Over the past decade, we’ve seen a fundamental change in how we approach customer service. The customer experience management market is expected to reach $14.9bn by 2025, according to the MarketsandMarkets report.
Businesses now operate 24/7, providing ubiquitous accessibility and convenience. Users can manage transactions from any device and any location. But the more transactions are conducted online, the more digital information is transferred and stored.
Therefore, challenges of data theft and misuse and numerous instances of fraud arise. To prevent data threats, you need to build client portals that are highly secure from the outset. How to ensure the ultimate customer portal safety?
Why does security come first?
A customer portal is a digital space that allows customers to interact with your business: receive, exchange and send important data, sign contracts, conduct payment transactions, and control workflows. For example, banks’ customer portals allow online payments and utility bills.
A shared digital space facilitates communication and streamlines working with customers from all over the world. That is why a well-protected portal ensures that customers feel safe about their personal and confidential information, improves the user experience, and increases loyalty.
Security measures for customer portals
Maintaining customer portal security starts with minimizing all security loopholes, deploying robust enterprise-grade security control, and protecting systems from cyber attacks.
Data retention policy
Storage policies determine how long and where datasets will be stored. Relevant information is held for future use, and old irrelevant customer data is deleted or copied to a backup. Storage policies determine which users have access to data at a particular time. Also, the customer portal should provide a function to deactivate users who have no reason to access the portal data according to the company’s needs.
When you build a customer portal, ensuring data security is an issue of major importance. Data center companies should follow cybersecurity standards and be duly certified. When selecting the right data center storage, you should consider providers who adhere to all relevant security standards (ISO-27001, PCI, HIPAA).
Besides, security policy software can provide companies with an effective tool for managing their infrastructure policies and help dodge cybersecurity threats.
Encrypted file storage
Information on servers is encrypted. Encryption provides portal users with secure access to the system without the risk of a data leak. TLS encryption (over HTTPS) ensures that clients connecting to the customer portal via a web browser can access the system securely without data leaks.
Role-based access control
Adding users to an account, you need to specify what accesses they should have. Role-based access control (RBAC) restricts access based on the roles of individual users. It helps to minimize the risk of data leakage, maintain a high level of security, and ensure sensitive data confidentiality.
Passwords are the most common method of authentication. A password policy will prevent users from using weak passwords, such as the date of birth or their first pet’s name. A strong password consists of a combination of lowercase/capital letters, numbers, and special characters. In this case, it is secure enough and hard to hack.
It is also worth implementing a feature to limit the number of login attempts. When users enter the wrong password several times, the system locks them. Adding a captcha can stop bots from guessing password combinations.
Portal owners should think about implementing dual authentication mechanisms. It involves entering a personal password and having the next authentication step to log in. Two-step verification helps to verify users when they log in from an unknown device or location. The second authentication step is sending a security code to the user’s email or mobile device. Microsoft uses two-factor authentication by phone number, email, or in-app to authenticate a user logging in from an untrusted device.
After a customer portal is deployed and operates smoothly, it still requires maintenance and constant security updates, which companies should include in their long-term strategy.
Once the customer portal goes live, you can continue working with the solution developer. Specialists will maintain the customer portal to ensure it functions according to the company’s needs. You can also hire internal employees to ensure portal support and maintenance. You can integrate and use a virtual PBX phone system to keep the team updated with the workflow.
Increased customer trust
Trust is a tool that lets your business grow. Loyalty is based on customer satisfaction and leads to increased profits. Failure to protect the customer portal can result in costly data breaches. When customers discover that a company suffered from a data breach, they can lose trust in the brand and leave. Make your customers familiar and connected to your brand and each of its elements, the mission statement and the underlying ideology.
Data protection laws
According to UNCTAD, 137 of 194 countries have enacted data protection and privacy legislation. Regulations affecting personal data protection may differ from region to region. Here are some of the regional privacy and data security laws:
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a pan-European data privacy law that strengthens citizens’ rights regarding the protection of their personal information and privacy, such as the right to access, delete and correct data, and the right not to be subjected to automated decision-making.
The GDPR sets penalties for non-compliance. For non-serious violations, the administrative fine is up to €10m or 2% of the company’s global annual income. For severe infringements, the penalty is up to €20m or 4% of the company’s annual income.
The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is a California statute in the United States that governs how businesses around the world handle the personal information of California residents.
Other states that have passed or are in the process of passing legislation include Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, New York, Washington, D.C., Illinois, Texas and Virginia.
In June 2022, Canada introduced the Digital Charter Implementation Act 2022 (DCIA), which modernized the regulation of personal information processing in the private sector. The DCIA replaced the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) with the Consumer Privacy Protection Act (CPPA).
The regulation established a new administrative tribunal and adopted an Artificial Intelligence and Data Act to regulate responsible AI development. The CPPA presupposes fines of up to 5% of a company’s gross annual revenue or CAD 25m for its violation.
The LGPD (Lei Geral de Protecao de Dados) is Brazil’s general data protection law, which corresponds with the GDPR principles. The LGPD imposes obligations on businesses and grants rights to Internet users.
The law imposes significant administrative penalties for non-compliance. Companies can receive an administrative charge of up to 2% of annual turnover, capped at 50 million Brazilian Reals.
South Africa has enacted the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) with strict measures to protect personal data. The laws and data protection measures in POPIA have similar standards to the GDPR.
India adopted the Personal Data Protection Bill, which embodies many GDPR provisions, including notification and prior consent requirements for the use of individual data and restrictions to ensure that businesses collect only data directly needed to provide services to individuals.
The bottom line
An effective customer portal has an intuitive interface, a rich feature set, and well-protected data. Secure customer portals will protect customers and keep companies away from fines and costly litigations.
While searching for the right portal solution, better keep security in mind. A reliable portal software development partner will guarantee the security of your portal, ensuring advanced data security measures.