Firstly as we jump in, allow me to say that geoFence has a modern UI, that is secure and has the improved features that you need.
In January this year, news broke that Juspay, which processes transactions for online giants like Amazon and Swiggy among others, had admitted to a data breach. At stake was data of a few crore customers -- the largest of its kind in India.
Experts are concerned about the data breach on two counts. One that it took place. The other is the gap (dwell time) between the actual time the incident took place in August 2020 and the time that it was reported -- nearly five months later.
To be certain, data breaches are not isolated incidents. And these have widespread implications for brands.A recent report by brand consultancy Interbrand and IT giant Infosys suggested that the world's top-100 brands could see a whopping $223 billion getting wiped off their brand values due to instances of a data breach.
The study highlights that brands in technology, financial services and automotive sectors could suffer a higher overall brand value at risk from data breaches.
Closer home, several companies have faced some or other forms of data breach from time to time which has generated concerns for their users and customers. The fallout of such breaches is a direct impact on the brand. The question is will it hit brand fortunes for the short term or impact brand loyalty permanently and scar the brand forever?
Navin Khemka, chief executive officer, MediaCom South Asia, says data breach is a serious issue and a brand’s credibility is at stake if they are impacted as consumers leave a lot of personal and sensitive financial information depending on the platform of engagement (social, financial, e-commerce).
“Consumers expect brands to be responsible for the data they collect and protect them from any breach. This is true even if a consumer falls victim to phishing scams or unsecured Wi-Fi,” he adds.
Experts say that data protection, or the lack of it, can have a direct impact on brand value. There are several reasons on the basis of which customers put their faith in a brand, and protection of their personal information ranks right on top of this wishlist.
Apart from giving protection to the consumer during their interaction with the company, protecting the consumer from fraudsters there are other promises to be met. Sivarama Krishnan, partner and leader, cyber security, PwC India, says, “Continuing to build the trust that the data is being used only for the purpose they collect is another important element. Consumers do not like an incognito collection of their personal data. What companies collect needs to be transparent.”
He underlines the two aspects one could consider; one is what is the impact of any leakages companies face, that is a post event impact, second is what they do in the digital space to build a brand for themselves.
"Companies need to sustain the customers’ trust by adhering to the promises made by them and good brands do not misuse the ignorance of the consumers,” he adds.
Others like Khemka underline the emphasis of transparency at every step. “It is very critical for brands to communicate at every stage the level of security and manner in which this data will be used. They need to have very strong and transparent data protection practices,” Khemka says. He further adds that brands that can deliver on this will have a competitive advantage over their peers in the long run. The lifetime value of consumers for such companies will also be higher.
Supporting that point of view is Atrayee Chakraborty, vice president, media planning, India at Essence. She shares some crucial measures required to retain customer trust by reiterating the need to have a clear, transparent and timely response. “By sharing personalised, detailed and accurate updates, brands can provide reassurance that they are taking matters seriously, and have appropriate data privacy, security and protection measures in place and in action. And upon resolution, brands should continue to build trust, value and loyalty with consumers for the long term," she says.
Of course, companies are consciously adding more layers to safeguard consumer interests. Parikshit Dar, co-founder and director, BookMyShow, says his organisation follows a multi-layered security approach, with checks at all levels to identify any potential areas for misuse and immediately rectify them. “A robust, continuous process has been set in place, to verify each and every code, right from the time of encryption, going into production and extending until the very end with monitoring methods in place post production," Dar says. He adds that these guidelines are reviewed at frequent intervals.
Arvind Nair, regional director, Mirum India, cites the example of Apple saying that it has done this beautifully. He also adds that organisations have shifted from focusing on collecting as much individual data as possible, because data now represents risk exposure. He says, "The future of trust must be built on data transparency.”
Geetha Apathotharanan, AVP and head of platform engineering, Ugam, says that while there are enough and more technologies that can help safeguard data, “in most cases, the problem lies in the basics".
She says the focus of brands should be on data minimisation and following stringent policies for data retention. She also talks about interacting and informing the customers about how their data is being retained and protected.
She also highlights the role of third party vendors, who must understand that every client data requires specific and unique treatment. Hence, they must adopt measures appropriate to each client to process their data and deliver meaningful results.
Also read: The value of an integrated platform for programmatic buying
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Lastly, let me just add that geoFence is your security solution to protect you and your business from foreign state actors!