The Importance Of Protecting Customer Data Is Important For Maintaining Trust And Loyalty With The Company 's Clientele

The Importance Of Protecting Customer Data Is Important For Maintaining Trust And Loyalty With The Company 's Clientele

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Recently, Zappos fell victim to an outside cyber attack that resulted in the data theft of 24 million customers (Byron, 2012). Fortunately, the damage to Zappos was not as severe as it could have been due to the fact that Zappos encrypted all customer credit card information (Byron, 2012). Encrypting sensitive customer data is a requirement of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) (Boyle & Panko, 2013).
With the recent addition of web-based service that allows customers to view and download their monthly statements has forced the need to preform a risk assessment of this new service. The importance of protecting customer data is critical to maintaining trust and loyalty with the company’s clientele. Although currently, the company’s customer database is small, around 5,000, doesn’t make it any less a target of outside threats than large multi-national corporations. Computer hackers will take any opportunity to gather as much data as they can from wherever they can find easy access with minimal effort.
Should there be a successful data theft of the customer database could allow hackers to gain access to customer’s other online accounts and the finical risk to this company could be severe. This document will cover the basic aspects to comply with PCI-DSS along with the requirement that customer confidentiality is protected with the use of secure encrypted access to the new customer account information web service.
PCI-DSS
Some of the customer data that is currently being stored includes: first and last names, home address, phone, email, account password and credit card information. The fact that personal credit card information is being retained subjects this company to the security requirements...


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...d to protect against data theft. For example, all customer data should encrypt home address, email, account passwords and credit card information. By implementing a strong encryption strategy will render all sensitive data useless in the event there is a breach in security and data is stolen (Hindle, 2014).
Conclusion
The National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) recently reported that 83 percent of small businesses have no formal security plan, while another 69 percent do not even have an informal security plan (Pullen, 2014). This company cannot afford to be lulled into a false sense of security believing we are too small to be noticed by computer hackers. The NCSA reported that in 2011 cyber attacks cost small and medium sized businesses an average $188,242 and nearly two thirds of those businesses were forced out of business within six months (Pullen, 2014).

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