What tools or steps are you using to ensure your customer data is safe across all your platforms?
The following answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, the YEC recently launched #StartupLab, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses via live video chats, an expert content library and email lessons.
1. Build an API, Not a Product
One of the best things we ever did was build our product as an API before the first line of front-end code was ever written. Building the entire product as an API allowed us to have consistency across all platforms. For example, if we had a bug in our web app, we probably had the same bug in our iOS app. A product built on an API offers security through consistency.
2. Use SSL Certification, Malware Scans, VeriSign
Our website is scanned on a regular basis for malware and other security risks, and we also possess an SSL digital certificate so our customers know our webpages are safe. Our website is also SSL encrypted. Lastly, our website displays the VeriSign seal, which is another way our customers know they can use our website without risk.
3. Choose Partners Carefully
As a scrappy startup, it’s very easy to find low-cost providers of analytics or customer relationship management (CRM) software. We choose to work closely with name-brand partners. We research the security of those firms and trust them implicitly, given that a lot of the “big guys” — large companies with a lot more to lose — choose them. Invest in security from day one to ensure customer trust.
4. Plan, Then Create a Backup Plan
Take the most obvious steps in order to ensure the safety of your customers’ data — this includes ensuring all firmware/software is up-to-date, utilizing SSL certificates to encrypt important data transmission and focusing on code security to eliminate potential database and XSS vulnerabilities. Then, create a backup plan in case that fails. Store critical customer data in encrypted formats!
5. Install a Security System in the Office
It’s easy to focus on online security threats, but don’t forget about who can actually threaten your physical location. I consider having a security system for our office a minimum requirement for ensuring the safety of client data.
6. Use Flurry Analytics
I’m not addressing the information that users input into apps to give data to a company. I’m speaking directly to the mobile app world that uses Flurry Analytics (flurry.com/flurry-analytics.html) to understand more about their customers’ experiences on multiple platforms and devices. Flurry is secure, and the portal allows you to review customer data in many ways with fewer hassles.
7. Eliminate Possible Security Problems With Beyond Security
Our e-commerce site accepts large credit card payments daily for big-ticket items, so we understand the importance of protecting our customers’ data. For this imperative task, we use Beyond Security (beyondsecurity.com), a service that performs daily testing on our website to eliminate the possibility of website security problems, like malware, SQL injection and cross-site scripting.
– Anthony Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings
8. Build Platforms With Security in Mind
We use third parties who specialize in securing data because they know way more about it than we ever could. We do what we do well, and we let them focus on what they do well. We also try to design our platforms with data security in mind from the beginning. If the architecture is full of holes from the start, no amount of security is going to help.