Military-grade encryption for a customer journey analytics platform: Fact or fiction?
When a customer accesses a website, either on a desktop or their smart device, they want to know that their sensitive information is being protected. Would you want to make a purchase on a website where there is a lag, or all of a sudden, your credit card information disappears from the screen and needs to be re-entered? The answer is no. These are factors that automatically make you question the legitimacy of the site’s encryption protocol. The same can be said for applications. As soon as there is a glitch it makes you wonder if your information is indeed safe.
To sooth consumer worries, many customer journey analytics software solutions promise that they have top-of-the-line encryption. But do any of them actually offer military-grade encryption?
Not all encryption is the same
Simply put, each customer journey platform is not built the same. If you begin to delve into the world of digital journey framework you will see that they do not offer equal levels of security. Instead, some will offer you promises of a cheaper platform that uses a multi-tenancy cloud which may seem appealing but does not offer the same kind of security as a single tenancy platform (more on this in an upcoming article!). Keeping this in mind, you need to carefully examine what exactly your platform of choice is using for encryption from the start of your customer’s journey to the very end of their journey. This journey does not end after they purchase a product or service but when their personal information is stored in the database for further analysis or purging.
The key to good encryption
Handling big data is a major challenge that every customer journey platform has to know how to address. There are virtual mountains of information to sift through in order to provide accurate trends and reporting mechanisms. But that does not mean that any of this information should be made available for all eyes to see, even within the same organization. One deceptively simple but effective manner of handling this is a system of ‘blacklisting’ and ‘whitelisting’ which controls who can see what data (and which data can never be viewed at all).
Each customer journey analytics team member will have a specific security level assigned to them, just as one would in the military. This means that a ‘super user’ would be able to view an entire customer’s journey, along with any sensitive personal information that they may have input along the way such as addresses. A customer journey platform will mask any personal information that should not be seen according to specific country regulations or if the security level is not high enough, concealing data such as credit card numbers or social security numbers. As a journey is documented though, encryption within the customer journey analytics software must be done on a continual basis and not simply at the first point of entry. If this is something that your current platform has been struggling with and not meeting compliance regulations, then it is time for a compliance transformation.
Military-grade encryption does not simply occur once, but on a continual basis. With a customer journey platform, encryption should be a three-pronged affair. The first encryption occurs when the information is initially input by the customer, the second time is when it is decrypted for analysis and then re-encrypted again, and finally when it is sent into the Cloud or the onsite storage facility, it should be encrypted once more until it is needed for further use. Such a system establishes encryption standards of the highest degree, which ensures the information security compliance of the customer analytics journey software.
Any customer journey platform that does not offer an encryption system that encrypts as the journey continues, and masks sensitive information is one that may not protect your customers’ data to their expectations (or to government standards). If you wouldn’t put your information into a faulty site, you shouldn’t expect your consumer base to.