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Importance Of Data Security In the Digital Age Effective accumulation of data, its management and ensuring safety is actively becoming a routine imperative for businesses, especially in the customer service industry

By Prakash Nagarajan

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In the wake of COVID-19, businesses worldwide have shifted their attention to digital alternatives to carry out business as usual. This sudden shift has labeled data as an essential commodity while expediting the importance of data privacy and security in the new normal. Effective accumulation of data, its management and ensuring safety is actively becoming a routine imperative for businesses, especially in the customer service industry.

The sheer magnitude of information generated from this sector is immense, making it even more prone to data breaches. These vast reservoirs of information are stored in cloud to be either managed on-premise or outsourced to a professional service provider. In the pandemic, cloud and software-as-a-service have proved their worth and versatility in creating a highly scalable business ecosystem. Statistics show that Indian organizations generate relatively higher data volumes than their global counterparts, clocking a 45 per cent average annual rate.

Challenges ushered by COVID-19

The sudden shift to cloud and digital platforms has posed new challenges related to management, privacy and security. With most workforce embracing the work at home reality, data security and privacy concerns are running high. And an enterprise's inability to immediately deal with this might put its business and customers at risk, though innovative solutions such as temperature recording, employee and visitor interaction screening are making its way; in most cases, these technologies lack the appropriate safeguards and adherence to compliance needs.

The Indian government recognizes the change and is currently reassessing the existing data privacy and protection legal framework from the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019.

Establishing a robust data security compliance

Achieving effective data security compliance in a sustained process requires a lot of parameters to be accessed. The bulk of the data generated every day, source of information, and other financial and operational considerations must be established first before picking the right security solution. A new workflow to deal with security breaches, updating security controls, and setting up a secured data inventory with customer information and processed information is essential.

Increasing customer-centricity

As more and more enterprises adopt customer-centricity values, the demand for data security services drastically increases. Today's business approach starts from the consumer, what they need, and delivering the highest fulfillment level in a product/service. To achieve this, customers and businesses are open to know more about each other. Customers are always looking for something better, and organizations seek knowledge, advice, and insights to identify consumer behavior and buying patterns.

Logically, these critical insights might be valuable to several businesses that can attempt to poach this information. The breach of customer information puts the company at risk and the customer too, who trusted them with their data. Assisted intelligence solutions coupled with cloud and security protocols such as monitoring access, enforcing a firm password policy, modulating control and providing the right agent education will equip an enterprise with the right tools to defend themselves.

Self-analysis of cyber security

In India, organizations are often daunted by the cost of security solutions and services and switch to something inexpensive. Some even skip the security part of initial discussions with their cloud provider and move on with regular business. This approach might save some operational costs in the short run. However, it will put the entire business at considerable risk. Preferably there should be a gap analysis to understand the shortcoming of the in-use system and accordingly upscale or downscale the intensity of security.

The pandemic has impelled industries into a quantum leap of digital business, which is already proving to be a challenge. Solving data security will lay the foundation of a fair and free playing field of enterprises to function. As industries mature into the new reality, organizations will need to consider overhauling their traditional procedures and parley it for digital tools and services, go beyond business continuity and thrive in the modern world long after the pandemic ends.

Prakash Nagarajan

Co-founder and director, Tevatel

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