Disaster-Proofing Your CRM Data
Types of Data Threats
Disaster can strike at any time – a virus that wipes out important client files, a flood or fire that damages your hardware beyond repair, a hacker trying to tap into your systems to steal confidential customer information.
Keeping your CRM data secure at all times is crucial to smooth, effective – and most importantly, uninterrupted – sales, marketing, and support operations. But, what types of threats exist, and how do you most effectively protect your CRM data from them?
Server or Hardware Failures
Your technology equipment is likely to experience a failure at some point in time, especially if it is several years old. Any down time that causes a lack of accessibility to CRM data can leave your marketing, sales, and service staff scrambling to provide the rapid support your customers demand.
By implementing around-the-clock monitoring, and setting up a redundant or mirrored environment, you can maintain 24 x 7 x 365 availability of your CRM data, even if your infrastructure goes down. This will ensure the optimum, non-stop system performance needed for continuous customer service delivery.
Hackers and other cyber-criminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and always on the look out for new sources of stolen information. The slightest gap in your CRM data security will make you an easy target. Make sure private and confidential information – such as customer credit card or social security numbers – are fully secured. Additionally, in many industries, competition is so intense that companies will do just about anything to find out what their rivals are up to. Maintaining the integrity of your CRM data, and protecting it from competitive theft is of the utmost importance.
A variety of security techniques can be utilized to significantly minimize the risk of breaches against your CRM data. Multiple levels of authentication and role-based login verification will allow only authorized access to your CRM data. Additionally, spy-ware, mal-ware, anti-virus software packages, data encryption, and firewalls can help prevent hacker attacks and other related threats.
While many companies are diligent in proactively preparing for system failures and possible security breaches, few consider the potential effects of fires, floods, and other natural disasters. Every company, regardless of its size, needs a thorough, well-designed disaster recovery plan, particularly when it comes to mission-critical CRM data. Experts recommend conducting daily back-ups of your CRM data, preferably to a server or data storage device in an off-site location, so your information can be quickly restored if your primary servers are damaged or destroyed.
If you’re utilizing a hosted or on-demand solution, there are still plenty of ways you can ensure that your CRM data is disaster-proof.
Work closely with your application service provider to have the appropriate safety measures put into place. Make sure they are using the latest anti-virus technologies, and have properly partitioned their servers to prevent their other clients from accessing your CRM data. You’ll also need to make sure that any application, database, or operating system patches are immediately installed as soon as they become available.