Frequently when using the services of an external mailing house, an organisation will need to share data. It’s essential therefore that the mailing house(s) you use have strong established policies and procedures related to data security.
The importance of secure data
Secure data is of critical importance to any company. Worst case scenario is that a serious data breach could cause the financial collapse of a Company. The security of company data is a part of any self-respecting Disaster Recovery Plan. Organisations need to put policies and procedures in place to ensure that when data is shared with any third party (including mailing houses) that standards are in place to protect your data.
What are the risks of a data breach?
The risks of a data breach are fairly obvious, but include:
- Reputational loss – A serious data breach could cause serious reputational damage, especially if the media publish the story, e.g. as was the case recently for Car Phone Warehouse and Sony Films
- Financial loss – Data breaches cost money, in terms of trading and also potentially lost money through fines and legal action
- Competitive advantage loss – If customer data is leaked this could give competitors access to this information causing an obvious reduction in competitive advantage
Data Security Questions to ask your mailing house
So our advice is to not leave data security to chance. There are a few common sense questions to ask a provider, here are a few examples:
- What standards/certifications do you comply with related to data security?
- What measures do you have in place to protect against viruses, malware, etc.?
- Do you have third parties who have firewall access to a) our data and b) your systems in general?
- Has your Company ever been assessed by an external Company for data security compliance?
- Have you ever experienced a data security breach? If so, what occurred?
These are just a few questions, you may be able to think of others relevant to your situation as well.
Are you confident about your data security?
So finally it comes down to how confident are you about your data security, especially when sharing data with third parties? If you have some flaws this could land you with a fine from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), which is enforceable under EU law.
Here, at Baker Goodchild we can help. We have a team of specialists who can assist in ensuring your data is secure as well as offer cleansing services. We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to the importance of secure data management. To discuss your Company requirements for data, give us a call today on 0800 612 1972.
Image Credit: ORC Virtual