How Safe Is Your CRM Data?

Recently one of the vendors of the CRM platform we sell has issued changes to the terms and conditions of their service. The following is what they stated:

You acknowledge to the following: (the software business) will in no instance, be held responsible for any incidental, consequential direct, indirect, or punitive damage or loss whatsoever or any loss in business profit, interruptions or interruption to computer systems and loss of business information or any other loss that results due to or caused by the use or inability to use the service regardless of whether (the software firm) was aware of the possibility of loss. In no circumstance, will (the software firm’s) total responsibility to you concerning the use of its services, indirect or direct or indirect, exceed 1 million dollars ($1000) or the amount you paid during 12 (12) months preceding the event that gave the basis for such liability, whichever is greater.

It is your responsibility to defend and keep the harmless (the Software company) as well as its directors, officers, employees, contractors, as well as affiliates for any loss, damage, or fines (including attorney’s fees and expenses) due to or in connection with any claim that you’ve utilized services in breach of the rights of another person’s rights, or infringement of any law, or violation of any of the provisions of the Agreement or in connection with any other claim related to your usage of the Services if your use is approved through (the software).

The software firm isn’t responsible for any incident that affects your data, whether it’s their responsibility. This includes data breaches and loss of information, malfunctioning servers…whatever. Like me, you likely clicked the “accept” or “accept” button or, in this instance, did absolutely nothing – and is still legally binding you to the contract. Are you comfortable? Yes, I was thinking not.

Does a software company be able to get away with this? Sure. All of them do. Why? Because they can. That’s the main issue with cloud computing. The price of switching to these cloud-based services, particularly after enduring the agony and suffering of implementing them, is too high. What are we planning to change to? A different platform that has identical conditions and terms?

The most important question is, what can your business do? It’s not feasible to deny these terms, and you don’t have lawyers to defend this. Like your other business plans, your cloud data strategy must be about assessing the risks and planning for the most extreme scenarios.

When you think about risks, there are only three in this scenario. The first risk is the possibility that your data is compromised or compromised or is exposed to ransomware or malware. The second possibility is that your information disappears or is no longer accessible. The third possibility is that your software company is gone and your data.

The positive side is that the likelihood of anything happening is low. Why? Because CRM providers, just like all cloud platforms, are building the business model around delivering information to their clients. They invest billions of dollars total – on top of the most effective security equipment and staff who are probably more brilliant than the typical IT company that manages your business.

A majority of the platforms mentioned are run with Amazon Web Services, Google or Microsoft Azure, where the security and data controls are more sophisticated. CRM cloud providers – like any other good company – try to avoid PR disasters and are aware that if they fail to provide the information their customers require in a safe manner, they’ll go completely out of the market. In reality, security and data integrity are more crucial to these companies than the features that actually come with the software.

Therefore, the risk is small. However, that doesn’t mean your data is safe. You must prepare.

You can backup your database. The majority of CRM platforms give users backup files, typically for an additional charge. You can backup it to a different database with online backup programs like Carbonite or Barracuda when you’ve got the data. Most of the schedule, these data files are stored in a format which could be transferred to a different system, but it will not be fun, easy, or cheap.

You can ensure that all your employees – specifically those who work from home- are well-trained, using security software, connected to secure routers, and running the most current operating systems. You’ll need to hire an outside IT company to keep track of their actions and ensure that they’re set up correctly. This is a price; however it can help reduce your risk and is the norm in our post-pandemic world of remote work.

Cyber Insurance won’t stop any incidents from occurring. However, it can provide you with funds for your business if a security breach shuts it down. Liability insurance can cover you if your customers sue you for damages because your information was compromised. Speak to your insurance provider and ensure that you’ve got the proper insurance to reduce your financial risk.

If your CRM service goes down and you are unable to access your information, you’re likely to have to fiddle with your thumbs until they get their systems back up and running. This has something that has happened to me as well as our customers on multiple occasions. It’s a bit frustrating but typically can be resolved in just a few hours. However, using manual procedures would help if you were prepared for this possibility.

What happens in the scenario if your CRM provider is shut down or goes under the radar? I’d not worry too much about it. If you’re not using an obscure CRM system, your CRM vendor won’t likely shut down its doors. They’d probably sell to a more prominent firm or a rival. This means your data will be passed on to someone else to continue the process; however, you may be faced with a move to a different system soon.

Do you think your CRM information is secure? Yes. No. Very well. Be aware of your risks and be prepared for the most likely.

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Adam Collins
Adam writes about technology, business and economics. With master's degree in Economics, he's presented six papers in international conferences. As a solivagant in the constant state of fernweh, curiosity is the main weapon in his arsenal.

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