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The importance of protecting customer data - 14 sizes
Manage your business 6 Aug 2023

The importance of protecting customer data and what your business needs to put in place in terms of cybersecurity policy and governance

  1. Is your business covered against cyber-attacks? 
  2. What policies do you have in place to protect customer’s data? 

Over the years they have been notable security breaches of reputable companies, where customer data has been breached and exposed not only for hackers but for ordinary people to source it. 

As such, more customers are demanding better cybersecurity of the information they have constantly given. 

As a business owner, you need to make sure your customers' data is protected because if their data is breached this will have damaging repercussions for your business. 

It is crucial to have a strong cyber security policy in place as your business grows, which  outlines technology and information assets that you need to have to protect your business and customers (Mathis 2022). 

To avoid being the next trending topic on Twitter for all the wrong reasons, here is a quick guide on how  to manage, maintain and secure customer data:

Adopt a governance strategy

Depending on the size of your business, there are many moving parts and departments in the organisation which may not have synergy. 
However, having a governance strategy, which is a team of data managers and IT assistants can help align your goals for business growth and match your objectives. 
They essentially provide a framework for what your cybersecurity will be and remove the uncertainty or guesswork of how to do it.

Start and adopt cybersecurity policies

The benefit of having a cybersecurity policy is having a security team from your governance strategy enforcing recommended policies from yourself and externally, to incorporate into your business. 
If you are using third parties to help protect your customer's data, there needs to be training and communication with your staff on how they can meet expectations to avoid cyber-attacks. 

Decide who will have access to the data

Despite your employees being aware and being informed of a cyber security policy, as a business owner, you need to decide who has access to the customer data. 
The decision needs based on the intended purpose. For example, your social media team and marketing teams may need information on the customer's demographic data and account information. 
These can be intended for messaging to the targeted audience for your next campaigns. This also limits the information being spread needlessly. 

Don’t collect all the data

To lessen your chances of a data breach, only collect the necessary data needed to complete your business tasks. 
It will be important to conduct data audits to determine what type of data to collect based on the customer's consent, how to store the data and how to use that information.

Keep your software and passwords updated

Some data breaches have occurred because the company did not keep their software updated including not having secured password protections implemented. 
Have multi-authentication password managers to secure your emails and data. Additionally having encryption, such as file-level encryption can help protect data on computer hard drives. 
Software updates cannot be prolonged, primarily they help developers fix issues and add new features to tighten your cyber security. 

Cyber threat insurance

If the worst-case scenario happens and the customer data is breached, have cyber threat insurance aides your business from financial loss. 
Depending on where you are covered cyber insurance can assist in costs such as investigating the breach, conducting a risk assessment to avoid the incident from happening again and providing your anti-fraud services (Vandiver 2023). 

Communicate with your clients

Frequently update and be transparent to your customers about their data, how it's being protected, where it's being used and how you are  limiting any potential breach of that. 



Mathism, S. 2022. ‘Top 10 customer data privacy best practices’. TechTarget. [Online]. Available: (Accessed 26 April 2023). 

Vandier, W. 2023. ‘Cybersecurity Insurance: What It Covers, Who Needs It’. NerdWallet. [Online]. Available: (Accessed on 26 April 2023).