We have said it before: data is a fundamental pillar of the category management process. As a retailer, it provides you with insight to your stores and product categories down to SKU level. Through the category management process, this valuable information is analysed, interpreted and used to provide your customers with the products they want, when they want it.
DotActiv offers database management services where we can host, build and maintain your database for you. This is a great option for companies who do not have the infrastructure or resources to do this internally.
When conversation turns to the topic of processing and storing data, the question about data security arises. This article discusses what data security is, the importance thereof, and what DotActiv does to ensure that your data is secure.
What is Data Security?
The term ‘data security’ refers to exactly that, the security and privacy of your data. In essence, it is the practice of securing confidential information, stored in files or databases, from unauthorised access, data loss, duplication, modification or data corruption through various safeguarding techniques.
In today’s competitive market, companies have an increased interest in gaining insights about their customers and product performance so that their product and service offerings can be targeted, thereby yielding an economic benefit.
Data analysis gives you the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of your target market and level of customer satisfaction. More data is being created on a daily basis than ever before and data security protocols have become even more important to ensure that your data remains protected from threats.
Why is data security important?
Data can be one of a company's most valuable assets when analysed, interpreted and utilised correctly. The retail industry is no exception. In fact, using your data to plan product assortments and product space allocation in your stores can boost the performance of a store immensely.
Let’s consider the example of when your local grocery store suddenly moves their snacks aisle to the back of the store. This is done as a strategy to improve sales, achieve category growth or to create a shopper path. Decisions such as these are based on data.
As a retailer, your data includes confidential store data, product data, market data and shopper data such as shopping patterns and loyalty card information. This is confidential and can have serious effects if leaked such as a loss of customer trust, a negative impact on brand reputation, and decreased customer loyalty.
In a competitive retail environment, it is also important for you to ensure that your data does not get shared with competitors.
Let’s say, for example, you have a successful store or product strategy in place. In this instance, you wouldn’t want this information to be shared with your competitors.
Data loss is another major data security threat. This is where data is either deleted or lost, causing major business long-term damage. This can lead to a negative impact on future sales and product decisions and could even result in negative business growth as your competitors may be using their data to remain a step ahead, leaving you behind.
It is understandable that security is a concern when a third party has access to your data. This is why we ensure data security at DotActiv so that you can be confident in the fact that your data is safe.
How does DotActiv Ensure Data Security?
At DotActiv, we have years of experience working with data from different sources and therefore we have the processes and protocols in place to ensure that your data is secure with us. To ensure data security, we have the following in place:
DotActiv implements strong passwords
All staff members have a dedicated login and are required to create their own unique passwords. Our Password Policy requires strong passwords of more than 8 characters in length containing numbers, symbols, capital letters, and lowercase letters. A password will not be accepted if it is too weak.
Limited access to servers
Access to servers are limited. Only a select few trusted and trained employees, each with the appropriate permissions, will have access to the servers.
Regular password changes
At DotActiv, we require that passwords of all databases and servers are changed on a regular basis and adhere to our stringent password policies.
Weekly security checks
All DotActiv computers have firewall protection and are monitored to block any potentially malicious applications and protect all our users’ confidential information. We also use a best-in-class antivirus system and we conduct weekly integration checks.
Weekly software updates
We do weekly Windows updates to be sure to have the latest security protocols installed.
Weekly server backups and maintenance
We have a weekly data backup that backs up all of the data on our servers. Our IT support team ensures that the relevant SQL back-ups of important data are done on a weekly basis where the latest three backups are stored.
Over and above this, we also retain daily differential backups for minimal impact if a restore is needed.
Secure server connection
In order to connect to our servers, we use a secured application and connectivity cannot be done outside of this tunnel for maintenance.
At DotActiv, our database management services will enable you to utilise your data and make better informed decisions about your retail business without having to worry about the security of your data.
For more information on our database management services, you can read more here or schedule a meeting with a consultant here.
About our contributors
Henrico Morton is a technical support consultant, Mia van Rensburg is our customer support consultant and Jason Dorfling is DotActiv's IT Director.