Mark Webster knew something had to be done when his employee mishandled their customer’s data.

The co-founder of Authority Hacker discloses, “Somebody reached out to us on updating their email address. It wasn’t associated with any account, but the agent still updated it without verifying any information.”

Even though it turned out to be a false alarm, this experience made Webster rethink about how his staff is trained to handle sensitive information. He laments, “This could have been unauthorized access, but it didn’t cross their mind.”

This incident gave Webster a light-bulb moment. He’s devoting his budget this year to train his customer support team on how to better manage their customers’ data.  

Curious about what other companies are investing in customer privacy in 2021? Hear from these 8 companies on what they’re preparing for.

1. Customer-Data Training 

Training for customer data security quote

At Authority Hacker, staff training is going full speed ahead. 

Webster observes that sensitive information is easily manipulated in the wrong hands. He says, even the most secure security systems are futile if his customer support agents aren’t properly briefed on how to handle such information. 

Mike Bran, founder of ThrillAppeal, shares the same thought. Seconding Webster’s views, he says, “There are many problems and errors generated from the employees, too. They need to be trained to understand the security risk, the methods we implement for customer privacy, and to identify possible email phishing scams.”

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2. Data Regulation

Marty Puranik, the President & CEO of Atlantic.Net, has made big changes to his website and email policy. He does these to meet the compliance requirements for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

This comes with a price, however. Puranik explains, “Although these changes have resulted in fewer insights on marketing data, we have decided that ensuring customer privacy takes precedence.” 

Puranik is well aware of the added costs to continuously meet and exceed these compliance requirements, but he believes they’re worth it. 

Data protection regulation GDPR quote

Carsten Schaefer is focusing on GDPR in 2021 too. The Founder and CEO of crowdy.ai is making sure his customers and visitors have full control of how their data is used.

He shares, “Not only is our entire website fully ready for GDPR, but we also created a cookie tool for GDPR compliance.”

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3. Security Layers

Krishnan Archana is channeling his budget towards his website, database, and network. The Founder of RenovationBootCamp will hire IT professionals and ethical hackers to redesign his website for more security. 

He shares, “Cybercriminals hit sites first, so making it secure would be like cutting concrete walls against hackers around a business.”

Customer privacy quote

Likewise, Bran from ThrillAppeal is focusing on boosting his website’s security layers: 

“We‘re updating our encryption policies and security-related technology. We’re also ensuring all databases and networks are secured with multiple security barriers, so no cybercriminal can access it.”

Joe Ferdinando will continue implementing security safeguards to protect his clients’ personal and business data in 2021. 

The Founder of HotHeadTech shares that the benefits extend beyond drastically reducing security incidents.

Customer data privacy quote

In other words, these extra security precautions that Ferdinando implements will set his business apart from competitors.

Chanty Founder, Dmytro Okunyev, is investing in message encryption for his clients in 2021. The AI-powered business messenger startup is encrypting internal messages, so no one outside of teams can access them. 

Okunyev shares, “In fact, we can’t even read any of the messages that our customers send to each other.” 

At Chanty, team admins are unable to read messages sent between team members. “This way, everyone knows that their data is safe and that they can use our app without thinking of data losses, malware attacks, or any other kind of threat.”  

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4. Insurance & Agreements

Benjamin K. Walker is stocking up on insurance in the event hackers do get ahold of clients’ information. 

The Founder and CEO of Transcription Outsourcing has purchased general liability insurance and cyber liability insurance policy; he is also developing additional legal agreements.

Customer confidentiality quote

Currently, Walker and his team are raising their standalone cyber liability policy by a whopping 500% to meet a new client’s needs. 

“After we do this, we will then begin to use it as a marketing tool as most of our competition has the bare minimum for these types of policies. They are expensive and not easy to qualify for.”

Where Will You Devote Your Budget For Customer Privacy in 2021?

In today’s age, there is a wide range of powerfully built security solutions (e.g., number masking, mobile verification via OTPs). 

There’s no reason you should neglect the compliance requirements as no one knows when the next cyber attack will happen. Make sure that the companies you trust with your customer data uphold the highest standards of security and compliance in terms of data privacy.

As you build up those security walls, look at what the founders and CEOs shared above. Because who knows, one or two of these measures could turn out to be the answer to beat the competition.

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