You ask the questions, and our resident CRM guru shares her wisdom.
Q: “What steps can I take to protect my CRM database?”
A: Your CRM database is one of your most valuable assets, holding the vital customer information you need to maintain profitability and competitive advantage. Additionally, your customers need to have a sense of security when it comes to their personal information, such as credit card and social security numbers. A thorough plan to keep your database fully protected from hardware failures, natural disasters, and security breaches is an essential part of any CRM strategy.
The following steps can be taken to maximize database integrity:
• Around-the-clock monitoring using a combination of software and live personnel, to detect, troubleshoot, and correct problems the moment they occur, before they negatively impact customer-facing operations.
• A redundant or mirrored environment, which will ensure continuous application and data availability by providing a back-up system that can be made “live” if the primary database goes down.
• Off-site server operations with duplicated data that can be used if hardware is destroyed by a natural disaster such as a fire, flood, hurricane, or earthquake.
• Multiple layers of user authentication, such as role-based alphanumeric passwords and IP address logging, to ensure that users see only the data they are authorized to see.
• Data encryption, firewalls, and spy-ware, mal-ware, and anti-virus protection software can prevent your customer information from being corrupted, or falling into the wrong hands.
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[Photo courtesy of cyberonet.]