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If you don’t know by now that there are a plethora of data protection laws and regulations out there to keep personal data safe, we might have some questions. From GDPR to CCPA, HIPAA, OCPA, TDPSA, and more, there’s a veritable alphabet soup of data security regulations determined to keep personal data private. Yet we consistently hear about data breaches large and small that affect hundreds of thousands of individuals around the world. 

So now let’s add another acronym to the mix: CRM. Customer relationship management systems are incredible repositories for all your customer information, from names and addresses to emails and other interactions that help you manage those relationships to the benefit of your business. 

Where do CRM systems and data security intersect? Have you ever stopped to think about how much personal customer information is stored in your CRM? What about all that data that you have all the good intentions in the world of adding to your CRM, but instead it’s sitting in email inboxes or spreadsheets? Are you really protecting your customer data the best way you can? Let’s take a look. 

How Your CRM Protects Your Data

Because customer data is the lifeblood of your modern business, it’s vital that you protect it. Not only could a breach result in legal and regulatory ramifications, including significant fines, it can also deeply damage your customers’ trust in your organization and thereby ruin your business’ reputation. 

It’s clear that your business needs to be sure to use robust data security and privacy measures within your CRM system. These measures should come pre-built into the system. If they don’t, you might want to look at a different system. Check for:

  • Data Encryption: Make sure data is encrypted both in transit and at rest so unauthorized users can’t access sensitive information.
  • Access Controls: Be strict on limiting who can view and modify data within your CRM. Base permissions off of each individual’s roles and responsibilities, and make sure only authorized users have access to data. 
  • Authentication: Strong authentication methods can verify the identity of the users who are trying to access the CRM to make sure only the right people do. Consider enabling multi-factor authentication for an added layer of protection. 

Within your own CRM data practices, you should also consider putting regular practices into place to ensure you only keep the data you really need.

  • Data minimization will make sure you’re only collecting and storing the absolute necessary data. 
  • Use a clear consent management process to obtain and manage your data. This is especially important if your business needs to adhere to regulations such as GDPR.
  • Implement data retention policies so that you’re not keeping data any longer than strictly necessary. Once data has expired, securely delete it so it can no longer be accessed by anyone. 

Any CRM solution and add-on that you use should follow robust data security and privacy practices. Assess every vendor’s data handling policies and practices to make sure they align with your standards. 

If It’s Not in the CRM, It’s Not Protected

While those of us who use CRM solutions will jokingly say, “If it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen,” when referencing customer interactions, the same can hold true of data security: If it’s not in the CRM, it’s not protected. 

We get it, teams get busy during the day, or distracted by other calls and emails coming through. Sometimes it’s easier to collect customer data in an inbox or even throw it in a spreadsheet to upload later to the CRM. But your email and that spreadsheet stored on your local hard drive aren’t protected to the same degree that your CRM is. And if someone gets into your machine, all that data is out there in the open and ripe for the taking. 

Thus, not only is it crucial to get customer data inputted into your CRM because it’s simply good business practice, it’s also critical to protecting the information your customers are trusting you with. 

If it’s not in the CRM, it’s not protected. 

The Easy Way to Get Data into Your CRM and Keep It Protected

The good news is there’s a quick and easy way to get customer information into your CRM right from your inbox. That way is ExtendSync. Available for both Outlook and Google Workspace, ExtendSync is purpose-built to extend the value of the spaces your teams work most while helping ensure data gets where it needs to go. Our direct integrations with NetSuite CRM allow users to create new NetSuite records from their inboxes, modify existing records, and delete records they no longer need. 

Not only that, but ExtendSync also makes it easier to ensure that all your customer interactions end up in the CRM—our Autopilot function can automatically attach emails by thread or by email address to the appropriate contact record. So not only is the customer information protected in CRM, the interactions are tracked as well. It’s in CRM, it’s protected, and you can prove it happened. 

Finally, ExtendSync adheres to all native NetSuite security roles: If your colleague can’t see the information in NetSuite, they won’t be able to see it in ExtendSync either. 

Speaking of security, at CloudExtend, your security—and that of your customers—is at the forefront of how we develop our apps. We’ve incorporated multiple layers of security, including role-based controls, 2FA, MFA, and SSO support. Our security framework incorporates audits and accreditations such as GDPR, CPRA, FERPA, and SOC2 Type 2. This means if you’re using ExtendSync, you can be confident that our integrations proactively comply with worldwide regulatory standards so you can maintain data security compliance. 

What’s not to like about that? 

Try ExtendSync for use with Outlook or Google Workspace FREE for 14 days, no credit card required. Get started protecting your CRM data here. 

Learn more about CloudExtend’s security.