The Importance of Cloud Data Privacy and Trust

September 19, 2019 Kelsey McGuire

The Importance of Cloud Data Privacy and Trust

Organizations understand the importance of data security in cloud applications like Salesforce. But what many are only beginning to recognize is the significance of privacy. Cloud data privacy matters just as much as security for a reason: trust. Organizations – whether they’re in financial services, healthcare, education, or any other industry – rely on customer trust to succeed. So how does privacy drive trust?

Why data privacy matters

Every company has data – customer information, financial transactions, product details, and more in order for everyday business operations to deliver successful goods and services. In many ways, data is more valuable than money in the bank, which is why securing that information should be a top priority for organizations. As companies gather more personal information from customers to utilize for business operations, customers are starting to demand more transparency and control over their information. If consumers can’t rely on companies to protect their privacy, they won’t give those organizations their business.

“As we continually share more data on our connected devices, businesses are collecting and using this personal information more than ever before. Just think about everything we do online – from health care and banking transactions to posting family vacation photos to pinpointing our location at any given time.”

– Kelvin Coleman, executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA)

According to an Akamai Research study, consumers are already taking steps to regain control of their personal information. 71% of respondents have software designed to protect their online data privacy. The importance of consumer trust cannot be overstated – maintaining customer faith is the key to a long-lasting, successful enterprise. After a breach, loss of trust causes customers to flee, leaving businesses in a lurch where they lose clients and must regain customer confidence. To prevent breaches in the first place – or to help regain credibility after a breach – holistic security and privacy measures can transform the way organizations manage sensitive information.

“In short, privacy is good for business. If companies protect data and respect privacy, they will earn the trust of their customers. It is, however, up to all of us to learn about and practice simple steps to help protect our personal information.”

– Kelvin Coleman, Executive Director, National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA)

Data privacy – where to begin

A starting point for organizations that wish to demonstrate their seriousness towards privacy and security is complying with data privacy regulations. Laws such as GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) require adherence to cloud data privacy controls, holding businesses legally accountable for taking greater responsibility for the privacy and security of customer information. And if you’re GDPR compliant, that doesn’t automatically mean you’re CCPA compliant as well. If you’re concerned about keeping track of the many different regulations, begin by mapping to ISO/IEC 27001 Information Security Management controls. This lays a robust foundation across industries and regulations for keeping information assets secure.

“We should be calling on all organizations to be transparent and publish exactly what they’re doing to safeguard their customers’ data.”

– Colin Truran, Principal Technology Strategist, Quest Software

Why committing to cloud data privacy now can help you in the future

By demonstrating your commitment to data privacy, your organization can establish trust with new prospects and reinforce confidence with current customers. To create a balance between leveraging data for business and maintaining strong, positive relationships with consumers, organizations must abide by a culture of privacy.

As customers demand more control over their personal information, organizations must reflect that in their privacy policies and procedures. Legislation like CCPA isn’t going away. In fact, the number of privacy laws will likely increase in the future – 66% of consumers want the United States to develop its own version of GDPR. By embracing transparency and privacy now, you can ensure that you maintain a long relationship of trust and confidence among your customer base and the industry as a whole.

“Increasingly, we are seeing companies around the world trying to balance providing personalized services to consumers, while maintaining privacy. Getting this right requires companies working closely with each other and, importantly, with governments, to ensure the right protections are in place.”

– John Kelly, Executive Vice President, IBM

Developing organizational trust among customers

Organizations should start by being open and honest about the methods used to collect data, what’s done with the information, and how it’s stored. Customer trust begins with reliable cloud data privacy and security at the organization, network, and application levels. By enacting an overall culture of privacy while implementing technology and cloud solutions for mission-critical applications like Salesforce, you can reduce the chances of a security incident that would cause shake consumers’ faith in your organization.

Lock down your organization’s crown jewels to establish trust

Securing your most valuable asset – your data – is a mutually beneficial way to address customers’ data privacy concerns. A robust cybersecurity posture, along with a strong culture of privacy, can elevate organizations looking to embrace privacy. And organizations should embrace privacy not only as a courtesy but as a responsibility to consumers. With transparency, accountability, and governance, your company can establish a culture of privacy that permeates your operations from customer-facing roles to behind-the-scenes information security to the board of directors.

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