Is Compliance Synonymous with Data Security?

Analyst firm Gartner defines customer communications management (CCM) as the strategy to improve the creation, delivery, storage and retrieval of outbound communications, including those for marketing; new product introductions; renewal notifications; claims correspondence and documentation; and bill and payment notifications. The definition goes on to say that these interactions can happen through a widespread range of media and output, including documents, email, SMS and web pages. We all know that customers come to companies with an expectation that this data, wherever it lands, will be kept secure.

 Data security, the processes and technologies used to safeguard data, is (or should be) a top concern of every company today because a plethora of customer data exists within an organization that can fall into the hands of cyber-thieves. When creating a strategy around the security of your customers’ data, the word “compliance” (your legal obligation to protect customer data from being lost or stolen and ending up in the wrong hands) will always pop up, but the idea that compliance is synonymous with data security is a misconception.

 Compliance includes the consideration of various security elements, such as risk assessment, access control and vendor management, which are all important to take into consideration. However, breaches often result from lack of proper controls within the organization, rather than an attempt by a third party to gain access to protected data from the outside. When it comes to customers’ personal data, simply following industry-specific compliance regulations for security isn’t enough to prevent a breach. When assessing your CCM processes with total security in mind, it is important to look beyond a compliance-only strategy.

 In reviewing your approach to the level of security within your organization, the first step is to look closely at your CCM platform to ensure that it is built with “complete” data security in mind, as well as offering compliance tracking, reporting and enforcement.

In a typical multi-step workflow, data is unencrypted while at rest, with duplicate files commonly stored in multiple locations. Instant response and tracking are also unavailable in a typical multi-step workflow. All told, these common aspects widen the margin for human error significantly. To address security at its highest level, a CCM platform needs to have protection embedded into the data file, making it possible for the data to travel through the workflow with constant encryption. The bottom line here is that when it comes to your customers’ data, you should settle for nothing less than end-to-end encryption. 

Transformations’ uSecure was born from the need to better address critical issues specific to data security. What sets the unmatched uSecure workflow apart from other security solutions on the market is that uSecure offers intelligent protection that travels with the file. uSecure distinguishes itself from traditional encryption by leveraging selective decryption coupled with policy-based enforcement. Unlike conventional methods where the entirety of the dataset must be decrypted to access even a fragment, uSecure only decrypts specific data segments based on predefined criteria. This not only enhances performance by limiting decryption tasks but also minimizes associated security risks.

 Moreover, the integration of policy-based encryption in uSecure offers an added security dimension. The embedded rules ensure that data is accessible solely by authorized personnel and aligns with stipulated usage policies, fortifying the overall data protection framework. Additionally, it logs all access to the data along with detailed forensics, such as machine UUID, IP address and hardware and software serial numbers. The digital protection technology inherent in uSecure improves total process time as multiple security steps in a traditional workflow become a single step with uSecure.

The security practices of any company that regularly works with customer data need to be strong and ongoing. Being compliant with regulatory standards is not the same as having a robust data security system in place; to mitigate the risk of compromised proprietary information, it’s important not only to follow these regulations, but also to implement proactive, internal controls that help minimize the odds of a breach. Hence, it is important to invest in the most up-to-date data security solutions that make it possible to continually monitor and improve your security processes to automatically identify and close any gaps.

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