Salesforce allows you to record, store, and manage valuable customer records on a cloud-based platform. Whenever a business collects and works on data that is sensitive in nature, i.e., personally identifiable information (PII), account details, credit/debit card credentials, etc., customers often get conscious about the privacy of this data and the rights they have over the same.
This makes data compliance important in the age of digitization.
While implementing Salesforce within your organization, always make sure that you are well-versed with data compliance standards relevant within your country. Adhering to these standards would empower your customers over the usage of the data collected from them. The CRM platform also helps you ensure the security of sensitive records collected and managed by your team using Salesforce.
What Do You Mean By Data Compliance?
In simple words, data compliance refers to the set of processes undertaken by an organization to keep sensitive information collected from its customers/clients secure and free from loss, theft, or misuse. It often requires businesses to comply with the standards set and the regulations laid out by the governments of the countries they operate in.
Data compliance allows you to instill a sense of trust within your customers and prospects as they engage with your business. As it helps them rest assured that they have the right to be informed about how their information is used, they wouldn’t hesitate in providing you with details that are sensitive in nature.
How Is Data Compliance Different From Data Security?
Data compliance is often confused with data security and the two terms are often used interchangeably. The goals of both processes are to reduce the risk involved in the management of sensitive data. However, it is important to note that there is a subtle difference between the two.
Data compliance deals with businesses complying with legal and statutory regulations for maintaining the security and privacy of their datasets. It involves companies meeting the standards set at national or international levels while managing the collected information. On the other hand, data security refers to a set of processes and technologies that define the manner in which you maintain the security of your data. It is specific to the platforms implemented and software used for keeping your records safe as you manage your datasets. While the objective of data compliance is to adhere to specific regulations and standards, the objective of data security is to keep your data safe from intentional or unintentional breaches and other relevant threats.
Important Data Compliance Standards To Consider During Salesforce Implementation
While implementing Salesforce, an organization should be well-versed with some of the most important and popular data compliance standards met by companies operating around the world. This allows you and your team to maintain the utmost security and privacy of sensitive information collected from your customers.
Here are four of the most important data compliance standards worth knowing as you implement Salesforce within your organization:
GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is one of the most widely accepted data compliance standards across the world. Most newer regulations charted out by several governments globally are heavily inspired by the standards listed in GDPR.
Having come into force in May 2018, GDPR lays out rules that provide customers with the right to know the data collected by businesses from them and the manner in which it is used. The regulation also focuses on making the reporting of breaches (and the consequences) stricter.
Prepared essentially for the businesses operating in the EU (or companies acquiring data from EU citizens), GDPR has prompted governments and regulatory bodies across the world to revise data compliance standards based on the age of digitization that we live in.
GDPR enlists seven major principles that need to be followed by businesses while collecting and managing sensitive data:
- Lawfulness, Fairness, and Transparency – This principle asks businesses to adopt lawful practices for collecting data from their prospects or customers. It also asks organizations to be fair and transparent about the collection and usage of the data.
- Purpose Limitation – According to this principle, while collecting information from the customers, organizations are required to state the purpose of the same clearly. Businesses cannot alter the stated purpose after collecting and processing data.
- Data Minimization – According to this GDPR principle, businesses are required to collect information only to the extent to which it is necessary. Organizations cannot ask for information that is not required to perform the declared processes. Moreover, GDPR required businesses to have the necessary documentation for the same.
- Accuracy – This principle requires businesses to keep the collected data accurate and up to date. Holding inaccurate or irrelevant information about your customers would be considered to be a violation. Companies are, therefore, required to get rid of the records that are no longer required to perform specific business processes.
- Storage Limitation – This GDPR principle deals with the time period for which an organization should retain the information collected from the customers. Every set of collected data needs to have an expiration date, beyond which you cannot store the information within your system. Moreover, GDPR requires businesses to have an organized data deletion process.
- Integrity and Confidentiality – According to this principle, businesses are required to shoulder the responsibility of maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of the collected information. In the case of cyberattacks, organizations are required to adopt anonymization (or pseudonymization) of the records to keep the identity of the customers undisclosed.
- Accountability – This GDPR principle states that an organization would be responsible for every step of data processing once the data is collected from its customers. This makes it mandatory for businesses to document and justify every step as they are directly accountable for the same.
California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) is another widely accepted data compliance standard for businesses operating around the world. The law was passed in 2018 and came into effect on the 1st of January, 2020. CCPA is often considered to be the toughest data compliance standard for businesses to comply with. Applicable to US-based companies, it is often described as California’s equivalent of GDPR.
As compared to GDPR, CCPA provides a broader view of what can be considered private data. This includes any information from which one can draw inferences for creating a customer profile. The information herein should reflect the characteristics, preferences, predispositions, psychological trends, attitudes, behaviors, intelligence, abilities, and aptitudes of individuals.
However, compliance with CCPA is not mandatory for every organization. The standard is applicable for companies earning gross annual revenue of more than $25 million. It is also applicable for businesses involved in buying, receiving, or selling personal information belonging to 50,000 or more customers. Companies deriving 50% or more of their annual revenue from selling the personal information of customers also need to adhere to CCPA for data compliance.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 is designed to make organizations and individuals dealing with healthcare records ensure the privacy of the data collected. These organizations are required to maintain high confidentiality of the health records collected from individuals and take complete accountability for the same.
HIPAA requires organizations to restrict health records only to individuals having valid reasons for viewing them. This makes it important for medical institutions and healthcare centers to incorporate encryption and powerful access controls while managing health records. HIPAA is not only applicable for the records stored within your database but also for the ones being shared. This makes it important for institutions to manage emails and file transfers in a secure manner.
A major highlight of HIPAA is the fact that it requires organizations to maintain complete audit trails for every interaction anyone has with the records. This makes it important for institutions dealing with medical records to implement data migration tools that are secure and allow users to undertake thorough audits of the system.
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a data compliance standard applicable for organizations dealing with the financial information of their clients. It is designed to help customers ensure the security and privacy of sensitive financial information such as credit/debit card details, account numbers, etc. provided to financial institutions.
Unlike most data compliance regulations, PCI DSS is not mandated by a government but by an industry. These rules are applicable to financial institutions as well as firms using third-party services for handling financial transactions online.
From having a secure firewall while collecting data from the customers to testing the systems and processes on a regular basis, PCI DSS includes a series of steps to keep financial records private. The number of steps applicable for an organization often depends on the volume of online financial transactions undertaken by it.
The Final Word
These were some of the most important data compliance standards you should consider while implementing Salesforce within your organization. Being aware of these regulations would help you keep your customer records secure and organize your business processes.