Consumer Trust Lost

(4 minute read)

The data security risk of your mail programs

Chances are the last thing on your mind when you are working on a mail campaign is data security. Your focus is reaching your consumer, getting their attention, and creating highly effective campaigns. So why should data security be high on your priority list, and in fact why should it be on your radar screen at all? The reality is that there is nothing more important to your relationship with your customer than protecting the personal data they entrust you with. Compromise their data and you can permanently lose their trust, and along with it, their business. Perhaps some of the highest profile cases of businesses that have had their data compromised, and reached the news, include Capital One, Yahoo, Marriott, Under Armour, Facebook, Panera Bread and T-Mobile. It is estimated that a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds in 2021 and the cost of these attacks could reach approximately $6 trillion. However, it is estimated that only 7 in 10 businesses are prepared for an attack.

A survey conducted by Security.org showed that one in four consumers stopped doing business with companies who have been hacked, and more than two in three people trust a company less after a data breach. A KPMG study found that 19 percent of consumers said they would stop shopping at a retailer that had been a victim of a cybersecurity hack, even if the company took the necessary steps to rectify the issue. In addition, 33 percent of the consumers indicated that fears of further exposure of their personal data would prevent them from shopping at any retailer online for at least three months. It’s clear that the cost of compromised personal consumer data can significantly impact your brand reputation and profitability.

As these attacks become more commonplace, it is vital to ensure that your suppliers have the same high level of data security standards as your own organization, or you will be playing Russian Roulette with consumer trust. “Ensuring your vendors have an Information Security Management System in place helps you not only maintain customer trust, but it also ensures your business is compliant with government IT security regulations.”, says John Leonard, V.P. Sales and Marketing, Cover-All Business Communication Management. This responsibility may be relegated to the IT security professionals in your organization, but take stock, when searching for a vendor to do business with, this should be your top priority into the foreseeable future.

The Information Security Management System (ISMS) a supplier has in place is critical to ensuring that they can be trusted with your confidential consumer data. A vendor that is ISO 27001 Certified provides assurances that they take the responsibility of managing your confidential data seriously. “The rigorous nature of passing an ISO 27001 Certification by a licenced third party helps to verify that the appropriate ISMS is in place.”, says Leonard. These standards safeguard the security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details or personal information in a way that can be trusted to keep your proprietary data safe. When you turn over your consumer data to a supplier, brand trust should be top of mind. If your vendor shows you their high-speed digital variable imaging press before talking to you about data security, then you need to be cautious moving forward. If data security is not top of mind to them, then it’s not their priority. What you will also quickly discover is that suppliers with an ISMS certified to ISO 27001 are far easier to work with and provide peace of mind that they have built data security into your programs.

Consumer data’s value is in its ability to improve revenues, miss manage that data and it can cause substantial loss of trust and profitability.

John Leonard is V.P., Sales & Marketing for Cover-All Business Communication Management.  He works with his team and clients to develop relevant and effective communications by using data and technology. Contact Cover-All Business Communication Management to find out more at (416) 752-8100.

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