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Customer-focused teams are secretly daunted by demands of data

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We found that one in three marketing professionals works from home two-to-four days a week, more than most other job roles. A third undertake confidential or sensitive work while travelling on public transport; one in four throw documents into insecure bins away from the office – and 48 per cent send or receive work documents over a personal email account, at times using an insecure wireless network (12 per cent). 

However, just a third of the employers surveyed provide secure remote intranet access for marketing professionals working from home, or offer guidelines or policies on how to handle sensitive information.

Put together, this represents a ticking data breach time bomb that could go off at any time. This can and must be prevented.

Customer information is too valuable to be treated casually. The opportunities companies have every day to capture, analyse and use information would have been unimaginable just a few years ago. Online customer registration, digital and verbal communications, browsing, social media, location-, transactional- and purchase- data provide firms with a real opportunity to understand the behaviour and preference of their customers.

Making such data accessible across the business for analysis and intelligence is essential for customer engagement and business growth – but the people using that data must know how to protect it, and be helped to do so.

The days when information management, storage and protection could be consigned to the back office for IT and records management are long gone. Information management is now a mission-critical process that rests in the hands of every single employee. Failure to close the gap between access and protection could have devastating consequences – for business competitiveness, sales and reputation. Setting data free is not the same as casting it adrift.

Christian Toon is the head of information risk for Europe at Iron Mountain.

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