CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is the backbone of many businesses today. Sellers can establish a profitable bond with their customers using advanced features of CRM. Thus, CRM security is a hot topic amongst companies and cybersecurity professionals.
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No technology is perfectly coded and is vulnerable to cyber-attacks. CRM is not an exception either. Check out three of the common attacks on CRM in the table below:
As a business owner, you can leave the above technical problems to the developers. But you may make some other mistakes that can compromise your CRM security. We will show you those mistakes and also how to fix them. In the end, we will also discuss an actionable CRM security risk management system.
4 Common Mistakes in CRM Security
1. Unprotected data
Data breaches damage your customer relationships along with your ability to generate revenue. Nowadays, companies secretly hire hackers to engage in corporate espionage. For example, your competitor can steal your customer mailing lists, marketing strategies, and details about planned projects. The following graph shows the number of cases filed under the EEA (Economic Espionage Act).
When talking about unprotected data, it does not mean that your data is completely exposed. You might have invested in a secure firewall and cloud server, but there could be other loopholes. The below statistics shows that no firewall or cloud system is as secured as you think them to be.
Mobile devices are often a point of risk. Many companies encourage the concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), and this is risky to quite an extent. It is a good practice to encrypt all data and require user authentication to access them. Let us say one of your team members lost the mobile device. Then that person needs to validate the login credentials again to access sensitive data.
2. Lack of awareness
Most business owners think that installing an antivirus, anti-malware, anti-phishing software, etc., ensures CRM security. But there are many other risks you should know.
CRM technology is constantly changing. These changes are usually due to new features and services or the discovery of new threats. Some of the changes in the customer relationship management system includes:
- New procedures or workflows
- Changing customer behavior and needs
- New features
- Software updates
- New CRM technology
- New users to include external groups or anonymous groups
- Additional networking and interconnection
What can you do to minimize the risks associated with CRM-related changes?
Before a change occurs, you should determine what impact it will have on CRM security. Brainstorm the changes with your technical team or the analytical CRM system officer. Tell them to recommend steps to preserve the integrity of CRM while the changes take place.
3. Unnecessary access to sales staff
Giving your sales staff too much access to data can be risky. You should find out if the sales staff can access data through unnecessary reports. Some companies ignore the reports as being a source of data leaks, but they are.
An Intel Security report shows internal factors (such as dishonest employees) responsible for 43% of data loss. Customer and employee information were the top two categories of stolen data as per the report.
Modern CRM security systems come with the feature of role-based access. Make good use of such modules to provide sales staff access to the reports they need. You can even limit the data output from those reports to what is necessary. In addition, the system should notify management if any employee suddenly starts generating reports that aren’t relevant to their department.
The image below gives a glimpse of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM sales security model.
4. Lack of alert system for common issues
Even if your CRM security is robust, it can still have a breach. But you can respond to the security breach in a better way. Unfortunately, most organizations are not prepared to respond to cyberattacks when they happen. We can confirm this from the below stats:
Sometimes an organization does not know about a breach in its CRM data to maximize ROI for days, weeks, or months. It happens because companies have not invested in the right monitors and alert systems to notify them about suspicious activities.
Creating policies for the fair usage of data is the first step in implementing a monitoring and alerting system. Define every detail in the policy document, including a rapid response plan. Your team should be well-prepared to tackle a threat before it becomes a bigger problem.
CRM security risk management system
In this last section of the blog, let us discuss the significant points of a robust CRM security risk management system. There are five of them:
- Determine CRM security goals, strategies, and policies for your organization.
- Identify and analyze the security threats and vulnerabilities present in the CRM system.
- Design and implement a CRM security plan
- Follow up on the CRM security plan and amend it as required.
- Develop and implement CRM security awareness and training programs to educate employees.
We can discuss the five points mentioned above in greater detail. But risk management is a broader topic and can be covered in an exclusive blog. Let us know in the comments section below if you want us to cover more aspects of CRM security. We always look forward to your suggestions. Also, share this blog with your peers to spread awareness about CRM security.