helpy team has recognized this scaling issue, which is why they developed a customer support software that will comply with data policies worldwide, no matter if you’re in the healthcare, education, or financial industry!
3. Consent Management
All the novel data privacy laws, regardless of the territory they rule, require companies to establish practices that will ensure their data collection procedures are legitimate or, more specifically, consent-based. Any kind of data handling that your customers haven’t been informed of or agreed to will be seen as a data misuse because it doesn’t respect the basic consumer rights to give or deny their consent.
You should notify your customers about any ongoing or future data actions to earn the label “data used for legitimate purposes.” In cases where a data breach has occurred, you should have already established the procedures for communicating this kind of sensitive information as well.
The proven consent privacy features are:
- Overview of compliance status in real-time
- Audit trail
- Centralized customer consent database that demonstrates compliance
- Integration with various data collection points, e.g. mobile apps, web and paper forms, email and support calls
- Integration with existing systems, such as the Helpy CRM platform
- One Trust Universal Consent and Preference Management platform
- Integration into existing IT and marketing tech tools
- Customer consent is recorded and placed in central storage using the OneTrust SDK, REST API or bulk data feed import
- Reduction of consent blanket withdrawal by offering the option to opt-down or adjust the frequency, topic or content
- Multilingual consent option suitable for all of your customers worldwide
4. Encryption Customer Support Software
The highest-level privacy feature is encryption! By enabling this feature within your customer support software, you can make a hacker truly disappointed even if they have your database right in their hands. When you encrypt your data, no one can understand the collected information without obtaining a key.
Using this method, you can store the key far away from your database, making it extremely difficult to decrypt the data for anyone who doesn’t have access to the key, including your own employees.
Moreover, encryption is even suggested as a desirable security practice by the GDPR officials. You are advised to anonymize your customer data to reduce the security burden as well as to enjoy non-compliance benefits.
You can also make the data pseudonymous by only obscuring key fields; however, the GDPR rules for this kind of encryption are different. Additionally, Helpy has the ability to anonymize your customer data, giving you the opportunity to collect and store your customer data while not worrying about the GDPR compliance, ruin hackers' dreams, and convince your customers that there is no reason to completely delete all of their stored data.
5. Data Privacy Infrastructure
You can enjoy all of these privacy protection features; however, if your database foundation is not secure, then any further effort may be for nothing.
To develop the highest possible level of your customer data security you should consider adding:
- Private cloud storage: Having your own cloud-based database is no longer just in an engineer’s imagination. The private cloud is a top choice when compared to all the available types of storage. While you are an easy target on a shared server, private cloud storage provides an extra security layer that you alone are able to control.
- Attachment Whitelisting: It is essential to define which types of files can be uploaded to your directory. For example, customers usually upload photos or PDFs when issuing a complaint. Additionally, if your business is upload-based, then having an upload rule is even more important as hackers can easily upload their malware without detection and then it is too late. This is exactly what happened to the company Slickwraps.
- Captcha and Honeypot: Phishing can be a matter of the past if you employ the fantastic Captcha and Honeypot solutions. Both of them are excellent privacy features for thwarting spam bots; however, there is a difference between them. Honeypot is a filed added to a form that is not visible to users, while Captcha is completely visible and requires users to prove that they are not bots.
Make sure that you have all of these privacy protection features and your customer database will be 100% secure!